You have probably heard that cleaning your roof off regularly is critical to keeping your roof as healthy as possible for as long as possible. But dead leaves are not all that heavy, so why should they be a problem for your roof? Keep reading to learn four reasons why clearing your roof is so important.
1. Debris Can Hide Damage
If you have a pile of leaves on your roof, you may not be able to see the damage from a recent storm. Damage could occur during the same storm that dropped the leaves on your roof. For example, part of a tree branch may have fallen and bounced off, or hailstones may have caused roof shingles to crack or curl up before the debris collected in that spot.
Keeping your roof clear of debris will help you keep a closer eye on its surface and identify any visible damage when you perform your post-storm inspection.
2. Debris Can Encourage Leaks
In addition to concealing damage, debris can actually cause damage. Piles of soggy leaves give water constant access to that portion of the roof’s surface, so water can seep through the shingles over time.
One reason why piles of leaves are such a problem is because the areas most susceptible to leaks, such as the spot behind a chimney and the valley between two roof peaks, are also the spots leaves tend to accumulate.
In addition, debris can knock more of the protective granules off the shingles’ surface, meaning that they are more vulnerable to weather damage from sun and moisture. The granules are designed to reflect UV rays away from the roof, so when the granules escape, the underlying asphalt is more susceptible to drying and cracking.
3. Debris Can Attract Critters
Many types of insects love to live in leaf piles. And the softened wood that can occur when wet piles of leaves are in the vicinity attracts wood-eating insects such as termites. To avoid termites, keep gutters clear, the roof swept off, and trim back all nearby trees.
Other pests that do not eat wood but can still be a nuisance and health hazard also find leaf piles attractive. For example, birds might start nesting in the sheltered spots where leaves are built up.
4. Debris Can Build Up in Gutters and Downspouts
If you do not keep leaves cleared away, they will end up in your gutters. Of course, built-up leaves can lead to overflowing gutters that cause roof leaks, but they are also a problem for a number of other reasons. Debris in the downspout and gutters can reduce water flow capacity and add weight, leading to sagging gutters and sometimes tearing them away from their anchors entirely.
In addition, wet leaves sitting against the gutter can encourage rust to develop if the gutters are made of metal. And just like piles of leaves sitting on the roof, piles in the gutter can encourage pests such as termites, pigeons, and squirrels to move in and build their nests.
These four reasons demonstrate how important it is to keep leaves swept off your roof. Remember to be gentle when you clean the roof shingles so you do not knock off their protective granules. Use a long-handled, soft broom or brush for regular cleaning, and never use a power washer on your shingles.
If your roof needs repairs from termites, leaf piles, clogged gutters, or valley leaks, get in touch with Jerry Newman Roofing & Remodeling Inc. today. We can repair or replace your residential roof at fair rates, and we are experienced in a wide range of repairs, replacements, and inspections.