When cleaning roofs all around the Northern Rivers, one thing that the team here at Full Circle observe, is that home owners often don’t get up on their roof for many years at a time. Being specialists in the Northern Rivers for roof cleaning, each and every time a roof is cleaned, the team makes note of anything that may be of concern and reports is back to the home owner so they can take action. Rarely does the actual cleaning of the roof ever create such a situation, rather the effects of weathering and degrading of the roofing materials is the usual cause. Often, we’re able to provide proactive steps for the extended life of your roof.
What’s different about cleaning roofs in the Northern Rivers, than in many other parts of Australia, is that high rainfall at times in conjunction with the semi-tropical temperatures and moisture levels can lead to several different types of mold growth. Roof mold removal is paramount from time to time, as it’s the number one suspect when it comes to premature aging. Roof mold spores when removed, allows the outer layer to stay intact and not break down. Whether it’s painted tin roofs or tiled roofs, this is specifically something worth keeping an eye on, as your home ages.
Another aspect to your roof that often is left unseen and undealt with in the Northern Rivers, is a home’s guttering systems. Roof mold removal can sometimes be as a result of gutters being left to fill with leafy matter that eventually breaks down into soil. As the gutters become clogged, the bacteria in the soil and foliage spreads and creates a habitat for grass and fast growing plants to flower. Home owners often joke about the fact their gutters have been neglected for so long that they have plants growing from them, but in real terms the cleaning or even repair costs of having let your gutters fill like this is often no laughing matter.
Obviously without the proper training and safety equipment, we don’t recommend home owners to conduct any unsafe work on their home’s roof. But, we do recommend people to observe their roof from a safe view point and act upon their observations in due course when they may be seeing a build-up of roof mold, dirty gutters or their roof has been covered in dust for long periods of time. The prevention of removal of roof mold by hiring a good roof cleaner in the Northern Rivers is of importance to your home’s maintenance schedule and we welcome all queries and questions at Full Circle as they may come about. We are always available to come and quote your roof cleaning or answer questions in person. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.
1. Waterproof your house
Most modern roof coatings offer some type of warranty for about ten years. This is to say that with correct application, there is a reasonable expectation that your roof should remain water tight and in good condition for at least that long. Of course, when built correctly and with solid materials, they can often last much longer than that (depending on whether you have bedding, pointing and tiles, or tin sheeting screwed down). Keeping your roof in great shape and rejuvenated is absolutely a priority when it comes to ensuring a mold free home and avoiding extremely costly water leaks – that in some cases cause tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage within just weeks of a gap in the roof opening up.
2. Maintain and improve your home’s value
Without a shadow of a doubt, when painting a roof that requires some rejuvenation, you are maintaining and often increasing the value of your home. Whether you’re looking at the cost benefit analysis of painting your roof (whether scheduled maintenance is worth it or not), or simply want to get a higher sale price for your home now or later down the track, a roof is a vital part of one’s home that can’t be overlooked. Letting a roof degrade past a certain point makes rejuvenation too difficult and therefore, often it makes more sense to replace the roof covering and sometimes the frame beneath in extreme cases. Replacement costs of an average 3-bedroom home can be enormous, so without any doubt, the cost of preventative maintenance of a roof is great value for money. So too when choosing to sell a home; if you’re looking for top dollar for a home with roof mold, flaking or faded paint, it really becomes a case of spending a little to reap the greater benefit – even a roof clean is better than having done nothing at all in most cases.
3. It feels great to have a fresh roof
Like any part of our body or our car, there’s a supportive feeling we get when everything is ‘tickity-boo’, so-to-speak. Why is it people generally love new things, shiny surfaces or even clean sheets? There’s a whole range of reasons and it may seem silly, but with so many advantages to keeping on-top of your roof’s preventative maintenance, plus the fact it’s just a really lovely thing to experience (driving down the driveway to your home, looking smart and tip-top), it’s worth mentioning as a reason as to why someone may want to paint their roof sooner rather than later. If everything in one way or another is a reflection of who we are or where we’re at, symbolically a well maintained or clean roof is really saying something about the way we take care of ourselves and our surroundings.
Whether we like it or not, we’re role models for people; it’s almost impossible to be invisible when you’re at work or in business. When you’re working around someone’s home, they see you. When you’re working with someone side-by-side, they feel you. Silently, we’re all sensing one another all of the time.
The nature of Full Circle’s organic beginnings, means that I’ve worked with a range of men, whom have been the extra labor required for pressure cleaning, roof cleaning, timber maintenance and roof painting projects. In each case there’s been a reflection both ways that is both ordinary and extraordinary.
So often is the case, especially with men, that we want to prove our worth and show our co-workers or bosses that we’re a great worker, especially in the beginning. We do this in a variety of ways, some I’ve noticed that are OK and others that are really quite compromising to one’s health. And how does this affect the quality of the work and the quality of reflection to those in our proximity?
I feel that all business owners who employ people have a responsibility to support their workers. Of course people get into business to make a profit, but what about the potential of lifting others-up, with you, along the way? I know I’ve worked for some people who’ve utterly changed my life thanks to their strong positive reflections and direct support and I also know I’ve been burned by others who chose not to accept really any responsibility at all.
Last year I had a gentleman working with me, who was certainly senior in age and experience; it was absolutely brilliant to have him onboard for the work that was presenting at the time. Being a very open man (let’s call him Jack to keep his real identity private), one morning as we were driving to a roof-cleaning job, he explained to me that he hadn’t slept very well and just wanted to be out with it. ‘Such is life’ I shared with him unperturbed and told Jack that perhaps today we just pace ourselves more than usual. But, from years and years of physical work and perhaps a bit of that ‘old school’ colloquial way, Jack said not to worry and that he was going to buck-up and just get a coffee into him; he wasn’t going to let me down. He asked me to pull over at a café further down the street.
Now this sharing is for a point, not as a glorification. It may seem very normal, perhaps trivial to some, but when your body is a bit tired, it’s essentially saying to you: ‘take it easy on me please, I don’t have heaps of energy to burn right now’. Not being a coffee drinker myself and someone who stays away from stimulants from years of experience in knowing what sugar and other uppers can do to the body (#adrenal_fatigue), I questioned this apparently very normal thing to say.
It’s rare, especially for an Australian male to share with his co-worker that he’s had a bit of a rough night sleep, or he’s feeling a bit low – so already Jack is ahead of the game with his ability to be vulnerable (in truth a man’s greatest strength). Furthermore, after pondering on this for a moment, I surprised him with my response; his reaction was a moment I’ll never forget.
I simply stated to Jack, that considering he was tired, he must know that at no time, not now or ever, for the duration of the time we work together must he ever feel pressure to push himself, to override his body or his feelings, to try and please me or achieve some sort of work outcome at the expense of himself. I mean, I had done this myself almost all of my life and hated it; why would I ask someone else to crunch him or herself for me?
We were sitting in the ute idling, stopped in traffic in Byron Bay. Jack turned to me a little bit confused at first, then the light went on and rather than insist, as he was often know for doing so, he surrendered, turned his head back to facing the front and quietly said “that it was the single most lovely thing that anyone had ever said to him”.
I feel I made in that moment the most responsible choice I could muster, that would support our working relationship, his energy levels and that of the experience of the client - who gets to have two workers, in rhythm to themselves producing the best quality work they’re able to – even if it took a little bit longer and cost another hour in wages. Why stress over such small things? Not over doing work that day was going to lead to Jack having energy the next day anyway.
Was it John Wayne? Who was it? I don’t know who started this ‘do a line of concrete and harden-up’ consciousness that plagues Australian trades businesses (and the rest of the world). And honestly I don’t care, for Jack and I continued working together for quite some time - peacefully and respectfully, without drive, an underlying fear of not being good enough, fast enough and certainly not hard enough. There was no competition and certainly no perfection. Jack still drank the occasional coffee, but it became less about getting him fired-up and more about the other reasons he enjoyed drinking it.
I’d go so far as to say that a large proportion of the laboring work force (generally) would benefit from more connection to their bodies, the way they work and increased self-care. I have no doubt that Jack has gone on to be a role model in this arena for his co-workers, I am inspired to continue reviewing my responsibility as an employer and with more of the same, I have no doubt that our customers appreciate service-providers like us turning-up – ready, alert and energetic, not artificially stimulated, resentful and flogged.
Whether we like it or not, we’re a role model for the guys next to us, so how’s your level of self-care and respect for others? I ask, because this (and so much more) is what you’re reflecting all day everyday, whether you like it or not.
1. Roof’s that catch rain-water need special attention
If you collect your rain-water, then it’s vitally important that before you clean the roof, you ensure the down-pipes are disconnected (or at minimum, the pipe that flows into your tanks is). Nobody wants leafy matter and dirt finding their way into the family’s drinking water, but lesser known, is the fact that there’s always a chance of paint residue flowing into the tank after cleaning. At Full Circle, after each roof clean, we recommend that our clients leave the down-pipes disconnected from the tank until there’s been a good strong shower to rinse any last paint trace from the guttering. Whilst every effort is made to rinse everything clean, you can’t beat Mother Nature to do that job.
2. Every time you clean your roof there is potential wear and tear
What we always say when it comes to roof cleaning, is that you can leave it too long, but you can also do it prematurely. It may sound strange, but due to the fact each time you pressure clean your roof, regardless of age, there’s a very small amount of wear and tear (or at least the potential of it), so it’s best you clean your roof at longer than expected intervals. Many paint manufacturers recommend cleaning external surfaces every few years to allow the paint to breath. It’s a really great idea to remove from your roof dirt and mould, foliage if there are overhanging trees and to try minimizing all sorts of other factors depending on where you live. In regard to roofs that get dirtier quicker, say more than the common suburban house does, it can be a great idea to do it more regularly. Roof mould can be absolutely detrimental to a roof’s longevity (depending on the style and make of the roof) and without cleaning a dirty roof the paint often degrades much quicker. Houses next to gravel roads, homes under trees and places out in the country or next to beaches are particularly susceptible to requiring thorough cleaning from time to time.
3. Some roofs can be too old to clean without painting afterwards!
Older roofs have spent season upon season being beaten with UV rays from the sun, possible roof mould build-up and other factors depending on where you are located - like salt air and greater moisture levels – all contribute to the breaking down of the paint or pointing (depending on whether your home is tiled or tin). Regardless of the type of roof you have, older roofs when cleaned have a higher chance of wear and tear than younger roofs. Whilst it’s not often that it happens, in our experience with cleaning roofs, if it’s too old and degraded, we recommend that you clean and then paint/ restore the roof immediately after the clean - or else it may become vulnerable to leaks. Like any external aspect of a home, without proper maintenance, your roof will degrade prematurely. Because of the vast range of roof types and quality of construction, no general rule of thumb can be given here, so be sure to let us know if you want to discuss where your roof is at (we work with qualified roofers and painters on all roof rejuvenation projects).
4. There’s roof cleaning and there’s roof cleaning
Safely and gently is the short answer to how a roof should be approached when cleaning it; using a rope and harness set-up for the cleaner, plus a special pressure cleaning jets to protect the roof. Not just any pressure cleaner will do when it comes to cleaning a roof. Either hot water (which is great, but not required) or more commonly used, a cold-water pressure cleaner with a high volume, lower pressure setting is great. The most important part of this set-up is the specific tip used, ensuring a blunt and thorough cleaning action (sometimes referred to gentle-jet) and not a harsh chisel paint scraping experience. An inexperienced pressure cleaner without the proper gear can do quite a lot of damage (to his or herself, or the roof being worked on), so it’s best you ask about a roof cleaner’s technique and check they are fully insured. Australia is becoming a very litigious country, so ensuring a roof cleaner has both personal income insurance in case of a fall and liability insurance in case of any other major accidents, is a prudent step in the right direction during the quoting process.
The word religion stems from the Latin word religio; whilst an age old way to provoke a heated debate, for the sake of this blog, let’s consider perhaps one of the oldest and truest meanings of religion, that being, it’s all to do with relationship.
Full Circle Refinishing is business dedicated to not only to practical external roof cleaning, pressure cleaning and timber oiling, but also supporting our clients to foster a relationship with the running, cleanliness and maintenance of their home.
Like anything in and around our environment, it’s a reflection of where we’re at and let’s face it, no-one really enjoys the site of roof mould, a house covered in cobwebs or a timber deck that requires maintenance.
On many an occasion, the team at Full Circle have gently prompted a home owner as to whether they wanted to clean roof mould, or other parts of the house when invited to quote on a different area of the house that originally prompted them to call. It’s common for the homeowner to say “we hadn’t even thought of it and now you mention it, absolutely, I can’t believe I had let it go so much”. Often, we’re so involved in life and with our immediate concerns, this sense of having an intimate relationship with one’s home can slip. Many areas of our life can be like this; it’s easy for different parts of our life to slip. If we see the home symbolically like our body or life, one does well to take note of the cleaning and maintenance requirements around us and give full regard to what’s required to maintain a good quality of care.
Every aspect of one’s life can be religious, in that, to be in relationship with our environment, the people around us, or the service we provide at work for example – are all very much up for grabs to make better, or increase the quality of attention and intention with.
History tells us at Full Circle, that those, whom work on developing a rhythm and have a somewhat religious nature about the care and maintenance of their property, are experiencing a more rewarding environment, as though there is a greater clarity to their living way as result of a better maintained home. Whether we like it or not, we’re always religious about parts of our life, virtue of the fact we’re in relationship with whomever or whatever we’re frequently in contact with. So it’s with a keen eye and sense of support, in the external part of your home that we at Full Circle are interested in fostering an awareness and regard for you about your home – whether it be for preventative maintenance for homes close to damp rainforests or the beach, or houses that get mouldy roofs, or driveways due to the sub-tropical climate much of this area.
So we’ve looked at home cleanliness and maintenance, as a gauge or symbolically representing perhaps just a bit more than just that; just something to think about. Whether religious or not about the outside of your home, we look forward to philosophically, efficiently and joyfully providing roof cleaning, pressure cleaning and timber maintenance services to you.
Oliver is the owner operator of Full Circle Refinishing, after a decade of travel and work he loves to philosophically reflect on what it means to give regard to all aspects of our lives through the work we do