6 Ways To Ensure Your Roof Lasts As Long As Possible
Your roof is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make in your home. While all of your home systems need some level of maintenance, nowhere is that more crucial than your roof. It’s not hard to see why: your roof is directly exposed to the elements all the time. Whether it is the harsh UV rays of the sun, rain, wind, hail, or temperature extremes, your roof takes a beating.
So how do you get the most out of your roofing investment? You need to perform regular maintenance and take care of small issues before they become big ones and affect the longevity of the roof. Here are 6 steps to make sure your roof lasts as long as possible.
Wind and storms bring leaves, twigs, branches, or even trash down on your roof. When they aren’t cleared, they trap moisture, which in turn makes your roofing materials vulnerable to damage. Leaves can also build up in valleys, preventing proper drainage. Large branches or sticks may even damage shingles.
If you can safely get up on your roof, you can use a leaf blower to clear leaves and debris. Practice good ladder safety, and if you have an electric leaf blower, be conscious of the cord as it presents a tripping hazard.
If you find that you are constantly dealing with large piles of leaves on your roof, especially in the fall, you should consider trimming nearby trees. This is especially important if they are close to the house and are coming in close contact with the roof or gutters.
In addition to the excess leaves and tree debris, the close proximity of the tree to your roof makes an easy route for rodents to get into your house or attic, which is something that no one wants!
Trees often present a huge fire risk if they are overly close to your house. This is why many areas require that trees be trimmed a minNot to mention, in a powerful storm, overhanging branches can fall, causing huge amounts of damage to your roof, car, or worse, people below.
Inspecting your roof regularly is a huge part of keeping it maintained for the long haul. While you can look for problems yourself, having a licensed, qualified roofer is even better. Professionals know what to look for and can give you an on-the-spot estimate of what needs to be done and when.
Proper inspection looks for several things. First, look for things like cracked shingles. These can be easily replaced, preventing water damage underneath.
Algae growth is another commonly seen problem. This indicates the presence of constant moisture, which is a sign that water isn’t properly draining.
You’ll want to look inside your house as well. If you notice any unexplained wet spots on the ceiling, this is a huge cause for concern, especially if the ceiling is directly beneath the roof. This is often the first sign that there is roof damage. Other signs are sagging drywall or discoloration.
Inspecting around pipes, vents, chimneys is of particular importance. If these protrusions have any cracks or breaks, this is an easy way of moisture to get in. If vent screens are cut or damaged, don’t be surprised to find some new furry friends moving into your attic!
Choose the right roof
Once a roof is installed, it’s obviously going to be very expensive to change it. So if you are choosing a new roof, be sure to choose one that works best in your area. When you meet with an expert like Horizon, you’ll be presented with a variety of choices and some advice on the different strengths of each.
Consider the expected life span of the different products you can choose from. While asphalt tiles or modified bitumen roofs are often cost-effective, their lifespan usually has a maximum of 25 years at best. On the other hand, metal roofs, which are less common in residential applications, can have 50-year lifespans.
Lifespan is just one of the factors you’ll consider. You’ll also consider style and aesthetics, any HOA requirements, budget, fire resistance, and more. This is why working with an expert roofer is so important.
When it rains, all that water needs to be directed away from the house, or it will pool and cause all sorts of problems. Gutters are often a huge hassle to clean. No one wants to stick their hand into a yucky goop of decaying leaves.
The good news is that there are a host of different solutions. Some people opt for “gutter guards” which allow leaves and debris to flow off the top while maintaining clean drainage underneath. There are many styles and options to choose from.
Other solutions include robots that drive through the bugger expelling leaves, or specialized shovels which keep your hands dry.
In addition to keeping a handle on debris, you need to check for the proper slope of the gutters. Over time, it’s possible for gutters to tilt in the wrong direction. Water will simply pool at the ends, rather than flowing to the downspout.
It’s best to regularly schedule professional maintenance for your gutters, since they can clean and adjust your gutters, keeping them in like-new condition without you ever having to get your hands dirty!
Wide temperature swings can have a huge impact on the lifespan of your roof. If the attic spaces aren’t well ventilated, heat builds up inside, keeping the roof extremely hot for a longer period of time. Poor ventilation also leads to increased heating and cooling costs for the house below.
Attic fans, insulation, and proper venting are the key to minimizing these wide swings. Attic fans require roofing work, so even if the roofer isn’t installing the fans, make sure to have them inspect the work to make sure it was properly sealed.
Depending on the height and slope of your roof, as well as your own desires, you can perform some of this maintenance yourself. Even so, it’s a great idea to regularly have a qualified expert roofer like Horizon to check for problems you can’t see. Doing so can help you take care of little problems before they become big ones!
Horizon Roofing – serving the Orange County, CA area – is your reliable local roofing contractors. We specialize in residential roofing and commercial roofing and have been in the industry for over a decade. We have excellent reviews and look forward to serving your need.