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Archive for the ‘Moss Removal’ Category

Is moss bad for my roof?

May 8, 2018

 

Is moss bad for my roof?

 

Moss is a four-letter word for homeowners in the Portland and Vancouver areas. Fighting it on your own can be a constant headache and who needs the hassle? What’s the worst that can happen, anyway?

Here at Northwest Roof Maintenance, the question we hear more than any other, “is moss bad for my roof?” You might be hopeful to hear that moss isn’t that bad but the truth is about what you’d expect.

The answer is simple: Moss is bad for your roof.

 

Why is moss bad for your roof?

Moss thrives in dark, cool, wet climates. Sound familiar?

There’s probably not a single roof in the Pacific Northwest that’s immune from moss growth. And sure, sometimes moss can give a steeply pitched roof a charming fairy tale look like something straight out of the Enchanted Forest.

But there’s a darker side to moss growth. No matter whether you have cedar shakes, tiles, or composite shingles, moss is bad for your roof!

Here’s why:

  • Moisture – By its nature, moss is wet and constant moisture on your roof can cause devastating amounts of rot.
  • Growth – Moss is insidious and grows steadily. As it grows it can push under shingles, tiles, and shakes, pushing them up and creating damage to your roof.
  • Leaks – The damage to your roof caused by moss growth can lead to holes, thin spots, and eventually leaks.
  • Pests – Bugs and rodents may be attracted to moss on your roof. The result is frustrating and hard to eliminate pest infestations.
  • Weight – You’d be surprised at how heavy a big mat of moss can be. Moss is spongy and holds a lot of water. There may be hundreds of pounds of added weight on your roof. That’s weight your roof wasn’t designed to support.
  • Curb Appeal – Are you thinking about selling your home? Moss can be a red flag to picky home buyers and home inspectors, potentially costing you thousands of dollars.
  • HOA Fines – If your HOA is particularly picky, you may face a fine for allowing moss to grow on your roof.
  • Danger – Moss is slick and slippery. You’re much more likely to fall and get seriously hurt if you’re walking on a moss-covered roof!

 

Moss prevention & removal

An ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure. It’s a cliche for a reason!

Our roof cleaning and maintenance team rely on preventive treatments. These treatments kill moss and stop moss from growing. On composition and tile roofs, we apply a water-based zinc treatment that kills any moss. Once the moss is dead, a liquid spray soaks into your shingles, ensuring that new moss doesn’t take root. If you have a cedar shake roof, we have a specially-formulated copper treatment. Copper prevents moss from growing on your cedar roof.

Copper treatments have extra benefits, including:

  • Repelling insects – Copper doubles as a pesticide, keeping damaging powderpost beetles and termites at bay
  • Protecting roof structure – The copper moss prevention treatments we use also reduce warping, splitting, and other issues caused by moisture

DID YOU KNOW: Zinc-based moss treatments may leave a white residue on your roof. This is natural and completely harmless.

 

How we remove moss without damaging shingles

Of course, if you already have moss on your roof, the best place to start is with a thorough roof cleaning and moss removal. We’ve developed a 3-step process designed to remove moss without damaging your roof! Here’s how:

  1. We start by gently brushing away moss by hand, freeing it from your shingles.
  2. Using compressed air, we blow the loosened moss and debris off of your roof. We get every nook and cranny, even the hard-to-reach-spaces between shingles.
  3. Finally, we clean up the debris and make sure you’re happy with how your roof looks.

Do you want to maximize the life of your roof? A moss prevention treatment applied to a clean roof is a great way to protect your home!

 

Can’t I just pressure wash the moss off of my roof?

Pressure washing can remove moss from the surface of your roof but there are drawbacks:

  1. Pressure washing is NOT recommended for roofs with composition shingles. You’ll damage the shingles and reduce the life of your roof.
  2. Pressure washing can drive moisture deeper into your roof. The result is even more rot and long-term damage.
  3. Pressure washing doesn’t always remove the moss that’s between shingles. That’s why we use compressed air to remove moss from most roofs.

 

What about using bleach on my roof? Won’t that kill the moss?

Bleach and other household cleaners will kill moss. However, many cleaners are corrosive, causing structural damage and unsightly discolorations.

Remember, you don’t want to just kill the moss, it needs to be removed, too.

 

More moss prevention tips

  1. Have you trees pruned. Branches overhanging the roof can drop moss and encourage additional moss growth.
  2. Keep your gutters clean and unclogged. Moisture leads to moss which leads to more moisture which leads to roof damage!
  3. Get your roof inspected regularly. Stop moss growth before it starts.

 

Worried about moss on your roof? We can help!

Do you see moss on your roof? Or are you noticing bits of moss or lichen on the ground around your home after a big storm? Moss might be damaging your roof!

Contact us online or call (360) 910-8938. Schedule your free no-obligation inspection from our moss removal and prevention team. We’ll answer your questions and help you understand the best way to protect your roof from damage caused by moss.

We’ll never try to sell you a new roof. We’ll only recommend the services you need to keep your roof in great shape for as long as possible. Read reviews from our satisfied customers and see for yourself!

Category FAQS, Moss Removal

New Year – New Roof

January 3, 2018

We’ve all heard the mantra “new year, new you!” It’s a good thought, while different people would argue how to achieve that or what exactly it means, not many people would disagree with the idea. Now, what if you changed it to “new year, new roof!” I’m not talking about a total roof redo (most people probably don’t need that), but rather, a mindset shift of how you view your roof.

When someone talks about a “new you”, they are very rarely talking about undergoing an intensive plastic surgery to get a whole new face. More commonly, they are talking about getting rid of bad habits, spending more time taking care of themselves, learning new skills, etc… While it’s not exactly the same, these ideas are good ones when it comes to your roof. Too often people don’t think about their roofs until their roofs fail, be it leaking, not passing a home inspection, or something as drastic as caving in! If instead they a) got rid of bad roof “habits”, b) spent more time taking care of their roofs, and c) learned new roof “skills”, they could prevent those roof failures and prolong the life of their roof!

 

Don’t worry, I’ll explain what I mean!

 

  1. Get rid of bad roof “habits”.

    One of the most common bad habits people develop regarding their roof is assuming that if it’s not failing it’s thriving. I’ve heard more people than I can count say “If it’s not leaking, don’t fix it” or something along those lines. The problem with this bad thinking habit is that often times those major issues like leaking are the result of a smaller, more easily fixed problem that hasn’t been addressed. Wind damage, exposed nails, or rusted out flashings are just some of the smaller items that if unrepaired can lead to a larger issue. In order to prevent it though, you have to change your thinking from “it’s fine until it’s not” to “ensure it’s fine so that it stays that way.”

    Another common bad roofing habit is letting moss thrive. Whether it’s because you don’t realize how damaging moss can be or because you are too busy to schedule a cleaning, letting moss make its home on your roof can cut years off the life of your roof, cause leaks, and diminish your curb appeal drastically.

    The third roofing habit (though there are many more we don’t have time to address) is the habit of skimping. This is most often seen in the form of hiring someone purely because they are the cheapest option, instead of because they are the best option. Unfortunately there are many handyman’s and roofing companies that cut corners or provide temporary fixes while telling the homeowner owner it is a long term fix. They charge less, making the homeowner think they are getting a good deal, when in reality they are not truly fixing the roof and the homeowner will only find themselves with a much worse problem down the road. So while you think you are saving money you are really just setting yourself up for a bigger expense. Change this bad habit by being willing to invest in your roof (arguably one of the most important parts of your home) with both time and moneye. Research a company before you choose them, be willing to pay more for a company that is above board and knows what they are doing, and be willing to pay for preventative care and repairs now even if it’s not “a problem” yet. Believe me, your wallet and your roof will thank you!

  2. Spend more time taking care of your roof!

    You don’t have to get up on your roof with the loofah and lotion to take care of it. It can go a long way to take a few minutes every few months to visually inspect your roof. Look for moss growth, missing/lifting shingles, signs of moisture in the attic, or anything else that seems off. Doing this regularly will help you catch potential problems before they become major issues!

  3. “Learn new roof skills”!

    What I mean by this is don’t be stuck in what you know. Be willing to ask questions and listen to professionals about the best options for you roof. Just because you’ve heard something or always assumed something about your roof, doesn’t mean it’s right. Be willing to learn and change your thinking to best take care of your roof. For example, many older tile roofs have nothing in place to prevent ponding (a water build up issue that cause rotted eaves and leaking). Sometimes this is discovered because of leaking and sometimes a consultant looking at your roof will recommend installing anti-ponding before leaking happens. Just because it’s never been on your roof before doesn’t mean it’s not an essential and helpful addition to your roof.

 

Make one of your resolutions “a new year, a new roof”! You don’t have to do it alone, Northwest Roof Maintenance is here to help! Trying to drop bad roof habits? We can have a consultant out to tell you what your roof needs and how you can best care for it! Don’t have time to inspect your roof yourself or can’t safely see all of your roof from the ground? We provide free roof inspection of your home, one of our professional and trained consultants will take a look for you! Unless there’s leaking, you don’t even have to be home! Plus we are always happy to answer any questions you may have and help you better understand the how and why of upkeeping your roof!

 

Happy 2018 and enjoy your “new” roof!

8 Questions to Ask a Roof Cleaner

July 21, 2017

Homeowners know it’s important to clean and maintain their roof; they just don’t know what they should be doing or who to hire. Picking the wrong roof cleaner can lead to leaky, damaged roofs. You could also end up on the hook for injured employees, or even a voided roof warranty.

Don’t let this happen to you. Ask these 8 questions when talking to potential roof cleaners to make sure you are hiring someone you want to work with.

 

Are You Licensed?

Roofs provide a shield against the weather for your home. It’s important anyone working on your roof be licensed professionals to ensure the work is up to a high standard. Different states have different requirements, but most have some form of certification.

  • Washington – In Washington state, anyone who performs construction work (including any roofing activities) must register as a contractor with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries.
  • Oregon – In Oregon, you must pass a test to become a licensed roofer with the Oregon Construction Contractors Board.

Not working with a licensed roofer can leave you with few options if they perform faulty or damaging work. Even if nothing is damaged, you’re at risk for having a lower quality of work done, as the roofers cleaning your roof are not well trained.

 

Are You Insured?

Let’s face it; roof maintenance is dangerous! Experienced roofers like Northwest Roof Maintenance take every precaution to ensure our employees are safe, but anything can happen when you are on a roof.

All reputable roof cleaners will carry workers compensation and liability insurance to cover their employees on the job. If they do not have insurance, you could be held liable for any injuries incurred while work is done on your home.

 

How Long Have You Been in Business?

Good businesses tend to stick around. While there are plenty of good new businesses as well, if a roofer has been in operation for 10 or more years you know they are doing something right. Generally, these businesses are entrenched in the community and have built themselves a great reputation around hard work and friendly service.

 

How Can I Be Assured You’ll Do a Good Job?

Knowing if a roofer will do a good job is a hard thing to figure out. It’s hard to take any service provider at their word. That said, there are ways to figure out if a roofer does a good job.

  • Do they offer references?
  • Do they have good online reviews?
  • Do they value education and training?
  • Do they clean up after themselves?

If they don’t say yes to all four of those questions, it is probably a good idea to look elsewhere for a roof cleaner.

 

What Do You Use to Clean Roofs?

Different roofs require different approaches to cleaning. Using the right method to clean your specific roof is essential. Below, we’ve put some red flags to look out for when potential roof cleaners are telling you their methods.

Pressure Washing

If a roof cleaner’s first instinct is to just pressure wash your roof, you probably want to move on to the next roof cleaner. Not only can power washing damage your asphalt roof, it can also void its warranty. Just because your roof may look good after a power wash, it is only a band aid fix. The only way to truly attack the root of a problem like moss is to fix it with a targeted solution.

Dangerous Chemicals

Make sure your roof cleaner is not using dangerous chemicals to clean your roof. Many cleaners will not openly admit to doing it, for obvious reasons. Chemicals can damage and void the warranty on your roof. They will also wreak havoc on your yard and landscaping below and might be dangerous to use around children and pets.

 

Do You Also Perform More Serious Roof Maintenance?

Why hire multiple companies to complete all the work on your roof? It makes a lot more sense to form a lasting relationship with a roofer who will know the history of your roof every time they are cleaning and maintaining it. Since a roof cleaner will be on your roof, you will want one who will notice, and then be able to fix larger issues.

 

Do You Perform Free Inspections?

You should not pay for inspections. Reputable and trustworthy roof cleaners know they are offering a fair price, and do not mind quoting jobs for free. Look for a roof cleaner who will listen to your concerns and problems, and give you a free estimate. More than likely their estimate will be more reasonable than a roofer charging for a quote.

 

Do You Guarantee Your Work?

Never work with a roof cleaner that does not guarantee their work. Roof maintenance and care take a lot of skill, and good roof cleaners are hard to come by. All of the best roof cleaners out there guarantee their work and will come out to fix any work you believe is not up to par.

A reputable and trusted cleaner knows how important cared for roofs are to well-maintained homes. They will make you feel comfortable with the services being performed. They are looking for long-term customers who know good roof maintenance is not a one time job.

 

The NW Roof Team

Do you need your roof cleaned in the Vancouver, WA or Portland, OR area?

Work with Northwest Roof Maintenance to ensure you are working with experienced, well-trained professionals who know what they are doing. We help homeowners in the Portland and Vancouver area with roof cleaning, repair, moss cleaning, and preventative treatments.

Our friendly, knowledgeable consultants will take a look at your roof and recommend only the services we know will benefit you and your property. Contact us online or give us a call today at 503-740-4808 (Portland) or 360-910-8938 (Vancouver).

How Often Should You Clean Your Roof?

November 30, 2016

You may love to experience the four seasons each year in the Pacific Northwest, but your roof doesn’t. Rain, fog, ice, and even shade from large trees can create the perfect environment for moss and fungi to grow.

Moss, mildew, algae, and lichen grow into your shingles and wear away the material. They can even lift shingles. This creates space for water to pool and eventually leak into your home.

People in Portland and Vancouver often ask us: “How often should I clean my roof?”

It’s a good question, but unfortunately, there’s no easy answer. How often you should clean your roof really depends on several factors that affect the condition of your roof. I’ll go over those today so you can decide whether your roof needs cleaning. First, we’ll talk about how to safely and effectively clean a roof.

Let’s dive in!

How Pacific NW Roofs Should be Cleaned

First things first: Any roof expert will recommend that you don’t climb up on the roof yourself. We’ve seen too many serious injuries to people who were being cautious but simply didn’t have the expertise to navigate the roof safely.

It’s especially dangerous in the Northwest too — moss, fungi, and moisture make your roof extra slippery.

At Northwest Roof Maintenance we know how to get the job done right so that your roof will need to be cleaned much less often than if you tried to clean it yourself. Here’s how:

  1. Our roof cleaning treatments are meant to last. For example, when we get rid of moss on your roof, we also apply a follow-up treatment to your entire roof to prevent future moss growth.
  2. We always offer a free full preliminary roof inspection. This allows us to identify even the smallest leaks, cracks, and other issues that may be damaging your roof. We’ll fix any problems we find so your roof will stay strong and clean for longer.

roof damage

Now let’s figure out how often you should have someone clean your roof.

Factors that Affect Your Roof’s Condition

There are two major causes of dirty and moss-covered roofs:

  1. Excessive moisture that promotes moss, fungi, and bacteria growth
  2. Structural damage that allows water to seep under your shingles or tiles where the sun can’t reach (When there’s damage, we usually recommend our repair services before we clean your roof.)

Here are a few of the most common causes of these issues:

1. Heavy Rainfall

heavy rainfallWater that accumulates on your roof from rain creates the perfect moist environment for bacteria, moss, and fungi to thrive. After extra rainy winters, you might notice a lot more moss and fungus growth on your roof than usual.

The amount of rain that falls on your roof has a big effect on when (and how often) you should get it cleaned.

If you’re not sure whether your roof needs to be cleaned or not, you can always contact us for a free inspection and estimate.

2. Excessive Shade

Many Portland and Vancouver homes are nestled under the cover of large trees. Trees are beautiful — they help keep your home cool in the summer and increase the value of your property. Unfortunately, they can also make it hard for moisture to evaporate off your roof.

If your roof is in a shaded area, you’ll probably need a roof inspection and cleanings more often.

3. Falling Leaves and Other Debris

If you often notice leaves or other debris from trees accumulating on your roof, you may want to think about more frequent roof cleanings. Here’s why:

When leaves cover your roof, they also trap moisture, which makes it easier for moss, fungi, and bacteria to grow, which can roof damage from snowalso cause the development of leaks. As we know, excess moisture equals bad news for roofs in the Pacific Northwest!

4. Other Factors

There are many other reasons you may need either more frequent roof cleanings or extra roof maintenance than normal.

Here are a few:

  • A snowy winter, when snow was on top of your roof for a long period of time
  • An intense wind or hail storm that may have caused damage to your roof shingles, tiles, or shakes
  • Damage to your roof from a fallen tree or branch
  • Any time you notice leaking, missing shingles or other signs of damage

Roof Cleaning Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get rid of moss?

Our moss removal procedure involves a few different steps.

  1. We use a combination of air (from a leaf blower) and soft brushing to loosen moss and blow it out from between your shingles, tiles, or shakes without damaging them.
  2. On cedar shake and cement tile roofs, we may also use high pressure water in extreme cases if necessary. We will NEVER use high pressure water on a composition shingle roof as this can be damaging.
  3. To finish, we’ll apply a preventative treatment over the entire roof to stop new moss growth.

 

What’s the best time of year for a roof cleaning?

It really depends on you and your roof. We often recommend gearing up for winter by getting your roof cleaned at the start of fall. This can really help protect your roof because our moss treatments actually prevent future moss growth! Barring extreme weather, however, you can get your roof cleaned at any time of the year.

The bottom line is, the best time to get your roof cleaned is when your roof needs it!

How do I know when my roof needs to be cleaned?

One of the best things you can do for your roof doesn’t involve much work at all: simply pay attention to it! Keep an eye on your roof. If you notice moss growth, missing or damaged shingles, warped areas, or any other signs of damage, you’ll know it’s time for maintenance.

What Types of Roofs Can You Clean?

At Northwest Roof Maintenance, we clean most types of roofs, including composition roofs, tile roofs, and cedar shake roofs.

Different types of roofs require different types of care. For example, to prevent future moss growth, we use a zinc-based treatment for composition and tile roofs and a copper-based treatment for cedar shakes.

Roof Maintenance Vancouver WA Northwest Roof Maintenance

Is Your Roof Due for a Cleaning?

If you think your roof needs to be cleaned, or if you’re not sure, Northwest Roof Maintenance can help! Our friendly and professional consultants will take a look at your roof and recommend only the services we know will benefit you and your roof. We never suggest unnecessary repairs or maintenance.

Contact us online or give us a call today at 503-740-4808 (Portland) or 360-558-3274 (Vancouver).

Photo credits: Carolyn, jill, jellidonut… whatever