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Spring Cleaning Your Roof: 5 Simple Tricks to Make Your Old Roof Look Younger

Friday, April 14th, 2017

As the weather gets warmer and we spend more time outdoors, it’s time to evaluate how our hone has weathered the cold months. It’s probably in need of some spring cleaning to get it looking spiffy from all angle. Your roof is a big part of first impressions, highly visible to homebuyers and friends alike. If you have an old roof that you worry is dragging down the appearance of your home, this is the perfect time to do something about it. Here are five tips to help make your roof look younger and better this spring!

1. Clean Away Debris

Gutters full of needles and shingles covered with leaves don’t impress anyone. Underneath that winter layer of debris, you have a roof that deserves to be seen! Clean out your gutters, and carefully sweep leaves and other debris off of your roof. If there’s a lot of dust and dirt, consider a professional roof cleaning. Remember that climbing all over your roof can do damage to vulnerable shingles (and create safety risks) unless you know what you’re doing.

2. Get Rid of Algae and Mildew

In wetter climates, rooftops can get gradually overgrown with dark algae, mildew, and moss – especially older roofs surrounded by trees. These unsightly growths hurt your shingles and make your roof look ugly – but removing them is a great spring cleaning project. A gentle wash with a water/bleach mixture can temporally remove algae, but we suggest copper or zinc installations to help prevent long-term problems.

3. Install New Gutters

Gutters are one of the most visible parts of your roof. Old, sagging or crooked gutters can give a very poor impression. Fortunately, they can be repaired, repainted and replaced! Replacing gutters can be a very effective “facelift” for your house. Upgrading to copper gutters or more stylish designs can make a roof look younger (while also doing a better job of draining water). Even a smaller project, like replacing downspouts with more modern chains, can make a difference.

4. Repairing Edges and Eaves

When people get close to your house, they immediately notice the edges of your roof and your eaves. When tackling spring cleaning, think about how these edges appear. Are there frayed and uneven shingle edges? Is paint starting to fleck off your eaves? During spring cleaning, replace problematic shingles and repair your eaves so that your roof looks even and fresh! If your flashing is crooked or rusting, it’s a good idea to have it replaced as well. Generally speaking, nothing about your roof edges should look crooked or out of place.

5. Replace Shingles with Better Colors

Nothing makes a roof look out of place like the wrong shingle colors. If your shingles have faded over time or never looked quite right, think about a larger replacement project to find the shingle shade that will really make your home shine. Findlay Roofing can help you find the right shingle colors to bring out the palette of your house and get it ready to greet family and friends this spring.

Photo Source: BigStock

Black Stains: How to Handle Roof Algae

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

Black stains are common on roofs in humid climates and usually there is no reason for Roswell homeowners to be concerned about it. The culprit of black stains is a type of algae that grows when moisture in the air goes unchecked on the roof. There are simple ways to preserve curb appeal and handle this problem.

Spotting Roof Algae

Algae on a roof looks like it is casting a shadow over certain areas of your shingles. You may even see moss, which is another product of humid conditions. On a roof with copper flashing around a chimney, you sometimes see these black spots in areas away from the flashing, as metals like copper prevent algae from growing.

Though the airborne algae does not shorten the lifespan of shingles, most homeowners consider it an eyesore that needs correcting— especially when you have light-colored roofing. Unless you were planning on complete roof replacement, your choices come down to cleaning or adding metal strips to kill the algae on contact.

Removing Roof Algae

When applied with proper force, chemical cleaning solutions can make the black stains disappear quickly. Roof maintenance experts usually handle the job with bleach or another chemical that’s proven to be effective on algae. One thing that makes the job tricky is the landscaping surrounding the home. Without proper care, chemical cleaners can hurt or kill plants. Cleaning crews will prepare any plants that may be affected to avoid this.

When you live in Cobb County and neighboring areas, this solution is not permanent. Algae will reappear in time. Roofers may add strips of copper or zinc near the top of your roof to protect against any new growth. With every rainfall, the water washes particles from the metal stripping down the roof to keep it free of algae. If you are replacing shingles, ask your roofer about algae-resistant types that are now commonplace in Southern homes.

Roof algae is unsightly, but there is no reason to let it bother you. Contact Findlay Roofing to remove the black stains. They’ll provide recommendations for keeping your roof looking great for the long haul.

Photo Source: Flickr

How to Finish Roof Cleaning Before Winter

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

A good roof cleaning can help your house withstand winter storms. If it’s been a long time since you have taken a serious look at your roof, it may be time to pick a weekend to start. Here’s what to look for:

1. Missing Shingles

In mild, summer months you may be able to get away with missing or broken shingles without experiencing many ill effects. Do not expect this to continue through winter. The rains, ice and wind that the cold months bring will find those shingle problems and will quickly turn them into serious leaks. The best way to prevent this is to check your roof carefully before winter starts. Make sure that all of your shingles are whole and healthy.

2. Clogged Gutters

Winter windstorms can throw a lot of debris onto your roof. Debris can cause damage and an unsightly mess. In addition, the debris already on your roof can cause even more insidious damage. When needles, leaves, and dirt pile up in your roof valley and your gutter, they become trapping places for the rainfall that winter can bring.

Those pockets of debris quickly become thriving spots for moss and algae, as well as prime locations for leaks to develop. The solution is simple and very effective: Before the winter weather hits, clean out your gutters. Use a ladder, a bucket, and maybe a hose or towel to help out. You can do this on your own, or hire a professional company.

3. Congested Valleys

Gutters aren’t the only places that debris can collect on a roof. For many home rooftops, a certain amount of leaves or pine needles will also get stuck in the valleys. As with gutters, these piles can become dust traps and can encourage moisture, moss, leaks and ice dams.

You can get onto your roof with a broom and sweep the junk “downstream” as long as you act safely, move carefully, and preferably have experience working on rooftops. You can also ask a roofing contractor for a basic maintenance project analysis.

4. Ice Dam Problems

An ice dam is an event that happens when snow piles up on your roof and begins to thaw before freezing again. This creates icicles, but it also creates ice dams on your roof that prevent snow and moisture from sliding off the roof and into your gutters. This is bad news: ice dams cause moisture to seep into your roof over days at a time.

To help fight ice dams, the flashing against the edges of your roof should be straight and clean with no cracks or bends. Check the caulk sealing the flashing and other areas of the house. If the caulk looks ragged or is missing, those sections need to be resealed. Additional caps and preventative measures are also available if you have continuing issues with ice dams.

For further tips and help through the winter months, stay connected with us at Findlay Roofing.

Photo Source: Flickr

Roof Cleaning: Should You Do It?

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

Thinking about cleaning the roof? There are pros and cons to the process. Here are a few things to know before you start:

Pros to Cleaning the Roof

Clearly, cleaning a dirty roof is going to make it clean again, and that’s not a bad thing. However, there are several more specific advantages to cleaning the roof that go beyond cosmetics:

  • No more algae: If aroof is stained with dark patches of algae, a proper roof cleaning will remove the algae and make theroof’s color look uniform once again. To permanently remove algae, consider using copper bands or new resistant shingles.
  • No more moss: Moss is very dangerous for a roof. However, it’s difficult to fully eradicate without a thorough cleaning. Removing moss involves peeling away the moss itself, getting rid of dirt or moisture left behind by the moss that was there and replacing damaged shingles.
  • No more mess after a storm or winter season: Not only is collection of needles, leaves, branches and debris an ugly sight— it is bad for your roof. A simple cleaning can lower the risk of damage or moisture accumulation.
  • More knowledge: Cleaning the roof via a professional is a great way to learn about the roof’s state. This knowledge will help ward off future issues.


Problems When Cleaning the Roof

While it may seem like a roof is one of the more durable parts of a home, rooftops can be surprisingly delicate in some ways. This makes a roof cleaning risky, especially if the roof cleaner is an amateur completing a DIY project. Here are several potential problems that could arise:

  • Lost shingle granules: If you treat theroof too roughly, shingle granules – or the small particles coating asphalt shingles that protect them from the sunlight and other elements – could be dislodged. Unfortunately, scrubbing the roof with a brush or other cleaning tools will break apart granules. Never casually clean a roof with tools around the house.
  • Pressure washing is dangerous: Roof materials aren’t designed to be pressure washed with an average pressure washer. Roof cleaning takes tools designed for the job. Don’t try to pressure wash a roof like you would a fence or a sidewalk as doing so could cause damage to surface tiles or shingles— while also creating moisture damage.
  • Roof warranties are tricky: Washing the roof, especially with something like a pressure washer, can often void roof warranties and make future damage much more expensive. However, warranties may also require occasional professional cleanings. Finally, homeowners insurance is also a risk, as insurers may use a DIY cleaning as an excuse to not fulfill a claim.


Making the Decision

Cleaning your roof is more complicated than most homeowners realize. If your roof has physical debris, from storm detritus to algae stains, then cleaning is a good idea. For further questions about specific tools to use and what to avoid, contact the professionals at Findlay Roofing.

Photo Source: Flickr

Shingle Stain Removal: Restoring your roof’s shine

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Dark stains are common on many shingle types, so there is no major cause for concern if you find part or all of your roof discolored after years of use. In fact, staining is a natural process that can be reversed when using the right cleaning system. Here is help understanding the cause of these stains and how to best handle shingle stain removal.

Causes of shingle stains

From Woodstock to Buckhead and every other part of Atlanta’s suburbs, a dark-colored algae collects to shingles to cause visible stains. For several years, shingles have been produced with a 10 percent copper content that makes the roofing resistant to algae and moss. However, anyone with an older roof will experience the full impact of this problem. New roofing systems offer algae resistance warranties that span from 10 to 15 years.

Staining may only cover part of your roof if there is metal content (in flashing or vents) present because metals repel algae and prevent moss from growing. In other cases, you may see dark stains covering your entire roof if it is free of metal material. While most manufacturers and roofers agree algae doesn’t damage a roof, it certainly doesn’t help your home’s property value or curb appeal one bit.

Shingle stain removal options

Before trying to remove shingle stains on your own, it is best to contact a roofing company first. It is best to get a free roof analysis from a professional because there are a lot of considerations that you may not know about. For instance, the kind of chemical you would choose, may actually harm your roof or void a warranty. Additionally, landscaping and plants below your roof should be considered. Whatever cleaning products are used will rinse off and impact the greenery below, so consider the full cycle of cleaning before you start.

Of course, another reason to contact a professional is that – as with any other roofing activity – there are risks involved, especially in sloping roofs. Consider hiring an insured professional roofer to inspect and clean your shingles to avoid any potential accidents.

If your roof has heavy staining, you may consider having metals strips installed near the roof ridge. Rain carries a small amount of metal content across the roof, which prevents algae from collecting. Ask a professional roofer to help with this process in order to prevent future algae buildup. With the right cleaning product and a safe cleaning system, shingle stain removal will restore your home’s roof near its original beauty.

Image source: morgueFile