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Archive for September, 2013

Pounding a nail with a sledgehammer? Why power washing your roof may be disastrous!

September 10, 2013

A composition roof that has been power washed.

A composition roof that has been power washed.

 

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Power washers are versatile tools that are useful for many types of applications. They can nicely brighten up concrete surfaces, remove grime and algae from some types of siding, and also clean some types of roofs. But here’s a caveat: power washers are not ideal for all jobs. I’ve lost count of the number of roofs that I’ve seen that were power washed when they definitely should not have been.

This week, I inspected a 3-tab composition shingle roof that’s about 20 years old and nearing the end of its life expectancy. Unfortunately, this roof had been power washed a few times over the years and it clearly caused great harm. Because of this negligent roof care, I needed to recommend a number of repairs.

Power washing a composition shingle roof is almost always detrimental to its life. If you stay far enough away from the roof, you likely will not remove the moss and grime you want removed. If you get close enough to remove the moss and grime, then you are most likely removing the granular coating that gives the roof its color and maintains the integrity of the roof. Our recommendation is a manual brush off that has much less impact on the life of the shingles. Call us for a free estimate.

Valley troughs–a potential weak point

September 6, 2013

On the many roofs that we inspect, repair, and maintain, we see a large number of uniquely designed roofs. Many of these include intersections and troughs that pose quite an obstacle to roofers during installation.

Over the years, the norm has been to overlap valley metal down through the trough. This method works–usually. The trough in the accompanying picture hasn’t leaked yet, but the debris build-up in the trough could cause trouble. If the debris sits long enough, it will turn to sediment over time and cause a dam. This in turn causes rain run-off to back up under the metal and possibly over the sides. If you have a problem with a trough like this, we can help. We remove the metal, as well as the roofing material around the metal, and put down a layer of rubberized low slope roofing. This effectively provides homeowners with a leak-free roof.                                             An example of a complex trough intersection where problems can occur.