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Unless it’s leaking, a roof is typically a portion of a home that is out of sight and out of mind. Maintaining a roof is important, but homeowners sometimes do not take into consideration that they can, themselves, be causing damage to the roof. Avoiding the behaviors listed below will not only reduce the number of leaks on your roof but will extend and protect the integrity of the roof for many more years.

Avoid Pressure Washing

Pressure washing your roof will make your Homeowners Association happy but will cause unnecessary stress and, often damage to the roof. A pressure washer forces a stream of water that often reaches a speed of 243 mph.  This pressure will decrease the longevity and life expectancy of roofing materials up to three times more than their actual life span.  Walking on the roof usually causes tiles to crack or break, often leading to additional costs after an annual pressure washing. A better solution is to treat the roof with preventative products known as Roof-A-Cide or Spotless Roof Solutions after pressure washing to avoid future pressure washing damage.  These products are applied using a very light spray every two years, which will eliminate the need for pressure cleaning ever again.  For new roofs, the products can be applied one year after a new roof is installed so that pressure washing is never needed.

Avoid Having Too Many Tradesmen Walk On The Roof

If someone is not trained to walk on a roof, they shouldn’t be on the roof at all.  From air conditioning companies to roofing contractors, many people may need to walk on the roof to provide estimates for repairs or to diagnose a problem.  Limiting the number of people walking on the roof will reduce the amount of damage the roof sustains and, ultimately, prevent any damage from occurring in the first place. A homeowner who gets ten estimates for a repair is actually causing more damage by tradespeople walking on the roof.

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Avoid Lingering Roof Leaks

If the roof is older, it tends to have a brittle underlayment.  In this frail condition, the underlayment allows leaks to occur due to water damage from storms, pressure cleaning, or even a simple rainfall.  Once a leak begins, the potential for other structures to become damaged increases significantly. It is not uncommon to see a roof leak that has spread to damage nearby fascia, trusses, and soffits.  A roof leak can sometimes be seen on the interior of a home and appear as a ceiling stain, down the wall, or through a light fixture..  Allowing a leak to go unrepaired for any length of time causes many other costly repairs that would have otherwise been avoided if it was promptly repaired. It is recommended to have a roof leak taken care of as soon as there are signs of a leak to ensure any future damage is mitigated.

Avoid Using Damaging Fasteners When Decorating The House

Who doesn’t love to have their house decked out for the holidays?  Most people do, but homeowners often do not think about the damage they are causing to their roofs when hanging holiday lights. Attaching the lights incorrectly or with the wrong fasteners can cause unintended harm to the roof. Hire a professional who is trained to walk on the roof and understands how to fasten lights without causing damage.

Keep Trees Trimmed and Away From The Roof

Keeping foliage away from the roof and fascia is an excellent way to extend the roof’s life and keep costs down. Overhanging trees have leaves that hang, or touch, the roof which keeps moisture on the roof instead of away from it. The moisture causes damage to the roof covering and often deteriorates the underlayment and roof sheathing. The leaves from the trees also clog the gutters, which make the water back up onto the roof. This causes fascia damage and, above that, often roof leaks.

By paying attention to the tips in this article, homeowners can extend the life of the roof and keep repair costs to a minimum. Finding ways to minimize people walking on the roof, keeping the gutters cleaned, and removing roof debris are simple ways to prevent future roof damage.

Tamara Chase is the owner of Chase Roofing and Shine of Fort Lauderdale, both located in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

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