Top 10 Ways to Make Your Roof Last Longer
A sturdy, strong, and stylish roof is one of the most essential elements of a home. On average, you may incur between $6,700 and $80,000 to do a complete roof replacement. The costs vary depending on factors like roofing materials, roof design, labor, and more. With such a costly investment, you must establish strategies to maintain the roof and extend its life expectancy. In this article, we’ll discuss the top 10 ways to make your roof last longer. We’ll also look at the average lifespan of different roofs and how to tell it’s time to get a new roof. So, let’s jump in and explore how to make your roof last longer!
1. Make the Roof Wind and Storm Resistant
Your roof is constantly exposed to all the fierce elements that threaten its integrity. If you reside in an area that experiences constant tornados, hurricanes, or nasty rainstorms, you should ensure that your roof is strong enough to withstand all that. First, invest in a storm-resistant roof design and the best roof underlayment. You can also add another layer of protective material to the roof to make it more robust.
2. Keep the Gutters Clean
Regularly clear debris and leaves from gutters and downspouts to extend the roof’s lifespan. Sticks, leaves, debris, pine needles, and acorns can accumulate in the gutters, leading to clogs. Clogged gutters cause water to gather at the roof edges, which can result in leaks or rot. The trapped debris and water also provide a perfect ground for pests to hide, breed, and infest your home. During cold climates, cluttered gutters quickly develop ice dams on the roof edges. Routine gutter cleaning will help keep the water flowing freely off the roof.
3. Do Away with Power Washing
Highly concentrated water jets can loosen and dislodge granules from the shingle coating, making shingles crack or become brittle. Most old roofs are prone to power-washing damage. Rather than power washing, let an expert clean your roof with a broom or leaf blower. Generally, go for soft washes that employ gently cleaning detergents and low-pressure rinsing.
4. Install Quality Attic Insulation
Well-installed attic insulation not only shields your roof from damage but also helps lower your energy bills and maintains comfortable indoor temperatures. The insulation hinders condensation and moisture accumulation on the underside of the roof, preventing mold growth and rot. Moreover, it shields shingles from decaying due to hot air exposure.
5. Trim Overhanging Tree Branches
If you notice any tree branch hanging over your roof, trim it. Doing this will help you avoid the risk of the branches breaking and falling on your roof. Overhanging branches can drop many leaves and clutter the gutters. The shade created by the trees can hinder the roof from completely drying, leaving moisture that can accommodate the growth of algae and moss. Branches that overhang your roof can give wildlife, like squirrels, easy access to your home, damaging the insulation and the roof and causing discomfort.
6. Perform Regular Roof Inspections
Regular roof checkups will help you determine the roof’s structural integrity and identify problems early enough while they are still manageable. It is also best to check the roof for damage after a hailstorm or rainstorm. The things to look out for on your roof during the inspection include:
- Loose or missing shingles
- Leaning or sagging roof
- Moss or algae growth
- Clogged gutters and downspouts
- Debris accumulation on the roof and around pipes, vents, and chimneys
- Visible shingle granules
- Cracked, torn, and curling shingles
In addition, inspect inside the home for:
- Ceiling wet spots
- Wood damage
- Damaged flashing
It will be best to organize a full roof inspection annually with a professional roofing contractor to do a thorough job.
7. Prevent Snow and Ice Buildup
Heavy snow and ice piles accumulated on your roof in the winter can exert excess weight on the roof, causing it to collapse. Ice dams also hinder proper water drainage from the roof, leading to leaks and a damaged gutter system.
To prevent ice dams, use a snow rake or roof rake to safely knock the snow from the roof. Avoid using tools that could cause damage to your shingles. Another alternative is to use calcium chloride to melt the ice and allow it to flow down. Consider replacing your insulation if many ice dams keep forming on your roof.
8. Repair a Damaged Chimney
Inspect your chimney yearly to identify cracks that allow moisture and water to get in and harm the roofing system. A few signs to help you tell if your chimney needs repair include:
- Fallen or flaking tiles
- Deteriorated flashing
- Missing shingles near the chimney
- White staining on the chimney’s exterior side
9. Eliminate Growing Mold, Moss, and Algae
Moss can loosen and lift roof shingles as they grow, damaging them. Since moss is a plant that draws and stores water, it leads to the growth of bacteria and mold, immensely destroying the roof. Use a scrub brush and water to clean mold and moss and prevent roof decay. Ensure you check your roof after gusty winds or a rainstorm to ensure it remains in good shape.
10. Emphasize Proper Ventilation
Proper home and attic ventilation prevents moisture and condensation from causing damage to your roofing system. You should ensure that your ventilation, vents, soffits, and exhaust fans are correctly and securely installed to minimize condensation on the decking that supports the roof.
Install your soffits near the lower section of the attic and roof vents in the higher section of the attic. This will enable proper flow of the incoming cool air and outgoing hot air. It will also protect the attic from overheating and cracking, which can damage shingles. Check the attic vents for clogging and clean out all the debris. This will enhance your roof’s ventilation and prevent moisture and condensation damage.
Why It’s Crucial to Make Your Roof Last Longer
It is costly to replace or repair a roof. Thus, properly maintaining what you already have can save you a lot of money, energy, and time. A roof acts as a shield against elements, such as gusty winds, freezing snowfall, heavy downpours, and baking sunshine. You might want to ensure it remains effective and weather-resistant to keep your belongings and loved ones safe. A well-kept roof can boost your home’s aesthetic, curb appeal, and value.
The Average Lifespan of Different Roofs
Most roofs typically last about 15 to 30 years. Even so, you can still find roof types, like clay and concrete, that can serve you much longer and get you to even 100 years. Keep in mind that multiple factors determine the ultimate lifespan of a roof, including the quality of the residential roofing material, adequate attic ventilation, and proper roof installation.
How to Know It’s Time to Get a New Roof
A few signs to let you know when it’s time to replace the roof are:
- Sagging roof
- Missing shingles
- Old and Worn Roof
- Bald spots due to heavy granule loss
- Raising energy bills
- Gaps or Holes
- Curling, cracked, and buckling shingles
- Visible sunlight rays through the attic
- Damaged or missing flashing
- Mold, moss, algae, mildew, and fungi infestation
- Dark streaks
While some roofing materials are more long-lasting than others, all roofs eventually call for a replacement. If your roof has exceeded its life expectancy, it will be best to get a new one.
Start making plans on how you will get your roof back in order. You can call in a professional roofer to inspect it and advise on the next cause of action. Invest in quality roofing materials and emphasize proper installation and maintenance. Always refer to this article to ensure everything stays as it should be.
In conclusion, implementing these 10 effective strategies can significantly extend the lifespan of your roof, ensuring it stands the test of time. Regular maintenance, proper ventilation, and timely repairs are essential in preserving the structural integrity and functionality of your roof. By adopting these practices, homeowners can not only enhance the durability of their roofs but also save on costly replacements, providing peace of mind and long-term protection for their homes.