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Building Enclosures – Roof Tools and Safety Wear and Tear

May 28, 2022 by ROTban Services Corp.
Building Enclosures – Roof Tools and Safety Wear and Tear

Roof damage has been a hidden and costly result of various trades using uneducated, careless, and sometimes downright unscrupulous methods of work.   After the problem of roofers taking short cuts, and doing improper installations, physical roof moss removal is the next big culprit.

We deal with sloped roofing here because there are fewer issues with flat roof moss removal.  Flat roofs are built like a swimming pool, containing, and then draining water, but sloped roofing must drain all the water off quickly so there is no standing water.  Then gutters take that water away. Sloped roofs are not able to withstand pooling water.  Certain areas can quickly back up water, which then goes into the attic.  Ice and moss “dams” can cause that to happen.  If there are obstacles, water cannot escape off the roof, so it backs up goes where it should not go.  Protrusions through the roofing are a problem.  Proper sealing is often done, and weather can get water through the gaps around vents, skylights, etc.  Moss is a problem to the proper function of the sloped roof.

Walking on roofs is a problem for each type of roof in different ways. Look at asphalt roofs, which are the most common choice in North America. Asphalt shingles are mainly bitumen, which is made from crude oil.  It’s very waterproof, but cannot stand up under the sun’s UV rays, which cause it to melt, then harden and crack. That’s why they have granulation, which reflects the UV rays. For that reason, white is the best colour.   It’s imbedded into the bitumen and remains there if undisturbed.  Walking on the granulation disturbs it!  The steeper the slope, the more it is disturbed by the shearing action of 150 pounds plus of weight of the worker being pulled downward and sideways by gravity.  Loss of granulation means loss of roof life.

Let’s talk about the tools that are used by physical “moss removers”.  Brooms, brushes, wire brushes and pressure washers are all doing significant damage to granulation, which means loss of roof life.  The leaf blowers that are used do not remove moss that’s growing in the shingles.  They are used to blow away the removed moss.  Please treasure your roof life and realize that wire brushes and pressure washers are incredibly bad for it.

Safety procedures can damage roofs.  WorkSafe requires workers on roofs to have proper safety. It’s the law.  This begins with the correct placement and installation of strong roof anchors. They must also be waterproofed or removed and the damage repaired. Most roofs will need between 2 and 6 of these installations, to satisfy WorkSafe standards.  Once the anchors are installed, a heavy-duty safety rope is attached to the appropriate anchor. The worker attaches his safety harness to the rope with a device that allows sliding up and down the rope.  By WorkSafe rules, the worker may not depend on the rope while work is being done. It must lay slack and only be of use when the person is slipping or falling.  This dragging of the safety rope easily causes damage to the roofing.

Each kind of roofing – metal, concrete, clay, cedar – is damaged in different ways by roof walking and tools.

There is a scientific way to remove roof moss.  No roof walking is required, and no damage is done.  It uses nature’s own controls.  Seek out ROTban Ultra Cleaning’s methods.  For decades we have given roofs their beauty and resilience back for a long period of time, saving homeowners money and hassle.