First Time Home Buyermoss on roofNAS WhidbeyRenovationRetirementRetiring Seniors February 22, 2018

Roof maintenance in the Pacific Northwest

Moss on a roof

Why worry about roof maintenance in the Pacific Northwest?

Moss can completely ruin the life of a roof.  In addition of leaves and pine needles it can be a disaster waiting to happen.Moss left to grow can and will lift the shingles creating gaps for water penetration and wind damage to the roof.  With a couple free minutes on a beautiful day you can assess and clean a roof.



There are several roof maintenance tasks that homeowners can complete themselves.
1. Loose debris removal
Remove any branches, leaves or other debris that can accumulate on a roof in winter. With another person’s help, if possible, set up an extendable ladder and carefully access the roof and remove the materials.

Remember that it’s always wise to perform roof maintenance tasks on a day when it’s sunny and the roof is dry to help prevent slippage.

2. General inspection and repair
Check the attic or other interior ceiling for stains that can indicate water is seeping into your home. Then examine the roof for missing, lifted or loose shingles and check the rest of the shingles for moss and mold.  Worn spots denoted by missing granules, cracks, peeling and curling.

Additionally, check for missing or loose flashing, nails and metal roof bolts. Replace and repair shingles or flashing and replace or tighten roof hardware as needed.

Peeling, curling and partially lifted shingles found in more than one area of the roof can indicate that the roof is at the end of its usability. If you don’t have experience with roof replacement and you see this level of damage, hire a professional roofer to determine if the roof needs more than do-it-yourself maintenance.
Dark streaks or splotches on your roof could be caused by bacteria and commonly occur.
Ever wonder how those black streaks or other discoloration got on your roof’s shingles?
3. Moss and mold removal
Gently spray a roof moss remover and cleaner on affected areas. Follow the specific cleaner’s instructions to wait for the solution to do its work and then gently brush away the moss and mold with a soft bristled broom and wide handheld brush.Use of a power washer or hard-bristled brush can wear away granules that protect the shingles from harmful UV rays.  My favorite is Tide with Bleach powder

4. Soffits, fascia, gutters and downspouts
Wearing heavy rubber work gloves, carefully remove by hand, or with a small scoop, all debris from the gutters and downspouts. Then, gently scrub away dirt and grime from all areas with a soft bristled cleaning brush.  Clear away remaining debris with a garden hose and then check for missing caulk and paint peeling, soffit and fascia rotting, holes and cracks, loose or missing gutter sections or hardware and gutter-related leaks. Make replacements and repairs and re-caulk and re-paint as needed.

Keep in mind that leaning your body on the gutters while cleaning can damage them and potentially cause you to fall off your ladder. Installing gutter screens or covers can reduce yearly cleaning time.

5. Chimneys, skylights and vent openings

Anita Johnston on roof

Anita Johnston cleaning moss off a roof

Once you have finished the main sections of your roof, work on the chimney, skylights and vent openings. Close off the fireplace, clean creosote from the chimney with a chimney brush and then inspect the chimney for damage, such as a missing or cracked bricks or mortar.

Perform repairs and then seal the chimney with a masonry or chimney water repellent product. Lastly, clean, inspect and repair the vent outlets, and skylights if applicable. The use of a roof safety harness can help prevent falls when performing any work on your roof.

Although roof inspection and maintenance may seem like a lot of hard work, major roof repairs can be a costly and time-consuming. Always keep in mind that preventative work now will benefit you not only this year, but also far into the future.