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How to Properly Clean Your Roof of Leaves, Snow, and Algae

Cleaning your roof is as important as cleaning your bathroom. We’d like to argue it’s more important. Without a roof over your head, what’s the point?

When leaves, branches, snow, and other debris accumulate on your roof, that can mean major problems inside your home. This clutter can damage shingles, clog gutters, and cause leaks.

Properly cleaning your roof can make the difference between a costly repair and a fully-functioning shelter. Here is some advice for properly cleaning your roof that we urge you to heed.

 

Leaves, Needles, and Branches

Fall in the Midwest means TONS of leaves. Depending on the number of deciduous trees you have surrounding your home, you should be on the lookout for accumulating leaves. When leaves get wet, they can cause water to pool contributing to roof weakness and leaks.

If leaves are dry, you should be able to easily blow them off of your roof using a leaf blower. This is best to do on a ladder so you have more control over the direction the leaves blow. Avoid blowing leaves toward gutters.

If leaves are wet, you may need to purchase a telescoping roof leaf rake, which is similar to a push broom. Standing on a ladder will give you more control, but you can also use many of them from the ground. Some roof rakes will help clear pine needles as well. If you are surrounded by coniferous trees, however, consider investing in a needle rake.

Broken branches should also be cleared as soon as possible. They can cause damage to shingles, break windows, and fall on people. Clear them from the ground or ladder, but clear them quickly.

 

Snow

Snow accumulation is bad news for your roof. The added weight and moisture can lead to roof weakness, leaks, and collapse. Never let more than 4 inches of packed snow sit on any roof for more than a day without melting.

A telescoping snow roof rake is the easiest way to remove snow and is a wise investment for Midwestern homeowners. Depending on the height of your roof, you may need to use a ladder to reach the highest points.

 

Algae

At first, algae stains and streaks are simply unsightly. But over time, algae wreak havoc on your roof as they slowly feed on limestone and asphalt in your shingles. Many online sources suggest the use of chlorine bleach as the best method for removing algae. Bleach, however, is harmful to surrounding vegetation and shortens the life of your shingles.

There are plenty of eco-safe roof washes on the market that get the job done for a little more money and a lot less damage to your roof, plants, and pets. Use a long scrub brush rather than a power washer to preserve your shingles.

 

Clogged Gutters

Regularly cleaning your roof is your number one defense against clogged gutters. If accumulated debris has already begun to create a clog, it’s definitely time to do something. Check out this post for more information on freeing up your gutters.

 

Remember, don’t neglect your roof. It’s what makes your home more than just four walls.