You can expect to get up to 25 years of service from your new wood roof, if maintained properly. Damp wood is a favorite place for moss and algae to grow. They can slowly crack and destroy wooden roof shingles. Here are some ways to prevent these plants from shortening the life of your roof.
Keep the Roof Clean
Debris on the roof allows water to collect and sit on the roof. It also keeps your roof from drying out in the sun. These wet places on your wood roof are favorite spots for moss and algae to take root. Brush or wash off any leaves, sticks and other organic debris that may accumulate on the roof from overhanging trees or during a wind or rainstorm.
Clean Any Moss and Algae Off the Roof at First Sight
As soon as you see moss or algae on the roof, remove it before it has a chance to send roots into the wood shingles, weakening and cracking them. Mix equal parts of chlorine bleach and water and soak the area surrounding the plants. Pull off the dead plants after they have been soaked in the mixture for several hours.
Keep the Gutters Draining Smoothly
Don't let debris collect in the gutters which can block drainage and allow water to keep the edges of your roof singles soaked. If you see the telltale signs of green on the edges of your shingles, use your bleach mixture to soak those surfaces and kill any plant growth.
Replace Any Missing Fasteners
Hammer down any nails that have backed out of the roof and replace missing nails. Moss and algae can find their way into the nail holes and under the wood shingles. Check the roof after any storms that may have forced up shingles and nails.
Replace Damaged Shingles
Wood shingles can be damaged by a storm, by heavy debris landing on the roof, and by birds and insects that make holes in the shingles. These all affect the integrity of the shingle and create a place for moss and algae to grow.
Make Sure Flashings are Secured Against the Roof
Any opening in the roof, such as plumbing vents and fireplace chimneys, should have metal flashings around them to prevent leaks. These flashings should be sealed against the roof with a roof sealer. Make sure the sealer hasn't dried out or the flashing pulled away from the roof.
Have Your Roof Inspected and Coated Regularly
Your local roofing contractors can recommend coatings that are sprayed on the roof to prevent moss and algae growth. Have the coating applied by the contractor as part of an annual inspection to detect minor problems that should be addressed before they become major repairs.
For more tips, contact a roofing contractor like Pyramid Roofing Inc.