3 Simple Steps on How to Prevent Water Stains on the Roof

The roof of the house is a vital defense that helps to keep us dry and warm. Throughout the year, the elements are continually putting roofing materials to the test. Understandably then, over time, the roof shingles will be subject to general wear and tear as well as staining.

Water stains on the roof can be due to a variety of reasons, but they all share something in common: They are not pleasant to look at. Therefore, we have put together a few quick tips on how to prevent water stains on the roof.

Common Culprits

Water stains are inevitable in areas that have substantial seasonal changes and are subject to humid conditions. Simple water stains can be easily dealt with through simple maintenance and cleaning. However, in some parts of the country, the high levels of moisture are perfect conditions for algae and mold—both of which will leave unsightly black stains on your roof.

Stay on Top of Maintenance

Prevention is always the best form of cure, and you should make sure that you regularly check your roof for any signs of damaged shingles or blocked gutters and downspouts. Both of these things can lead to water getting into the interiors, which can cause problems with damp and mold.

It also makes sense to trim any overhanging trees, as they can shade the roof, which will cause the roof not to dry properly.

Make Some Roofing Modifications

If you live in an area that is humid and may be at risk from algae spores, then it would make sense to make some simple modifications to your existing roofing, such as adding a layer of zinc or copper, which are both toxic to algae.

Thin layers of these metals added to your structure will help, as when it rains, the metal molecules will run down the roof, killing any algae present on the surface. It is also a great idea to consider looking at your existing guttering systems if they drain out on parts of the roof. The water can pool on lower parts of the roof, which can lead to all sorts of problems if not properly maintained. Look at extending downspouts to aid proper drainage away from the exterior structure of your house.

Replace Old Shingles

If your shingles are old or are in a sorry state of repair, it makes sense to replace them with new shingles. This is especially true if you live in an area that has a high level of algae spores.

A lot of the shingles on the market now are manufactured to help reduce the impact of algae, mitigating the need to worry about the appearance of those horrible black stains. Some manufacturers have added copper to the mixture, which helps to break down algae. Also, some shingles have been treated with algicide to offer around ten years’ worth of protection.

4 Top Tips to Protect Roof from Snow and Ice

The winter can present lots of unique challenges to homeowners, and if you are not adequately prepared, there can be a few unwanted headaches as well. While ice and snow can be a lot of fun to play in, the impact it can have on the roofs of houses cannot be underestimated.

If you are not adequately prepared or have existing structural issues, you may get more than you bargained for when the snow comes. Which means it is always a good idea to stay on top of maintenance throughout the year. So, with that in mind, here are four tips to protect roofs from snow and ice.

Be Prepared

We cannot stress this point enough—if you fail to maintain the exterior of your house, you are likely to have problems. That is why you should check your roof at least twice a year so you can make sure that there is no damage to shingles, gutters, or joins. If there is damage, the sooner you get it fixed, the better. Snow and ice are attracted to these weak points, and this may lead to further damage.

It is always a good idea to make sure that you monitor the growth of any trees around your property. Ideally, there should be no overhanging branches, as there is the risk that they might fall on the roof if there is a heavy snowstorm. Also, make sure your attic is not too hot, as this can lead to snow melts in the middle of the roof, which you certainly don’t want.

Clear the Gutters

It is essential that you make sure that your existing guttering remains clean and unclogged throughout the year. This is because if there are any blockages, then water will not move away from the house and could lead to water coming into the house.

The winter presents its own challenges to guttering, as blockages can create ice dams. These occur when ice and snow on the roof defrost during the day and then refreeze at night, leading to blocked gutters and nowhere for the runoff to go. As a result, the water will move upwards under the roofline and lead to some very costly damage.

Keep the Ice and Snow to a Minimum

It is absolutely essential that you make sure that you remove any excess snow and ice from the roof at regular intervals. Even if you live in higher altitudes in the Rockies, your roof will only be able to take so much snow before it gets overwhelmed and the whole thing comes crashing down.

To avoid this nightmare scenario, make sure you regularly rake off any snow from the roof edge, as this will help to prevent any ice dams forming. On the other hand, if you hear any complaints from your roof, such as pops and creaks, it would be a good idea to get an expert in to check and assist you in a more thorough removal.

Be Gentle

This last point relates to ice buildup and people who like to take care of things themselves. You may be tempted to remove icicles from roofing and gutters, but we would advise you to let them melt at their own pace. If there is no noticeable sign of structural damage around them, then they can usually be left alone or at least can wait until an expert arrives to help.

Finally, always be careful when dealing with ice and snow on your roof, as it can be very unpredictable. Gently rake the snow from the edges of the roof and definitely don’t go onto the roof yourself unless you are appropriately trained and have the right equipment.


Storm Damage

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While your roof is designed to withstand the elements, some storms are more intense than others. There are signs to look for when you believe there may have been damage to your roof. Please be safe when inspecting your roof—possibly view from a window inside the house or use binoculars from the ground. If in doubt, call a professional roofing contractor. Owens Corning™ Roofing has a network of Preferred Contractors. Click here to find a Preferred Contractor member in your area.


Wind damage:

Significant wind can cause shingles to blow off the roof deck. Missing shingles can lead to leaks and other interior damage. Other wind damage may not be easy to see, especially if the adhesive seal that provides a water-shedding surface is broken. Always be safe when checking for roof damage. Call a professional roofing contractor for assistance.

All manufacturers publish a wind warranty on their shingles; it is important to compare the wind coverage when making your shingle selection on a new roof. If the winds that caused the shingle damage were above the manufacturer’s wind coverage, you’ll need to file an insurance claim. If they were not, contact the shingle manufacturer to file a claim.

Potential signs of wind damage:

  • Missing shingles
  • Thin horizontal lines where granules have been worn off about 1-2 inches beneath the shingle above; this could indicate that the shingle seal was broken and the shingle was flapping in the wind rubbing against the shingle above it. To be effective against the elements, shingles must be sealed to each other as one water tight roof deck.


Missing Shingles
Horizontal Lines-Creased Shingle (©Copyright 2007 Haag Engineering)

Hail damage:

Usually hail is not something that you can miss—it is typically a widespread weather event in a neighborhood and not isolated to just one house on the block. Hail can bruise a shingle causing an indentation that may be hard to see but that can crack the shingle allowing water to infiltrate over time. You may need the assistance of a professional roofing contractor to determine the scope of the damage. If you have hail damage, you will need to file an insurance claim.

If your hail event was significant in terms of widespread damage, you will have roofing contractors who specialize in “storms” knocking on your door within days of the event. As always, you should use your best judgment when selecting a contractor. Owens Corning™ Roofing has a network of Preferred Contractors. Click here to find a Preferred Contractormember in your area.

Potential signs of Storm hail damage:

  • Other collateral hail damage around the house; dents on cars or other items on your house or in your yard
  • A distinct pattern of small round-shaped divots on the edges of the shingles
  • Indentations in the shingle where granules are missing
  • A large pile of granules at the end of your downspout; a small amount is normal, especially on new shingles
Hail Damage on other items
on the roof 
Hail Damage to shingle
(©Copyright 2007 Haag Engineering) 
Hail Damage to shingle
(©Copyright 2007 Haag Engineering) 

Falling Debris:

During some storms tree branches or other failing debris can land on your roof. Some items are small and won’t cause an issue—other items are so large that you will naturally be concerned about damage. Use your best judgment. You may need to have a professional roofing contractor inspect your roof for damage. Click here to find an Owens Corning™ Roofing Preferred Contractor in your area. If you have damage from debris on your roof, you will need to file an insurance claim.

Potential signs of Storm debris damage:

  • Visual identification of debris on the roof deck
  • Missing shingles
  • Cracked shingles
  • A large pile of granules at the end of your downspout; a small amount is normal, especially for new shingles
Missing shingles
Cracked shingles