Roof Maintenance: What, Why, and How

Roof of Historic Home

When it comes to properly maintaining a roof, very few homeowners understand what to do, how to do it, or even why they should. It’s not as clear-cut as re-staining a deck, or getting an oil change for your car. But proper roof maintenance is vital to maintain your home’s beauty and, in some cases, it’s essential for its longevity.

Roofing contractors are partly responsible for this. Very rarely will a roofing company explain how to properly maintain the roof they just installed. So let NexGen break this troubling trend and explain two of the most essential forms of roof maintenance.

Remove Those Ugly Algae Stains!

Algae Stains on Roof

When most homeowners decide to give their home a facelift, they’ll consider options like a new coat of paint, vinyl siding, or some landscaping work. But one of the easiest, least expensive, and cost-effective projects is to remove the algae stains from their roofs.

Algae stains—the black streaks and discoloration that appear on older roofs—are a major eyesore for homeowners. Take a look at your roof and the roofs around your neighborhood. You’ll notice all the black stains on all of the older roofs. The primary cause of discoloration is algae stains, which are an especially prominent problem along the Eastern seaboard.

While many premium shingles are designed to prevent that from happening (for example, NexGen uses Certainteed® Landmark® shingles, which come with a 10-year StreakFighter® algae-resistant warranty), a quality roof lasts much longer than that. This will cause a perfectly good roof to look really old and dingy.

While algae aren’t harmful to the roof itself—they’re a major eyesore. To fix this, you can clean your roof with either Chlorine Bleach (simply spray your roof with bleach and wash it away after 15 minutes), or you can use a non-bleach cleaner solution (like, “Wet & Forget”).

Prevent Leaks by Removing Ice Dams!

During the winter it’s essential for homeowners to be on the lookout for ice dams. While icicles may look pretty and picturesque forming along your roof’s edge—they can cause major problems for your roof.

Icicles, by creating an icy buildup, will prevent water from flowing off your roof. When the snow melts and flows down your roof, the water becomes trapped, “dammed” behind them, pools up, and leaks through the shingles (which are designed to protect against water flowing down them—not as a repellent against stagnate water).

Gutter guards can exacerbate the problem. While effective at keeping leaves and other debris from out of your gutters, they’re also prime causes of ice dams. Ice will form on the guards themselves and makes the potential for ice damns much worse.

By following these simple tips for roof maintenance, you can keep your home looking beautiful and also protect yourself from expensive roof repairs.