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10 Worst Things You Should Never Do To Your Roof

1. Pressure wash your roof

A good pressure washing will clean your roof right away – but it will also destroy it.  It’ll remove everything you didn’t want and everything you did.

If you’ve ever seen a neighbor pressure wash his roof to get gunk off, you may have noticed how bald it looked after.  This is because the powered water knocked off most of the protective granules on the shingles.

Not only that, but pressure washing can cut into shingles and get under them.  If you try to clean your roof with a pressure washer, you’re gonna need a new roof very soon.

2. Ignore shingle blow-off

Shingle blow-off is often a sign that the roof is near the end of its life, but even new and healthy roofs can get blown off shingles from time to time.

There’s a protective layer of underlayment beneath the shingle, so sometimes homeowners will opt to ignore the displaced shingle.  But that protective layer is not rated for sun exposure.  It will deteriorate quickly and you’ll soon find a leak from your roof if you don’t replace missing shingles.

3. Ignore leaks

It may be obvious that ignoring a leak is a bad idea, but this can be much worse than it seems.  One small leak can signify that there are much bigger hidden problems.  Water travels through roofs in strange patterns sometimes, and can ruin an entire roof deck by rotting out the wood sheathing.

Additionally, noticeable leaks are near the end of the stage of the true problem of leaks.  A roof can have a leak and water festering inside its layers for a long time before the leak shows up in your home.

4. Hire inexperienced roofers

Roofing is the type of job that lots of people think they can do, but very few can do right.  And when done wrong, it’s a big, expensive problem.

Chase Construction being established in 2002, we’ve seen every problem caused by inexperienced roofers.  We’ve fixed many of them, but unfortunately by that time the homeowner had to deal with a major headache that the inexperienced roofers caused.

You never want to take a chance on your roof.  If a deal sounds too good to be true, it is.

5. Use your attic as a room

The attic is not meant to be a conditioned space.  Proper ventilation allows attics to maintain similar temperatures to the outdoors, which helps prevent condensation from the underside of the roof.

Attics that aren’t ventilated and insulated enough to maintain outdoor temperatures can lead to a totally failed roof that is very expensive to replace because usually all the wood sheathing also has to be replaced.

While it may seem like a good idea to use your attic as an extra room, this almost always leads to displacement of insulation and temperature changes that can be fatal over time to a good roof.

6. Use your roof as a hangout

Similarly to how you never want to use your attic as extra space, you don’t want to be on your roof too often either.

Asphalt composition shingles are not designed to handle a lot of wear and tear from foot traffic.  Yes, it’s important to access the rooftop when something needs to be done, but that’s the only time people should be on the roof.  Recreational activity on roofs often lead to premature failure from granule loss and other hazards.

7. DIY roofing

The most important reason to not DIY roofing work is because the risk of injury is very high.  Even the most studious and highest skilled roofing professionals have had accidents on roofs.

Unless you are a pro and you have the necessary safety gear, you’ll be doing yourself a big favor by staying off your roof.  All it takes is one slip to end up in the hospital or worse.

8. Ignore overhanging branches

The more branches there are over your roof, the more likely one of them will break off in a big storm and smash into your roof.  These can penetrate straight through or knock out an entire section, depending on their size and velocity upon impact.

Even if you live in an area that doesn’t get a lot of high wind, it’s still important to prune back overhanging branches.  It’s not average high wind that matters, but the rare high wind.  You could go 20 years without much calamity, but then get one major storm that knocks half the branches off a tree – or much worse, knocks the tree itself over.

9. Drill holes in your roof

This is common sense, but sometimes common sense isn’t so common.  Any penetration in a roof that isn’t properly sealed with roofing material will leak.

This means that flagpoles, satellite dishes, Christmas decorations, solar panels or anything else you can think of will never be safe for your roof unless installed properly to prevent water leaks.

10. Let gutters get overloaded

Pooling moisture is a problem for every roof except for some specific types of uniform membranes.  For asphalt shingle roofs, pooling will always lead to damage and leaks.

The most common way that pooling happens on sloped roofs where shingles are installed is near the gutters when they are too full.  All the debris traps water, which seeps under the edge of the roof.  Gutters that are too full of gunk can cause the entire eave perimeter of your roof to rot out.  Usually when that happens, it leads to the need for an entirely new roof instead of just replacing the lower perimeter.

We’re the #1 roofing contractor of the South Puget Sound in Washington State.  Call us now at (253) 544-3651 or fill out our quick estimate form for a free and comprehensive estimate for any roofing replacement or repair needs.

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