Troubleshooting a Rubber Slate Roof

What You'll Need
Salt mix
Pressure washer
Mold removing products
Household mop
Household cleaning agents

A rubber slate roof is a good choice for anyone updating their roof. They are simple to install, and can last more than 100 years, with the right care an maintenance. They aren't completely maintenance free, and you may have to deal with some issues through the years, if you have one of these roofing systems. Here are some simple things you can do if you experience problems with your rubber slate roof.

Step 1 - Protect from Freezing

Freezing is not good for rubber roofing material. Sometimes, this just can't be helped. Even those who live in mild climates, may experience freezing weather from time to time. Freezing can cause the rubber to crack, if it happens time and time again. If you have experienced just a few freezes since you installed your roof, you will probably be okay. However, if you live in an area where freezing is an issue, you have 2 options. 1, you can apply a salt mix or calcium chloride solution to your roof, prior to freezing temperatures. This is cheap, but can become time consuming and won't be feasible for many people. The other option is to treat the roof with a special coating that prevents damage from freezing. If you've already experienced damage, there isn't a lot you can do other than replace affected slates.

Step 2 - Deal with Chalking

Chalking occurs as the roof is exposed to extreme temperature changes and high moisture levels. The pigments and fillers used in manufacturing will break up and come to the surface, leaving a powdery chalk like substance. This won't harm the roof at all, but it looks bad. If you are considering installing a rubber roof, you can look for rubber slate that has low chalking qualities. If you've already installed your roof, you can simply wash the chalking away. It's a good idea to have your roof cleaned once or twice a year, to help cut back on this.

Step 3 - Removing Mold and Mildew

This is especially problematic for roofs that don't have much of a slope or are flat. Water and moisture can sit on the roof, and create a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. The result is spots and patches of dark black or brown mildew and mold. This can run down the roof, on roofs that have a slight slope, and just looks terrible. Keeping your roof clean will help cut back on this. You will have to use a special cleaning solution to get rid of the black spots. If you are already having your roof cleaned yearly, you can have the company spray the roof with a mildew and mold inhibitor, to prevent it from happening again.

Step 4- Restore Dull Appearance

A roof that is allowed to become dirty and dingy can make your whole home look lousy. Rubber roofs are simple to clean, and you can freshen the look up by using a standard household mop and a rubber cleaner. This will keep the roof looking good, and will help prevent some of the above mentioned problems.