Clean Roofs Are Happy Roofs

Having Your Roof Cleaned Annually

Most people find roof maintenance an excellent thing to have done for them by expert professional roof cleaners. You can schedule a
free roofing inspection to find out exactly what needs to be done and a free roofing estimate of the cost. If you use someone annually, there will be times when you only need a removal of debris with a blower and a cleaning out of gutters. Other years you might opt for preventative solution sprayed on and sometimes you’ll need a thorough cleaning. Clean roofs are happy roofs.

Cleaning Your Roof Yourself

Cleaning your roof will extend its life. Roofs collect leaves, pine needles, and dirt, and grow moss, algae, and lichen. All of these lead to problems that lead to a roof leak. Sometimes moss can look charming, but it isn’t good for your roof. All of these form mini water dams extending the time that water sits on your roof. The living plant life can secret acids that breakdown roof shingles, although admittedly very slowly. Most growth is far too uneven to look good even if you like it. So, how do you clean a roof? On this subject, the many experts argue, most claiming only their way is right, and using alarmist warnings about daring to try a different method. Here is what we have found:

Pressure Washing:

  • Pressure washing, if done right, will not harm asphalt composition shingles and can be very effective in removing contaminants.  Some will disagree, but if done right, the evidence indicates pressure washing is a valid option. Proceed with caution on very old wood shingles and shakes.
  • Tile roofs are not at all damaged by pressure washing, but if the wand is angled facing the bottom of the tile, water is easily driven into your attic, wetting ceiling insulation.
  • Pressure washing produces a slick working surface. First because of the water and secondly because of the material being removed. Safety harnesses are recommended.

Chlorine based solutions and Tri Sodium Phosphate (TSP) Solutions:

  • These products do work and they seem to be as effective as their alternatives. The competition claims they only take care of surface problems, merely buying you time before moss, algae, and lichen grow back. Most find that  growth comes back with all the products, so we are really involved in ongoing roof maintenance.After plant life is killed it will wash off with the rains or you can use a garden hose.
  • Chlorine based solutions (containing Sodium Hypochlorite) and TSP solutions in some concentrations can harm some plants. Depending on where run off is going you may affect your plants or local watershed. The big problem of phosphates was in the huge quantities used in detergents which causes algae blooms in lakes and oceans which deprived waters of oxygen. Though mostly a problem of the past you may want to use something more eco-friendly. However, some eco-friendly products may not be as claimed. These solutions can be considerable skin irritants. Always use rubber gloves and avoid contact with eyes, face, and overall skin. Chlorine bleach, TSP, and water solutions are sprayed with a garden sprayer, allowed to sit for 15 or 20 minutes, and then rinsed.

Prevention strategies:

  • Some roof shingles contain small amounts of copper that inhibit growth. Similarly you can spray your roof with a copper sulfate solution.
  • Placing zinc strips under the bottom of the top row of shingles can have a preventative effect on the whole roof.
  • These are only effective after existing problems have been remedied.

Never Use 3-Tab Shingles

When re-roofing never use inferior 3-tab shingles, which may have come with your house. The slots that give the roof its pattern are holding spots for moss. The additional cost of upgrading to the starting level of architectural shingles (which have no slot), may be as little as 15% more if you are hiring a contractor (cost of shingles themselves are about 40% above 3-tab).



Almost Everything Is Susceptible to Water Damage

Flood Water Damages

Almost everything that is contacted by flood water suffers some damage.  With water earning the reputation of the universal solvent, it can destroy anything and everything in its path if it is given enough time. Some of the usual victims when there is an onslaught of unwanted water in the property are furniture and floor coverings, electrical systems, and gas lines.  But the occurrence of water damage has given the opportunity for another kind of technology to take effect. With an increased demand follows the supply of techniques to counteract the effects of water allowing property owners to become more secure about the ability of the commercial or residential structure to withstand the effects of water damage caused by burst pipes, other malfunctions or Mother Nature.

Technology Offers Some Hope

One example of the ways people can combat excess moisture is through waterproofing. There are commercially available sprays that can be used on fabrics that will make them less susceptible to staining. In fact, it is not just small items that can be given this particular treatment. Even bigger features of the house such as walls can be made more resistant to water damage using lime plaster, instead of the more traditional gypsum plaster. The rise of technology to alleviate the effects of water damage certainly spells good news to property homeowners. It can undoubtedly lower the costs of recovery after flooding because not only will it prevent damage, but it also allows some of the item suffering water damage to be repaired. But despite this, one of the most important tenets of home emergencies such as this is to look at the situation objectively.

Not Everything Can Be Or Should Be Saved

Let it be made clear: not all items can be salvaged, repaired, or saved after they have been exposed to water. While there are some things that can be helped, there are some, quite simply, that cannot. Part of the property owner’s responsibility is to learn how to differentiate between the two.

  • Food:  Under no circumstance should food that was exposed to floodwater be considered as still being usable. The reason for this is simple: it is far too risky. Keep in mind that excess water that makes its way into the home is rarely clean. In fact, it is just a question of degree as to how dirty it is. Even water that comes straight from the sinks should be looked at suspiciously. Among the dangers that the water can carry are diseases like gastroenteritis and hepatitis – these are just the tip of the iceberg. Food poisoning does not loom far when it comes to contaminated food. Even if the water does not actually come in contact with the food, the situation is still considered dangerous. One of the things that should be taken into consideration is that it is entirely possible for the floodwater to aerosolize and spread to items that are within the area. This means that actual contact is not necessary for the food to be dirtied by the water.
  • Baby items:  Although babies and adults belong to the same species, there are vast differences between them. Babies need more care because their immune systems are weaker than their adult counterparts. They can get sick in situations that would otherwise not affect them had they been older. In addition to this, babies are also not as cautious as older people. As any parent can testify to, babies or even toddlers are curious creatures with an affinity of putting items in their mouths indiscriminately. Behavior such as this can be quite dangerous because it can lead to illnesses. The very nature of babies is the reason why extra care is required when it comes to the objects that come in contact with them. Especially in situations of flooding, the damage done by the water can reach furniture or items that are meant for use by babies. Although there are cleaning and disinfecting techniques available, it is still best to simply throw them away. The act of disposal of baby items may seem extreme, particularly if the things do not appear to be irreparably damaged. But, keep in mind the delicate immune systems of children and the fact that it is quite rare for an item to be completely cleaned. Soft, porous materials can still harbor germs and bacteria deep within its fibers despite repeated washings. Given this information, it is better to simply invest in new products to keep the babies happy and healthy. Not only will the cost of medication and hospital expenses be avoided, but the psychological and emotional stress of a sick child can also be sidestepped.
  • Items for the elderly:  Things that are meant for the elderly should also be thrown out after they have been damaged by water. The reason for this follows the same principle as those that apply to children. Since the elderly are also likely to have weakened immune systems, they have lesser capacity when it comes to fighting off illnesses that can be brought on by the bacteria found in the floodwater. Again, it is extremely difficult to eliminate all the pathogens found in items. Especially for cleaning that was executed by ordinary households without the aid of professional equipment, it is easy for some of the disease-causing elements to escape. It is not just the weakened immune system of the elderly which makes them prime candidates to the effects brought on by flood damage. It is also the fact that the elderly are more than likely to be afflicted with existing medical conditions that can easily be exacerbated. What this translates to is that what may be a simple infection to another person may be a complication of a pre-existing heart disease to the elderly. Given these things, it is much better to play it say and simply throw out the items that are exposed to flood damage if they are meant for people of age.
  • Sewage-Exposed Items:  It is not just the purpose of the items that need to be taken into consideration when it comes to distinguishing which ones need to be thrown out. The kind of water that does the damage also needs to be taken note of. Sewage is a material that is teeming with pathogens that it is actually classified as hazardous. In fact, experts emphasize that they should not, under any circumstance, be handled by the average homeowner. What should be done in the event that the presence of sewage is discovered is to call licensed professionals to handle it. Some of the dangers that sewage imposes on the people occupying the property are typhoid, skin irritations, and even respiratory problems. When the stakes are so high, it is better to throw out the items that tend to absorb the sewage. These include porous materials such as carpets, upholstered furniture, or clothing.  The reason for this is that liquid can easily be absorbed by fibers. No matter how intensive the cleaning techniques are used, it is extremely difficult to reach the core of these porous materials. If the water comes from cleaner sources, this is not necessarily a problem because the items will naturally dry out. However, the case of sewage is different in that even if it does dry out, the pathogens still remain. Take note that the problem with sewage is not in the moisture that it gives but rather, the germs and bacteria it carries.  There is no doubt that replacing items such as sofas and carpeting can be quite expensive. But consider these as a necessary expense in that they actually safeguard the integrity of the property and more importantly, the well-being of the people residing in it.
  • Neglected Items:  If there is one thing that property owners should know about flood damage is that it works fast. Thus, there is a need to properly pace the time used to respond to it. There are some items that begin out as salvageable but then due to neglect, turn out to be beyond repair. Examples of these include carpets and rugs that have been left to soak overnight, electronic devices that are left submerged in water, and paper items such as documents and photographs exposed to humid air. If the response to the flooding was done in a timely manner, the restoration and cleanup of these items would have been a breeze. But, failure to remove them from the affected areas and dry them out can eventually downgrade them to junk. To prevent the occurrence of this situation and to avoid the trouble of throwing out things unnecessarily, make sure that there is a plan set in place to respond to flood damage even if the need for it is not evident. What this entails is that the contact details of the suitable flood damage professional should already be at hand even before there is a sign of danger. This saves the property owner the trouble of having to frantically look through the directory for someone to provide aid in the event of a home emergency such as this. Aside from the convenience, the right kind of preparation affords, it will also give the property owner enough time to properly scrutinize the professional to ensure that the job is done properly and efficiently.