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5 Tips for Maintaining Your Roof

Saturday, April 1st, 2017 by Kevin Marr

5 Best Practices for Maintaining Your Roof

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After you get a Klaus Larsen Roof over your head, the next step is to maintain it so you can get the full protection and value out of your roof. So we, the Klaus Larsen Team, put together a list of 5 ways you can keep your roof in great condition. 

1. Don’t Hammer Ice Dams. 

One thing that we sometimes see are shingles that are worn or missing some of their granule layer on top. This is usually from homeowners or other contractors hacking away at ice dams with hammers or small pickaxes. This may remove the ice dam but it creates permanent damage to the shingle! Instead of muscling the ice dams, look for ways to reduce the frozen runoff by improving the amount of insulation in your attic.  

Ventilation is also very important in order to withdraw warm air from the attic so that the snow does not start melting in the first place. Lastly, we offer an ice dam melting service. We use a machine that deploys steam directly at the ice dam to melt it right off the roof. This way your ice dams are removed safely without damaging your new roof. 

2. Replace Chimney Flashing 

When your chimney starts leaking, the first reaction is usually to put tar or roofing cement on the flashing to stop the leak. However, this is a temporary and does not fix the problem. The roofing cement will not last because it drys up and cracks in the sunlight. This is because roofing cement is not designed to handle UV rays. The UV drys the cement causing it to crack and pull away from the flashing. This will actually open up the chimney to leaks again.  

What should you do? When we replace a roof, we always replace the chimney flashing and install new lead chimney flashing and the counter flashing on the chimney. The flashing is pulled out between the bricks and then the new flashing is re-sealed with mortar seal. We can also replace the chimney flashing on your current roof. So instead of putting on a layer of cement, we get down to the root issue. While we are there, our mason can repoint your chimney too! 

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3. Trim Trees and Prevent Debris in the Valleys 

A valley is a part of your roof where two slopes meet. It is a downward seam that joins the two roofs together. It is also a common place for leaves and pine needles to collect. Because the valley is in the joint between two slopes, water and leaves are driven down the valley. If the valley gets clogged, then more leaves and debris accumulate which leads to ice dam build up and encourages moss or lichen growth.  Keeping the trees trimmed away from the house will keep the roof valleys debris free and will allow more sunlight to reach the roof and help the shingles stay dry. A dry roof is going to have less moss and lichen. 

4. Keep Soffits Clear of Insulation 

We recommend that you keep your soffit vents clear of insulation so you get the maximum airflow in your attic. Having a strong air flow will keep your house cooler in the summer and reduce the likelihood of ice dams in the winter. An easy way to do this is put foam baffles by your soffit vents if you have them. A baffle is a rigid foam piece that goes between the rafters. You tuck it right between the plywood and the insulation, to keep the insulation from blocking the soffit vents in your attic.  

5. Avoid Power Washing the Roof - Use Copper Instead! 

Another way shingles have lost granules is from the roof being power washed in order to kill the algae and moss. This works temporarily but it does not always kill it permanently and damages the roof in the process. When your roof starts getting those black streaks it is from black algae growing on the shingles or, more accurately, IN the shingle. You can either clean it by gently spraying a solution on the shingles or you can install copper near the peak of your roof.  

Why copper? Have you ever noticed a home that has the black algae streaks covering most of the roof except right under the chimney? This is because the copper or lead flashing is washed off the chimney by rain and the metal ions run right down the roof and kill the algae. If you shingles have copper in them, like Owens Corning Duration shingles, you will get the same effect. The copper in the shingle will get washed down the roof and keep the algae off. After 10 years or so, you can have your contractor put copper strips near the peak to cover the shingles with a new layer of copper in order to keep your roof clean. 

With these tips in hand, you will be better able and aware of how to best take care of your home. The roof is the first line of defense for your home and maintaining it will keep your house looking great and protecting your home for years to come. 

If you are experiencing problems right now do not hesitate to call us and get a free estimate on your roof. 

From all of us,

  The Klaus Larsen Team

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About the author
Kevin has been a Sales Consultant for over 2 years. He also works as a Marketing Associate and loves both of his positions.

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