If your house has a clay roof, you may enjoy the durability that allows it to remain beautiful for many years. However, the following potential problems could shorten the lifespan of your clay roof if you do not deal with them as soon as possible.

Leaf Debris Causes Water Dams

If you have any trees near your home, eventually the leaves will fall and either land or blow onto your roof. While most of the leaves will probably slide off of your roof, any remaining debris could cause issues with your roof's ability to drain water. When leaves accumulate on your clay roof, the debris creates a dam through which water cannot pass. Because the water has no place to go, it can back up and start flowing under the clay tiles. Eventually, the underlayment of your roof will start to rot, resulting in a leak. Whenever you see piles of stuck debris on your roof, use a garden hose with a nozzle set on its highest setting to try to spray the leaves away. Do not attempt to walk onto the roof and sweep it off, as your weight could crack or crumble the clay.

Bird Droppings Eat Away at Clay

Especially in the spring, you may discover that birds have built their nests under your eaves or around your roof. While the actions of the birds themselves will not damage your roof, their droppings will. As the birds fly around or rest on the roof before entering their nests, their droppings will land on the surface of your roof. These droppings contain acids that can eat through the clay, causing them to deteriorate at a much faster rate than normal. Before the birds start nesting, try to discourage them from settling around your roof in the first place. You can do this by hanging small, shiny circles of aluminum close together around the eaves your house. These will create noise and visual effects that could deter the birds. 

However, if you already have birds nesting around your house, you have two options. First, you can wait until they move on and clean your roof. While this will not hurt the birds or their babies, their dropping will accumulate and harden, making it harder to clean your roof. Second, you can call your city's wildlife removal service to have them safely relocate the nest. Then, use your garden hose to spray off your roof.

Keeping track of your clay roof's condition and taking care of any potential issues before they turn into a serious problem can help it remain intact for years. However, if you find any problems that you cannot deal with, contact a company that offers clay roofing services to have them inspect your roof and discuss your options with you.