After a harsh winter season, the weather can take its toll on your home's exterior, especially the roof. Icy and snowy weather can cause a buildup of branches, leaves, and other debris, as well as spark new growth on your shingles. Once winter time is over, use the following tips to help clean up your roof so that the remnants of winter do not cause further damage.

1.  Remove Any Fallen Branches and Debris

One type of mess remaining after heavy snows and ice storms is the debris that is left on your roof. Branches can break off because of the weight of snow and ice, causing them to fall on your roof. If they are not removed, the winds from spring rain storms could move them around and cause damage to your shingles.

Also, leaves, pine needles, and even dirt can accumulate on your roof during the winter months. If they are allowed to remain and stick to your roof, the shingles beneath will not easily dry out. Because they stay wet, the shingles may then start to deteriorate at a rapid rate.

As soon as the threat of winter weather is over, and you finally have a clear, sunny day, try to remove as much of the debris as possible. However, be careful while moving it around, as you may scrape hard branches on the shingles and break them. If you are uncomfortable doing this yourself, have a professional do it for you.

2.  Look for and Treat Any Mold Growth

Once you have removed all of the debris obstructing your view, look for signs of mold growth on your roof, such as dark, greenish-black streaks. Because the shingles stay wet during the winter months, mold spores that lay on the surface of your roof will start to grow once the weather turns warm. As it grows, the mold will soften and eventually deteriorate the shingles.

To treat the mold growth, fill a sprayer attachment for your garden hose with bleach or a commercial fungicide. Then, spray the roof, and allow it to dry. Do not use a pressure washer while treating the mold, as it could cause significant damage to your roof.

If you are unable or unwilling to perform the above tasks yourself, or if you find that your roof was damaged during the wintertime, you may want to contact a professional for help. Contact a home roofing service to discuss your needs and options for having them clean up your roof and make any necessary repairs.