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Proliferation of mosses, climbing vegetation, porous tiles or broken by frost... The return of the beautiful days is an ideal period to put a little order on the roof.

Gutters, tiles, fireplace, window...: successful roof maintenance

Ventilation too

To have a healthy roof in good condition, it is essential to ensure good ventilation of the roof (in addition to fixing the tiles). Most often provided by the roof tiles, ventilation is a prerequisite for a good behavior of the roof over time. It also prevents the accumulation of moisture in the attic.
For more information: fftb.org (French Federation of tiles and bricks) and e-toiture.com (first portal dedicated to roofing).

Mosses and other plants

Fixed on the cover elements, the foams impede the flow of rainwater and promote infiltration between the tiles. If you do not want to multiply the treatments, it is better to start with a partial scratching of the large particles. Peel off the foam with a scraper or other equivalent instrument (a small tongue-of-cat trowel for example). Take care not to rub too hard, so as not to scratch the tiles.

After this rough stripping, a good rinse is required. Directed in the direction of the slope, the jet will eliminate loose particles. This cleaning must be accompanied by a spray antifoam treatment in dry weather and preferably in the absence of wind (Dip, Julien, Rubson, Sika...). It exists in formulation ready for use or to dilute. Its selective action avoids destroying any surrounding vegetation (this type of product does not destroy rooted plants).
Then let time do its work. The antifoam will dry the remains of mosses that will naturally eliminate by the rain runoff. Two or three weeks after treatment, you can pass the pressure washer. Attention: work in the direction of the slope to avoid infiltration under the elements of cover. Once the tiles are dry, apply a sealant that will extend their life.

Scratch the tiles

Scratch the tiles

Even if the treatment products are effective, it is recommended to scrape as much as possible before the anti-foam treatment. An old plaster knife or a small trowel do the trick.

Apply an anti-foaming agent

clean tiles with antifoam

Spraying an antifoam product can be done with a garden sprayer (and a spear extender) or, as here, directly with the can connected to the garden hose.

Clean high pressure

clean a karcher roof

High-pressure cleaning (throwing down) can restore the roof to its original brightness, but watch out for its aggressiveness. Also be sure to safety: work on a well-secured roof ladder and wear a harness.

Clean the valleys

The valleys*closed with metal noodles (bent parts) between each row of tiles remain sealed even if the junction of the slopes is congested (vegetable waste, foams...). But sometimes, the function is satisfied with a narrow gutter made of zinc. The proliferation of foams then causes many infiltrations, which can cause serious damage. If a thorough cleaning is required, the only solution to ensure a seamless seal is to redesign the junction of the two sides of the roof by adding essential noodles.

* Inner corner line formed by the inclined intersection of two sections of roof.

Monitor and clean

Monitor and clean

The noues recover the vegetable waste, maintaining a permanent humidity which degrades the tiles. Watch for this sensitive area and clean to facilitate the flow of water.

Maintain ridge and hips

Most often mortar-sealed, the roof tiles and the hips are quite resistant to aging. In contrast, the seal may split in places, forming as many passages conducive to infiltration. After removing any mosses and lichens, inspect for cracks. A small slit can be easily clogged with a bead of exterior masonry putty (Rubson, Sika...). But when the mortar comes off, an identical repair is required (bastard mortar or lime).

Sealing a crack on the mortar

Sealing a crack on the mortar

A crack on the mortar easily clogs with sealant for external sealing. Prior brushing of the surface is essential to rid it of foams and dirt.

Repair a damaged tile

A tile slotted or unhooked can cause infiltration, heavy consequences for the frame. Visual verification is not always obvious. Some do not hesitate to inspect their cover with the binocular, others are waiting for a good shower to check the underside of the tiles (attic undeveloped). In short, everything is good to identify possible leaks.

Replace a broken tile

Replace a broken tile

Lift the tiles from the top row to remove a broken tile. Slip the new element until you hang the pins on the battens. Then, gently lower the top row.

Clean the gutter

Indispensable for evacuating rainwater, the gutter also recovers mosses and dead leaves. An annual interview is required. Rather than undergoing regular fouling, it is better to reduce waste by preventing climbing plants from colonizing the roof. Remove them with a good pair of gloves. After cleaning, inspect the gutter for any cracks. A bitumen waterproofing strip forms a very effective dressing for covering and sealing a cracked area.

From the bottom to the top

From the bottom to the top

To avoid "pushing" the waste into the downspout, it is best to start from the point of descent and move towards the other end (use a pair of gloves).

Prevent dead leaves from passing

Prevent dead leaves from passing

Passing through the downspout, dead leaves can clog it. Install a "crapaudine": a kind of sieve that fits into the outlet of the gutter.

Repair the inside of the gutter

Repair the inside of the gutter

The repairs inside the gutter with a self-adhesive tape are very discreet. After cleaning, remove the protective sheet from the adhesive side, apply and rub.

Check the water evacuation

Once the pipes have been overhauled, also check the evacuation points: get rid of anything that might obstruct them and avoid letting the waste go to the sewer. A ferret connected at the outlet of a high-pressure cleaner can effectively cure the evacuation network.

Clean eyes

Clean eyes

Remember to clean the eyes. If you are installing a rainwater collector for your watering, put a piece of wire in the eye to stop dead leaves.

Unclog the pipes

Unclog the pipes

If the hoses are clogged, remove the larger one by hand. Then, you have the choice between the ferret or the drain-pipe of a high-pressure cleaner with its nozzles with side "retrojets".

Chimney stack

Sensitive to infiltration, the chimney stack is connected with a zinc coating. In case of infiltration, start with a good cleaning. A defective junction is easily clogged with a little sealant (example: welding between two pieces of zinc). When the connection has an advanced state of degradation, it is better to redo it.

Restore the seal

Restore the seal

In case of degradation of the seal, the zinc can be covered with a self-adhesive sheet of aluminum reinforced with bitumen. Clean the support for better adhesion.

Roof window

Roof window connection systems have evolved considerably. Each type of cover has its own connection kit. A set of profiles at the top and sides, complemented by a wide flap at the bottom, ensures a perfect seal. But the leaves and the mosses can accumulate there, until to put in default the principle. If the size of the frame does not allow cleaning from the inside, work on the roof remains the only solution. Again, a well secured roof ladder and a harness are essential!

Clean the junction

Clean the junction

An annual cleaning of the junction area of ​​a roof window sometimes prevents infiltration. Slightly malleable, the bib of the lower part must cover and marry the shape of the tiles.


Video Instruction: Removing a Chimney Below Roof Level - How to