Every homeowner should be aware of the lifespan of their roof. Perhaps you are hoping to get the highest price when you sell your home. Maybe you just want to ensure that your house is in good shape for years to come. Properly maintaining your roof can save you time, money, and frustration.
The roof on a house is crucial for several reasons. Obviously, the roof protects residents from the weather and elements. However, a home’s roof can also increase or decrease the resale value of the property. If you hope to sell your house soon — or even in the distant future — regular roof inspections and proper maintenance habits are vital.
There are several steps that you should take to extend the lifespan of your roof. These methods can help you to avoid the need for roof repair or roof replacement. A roof replacement can be costly and inconvenient, especially if you haven’t received the full value of your existing roof.
The Importance of Quality Roof Installation
The lifespan of a roof is not only determined by ongoing homeowner maintenance. The typical lifespan of a roof will, in part, depend on the quality of the construction materials used.
When a roofing company uses high-quality materials and craftsmanship for a roof installation, that roof will last much longer. In contrast, poor workmanship and cheap materials will deteriorate more quickly.
No matter what the quality of the original roof installation may be, there are steps that you can take to keep your roof in good shape.
Consider the following seven ways to extend the lifespan of your roof.
When you think about extending the lifespan of your roof, you might not consider the role that your gutters play. Gutters that are in good working order are crucial to roof maintenance.
Gutters catch all of the leaves, dirt, and debris that fall off of the roof. They also direct rainwater away from the foundation of your house. Clean gutters help you to avoid water damage to your roof and they also help to prevent erosion around the base of your home.
After any storm or inclement weather, check your gutters for sticks, leaves, and other kinds of debris. If you do not clean your gutters regularly, water is likely to pool at the edges of your roof. Standing water can cause damage to your gutter system over time. This can also result in water leaks inside of your home.
Beyond regular cleaning, we recommend doing gutter maintenance at least once a year. Many homeowners choose to do this work in the spring. When you’re checking your gutters, be sure that they are fastened securely to your house. If there are holes in your gutters, repair them with caulk or consider replacing your gutters completely. Proper gutter maintenance can help you to prevent the need for roof repair.
Annual Roof Inspections
While this tip is not something you should do on your own, it is very important. Having a roofing company complete an annual inspection can help you to avoid future problems.
Experienced roofers can diagnose potential issues with your roof, including:
- Structural issues and concerns
- Missing or damaged shingles
- Weak spots
- Gutter issues
Inspections are an excellent preventative measure to increase the lifespan of your roof. Scheduling annual inspections can help you to prevent long-term problems. It is typically cheaper and easier to deal with roofing problems when they are minor, before they have a chance to escalate. When you find yourself thinking, “I need to find roofers near me,” contact the professional team at Beemer KangaRoof.
Trim the Surrounding Trees
A house that is surrounded by trees might look idyllic. However, trees that are close to your home can sometimes cause problems for your roof’s integrity.
If the trees are too close, large branches may scrape against your rooftop when the wind blows. This can cause shingles to come loose, break, or fall off. During storms or high winds, tree branches may fall onto your roof and cause damage.
Falling branches from surrounding trees can also crack or damage chimneys and skylights. When trees are not regularly trimmed and maintained, they are more likely to drop heavy branches onto your home.
Untrimmed trees are more prone to causing structural damage to your roof after a lightning strike. While you may not be able to reduce the chance of roof damage to zero, regular tree trimming is an important part of protecting your roof.
Consider having the trees around your house trimmed every two to five years. Younger trees may need to be trimmed more often than older trees. Regular tree trimming is crucial for extending the lifespan of your roof.
Insulation and Ventilation in the Attic
Many people do not realize that ventilation and insulation play important roles in roof maintenance. Even if you have an unfinished attic, adequate insulation and ventilation can make a difference for keeping your roof in good shape.
Ventilation helps to regulate the airflow in the space directly beneath your rooftop. During the hotter months of the year, this will help to keep the shingles from getting too hot.
Insulation is also important. Proper insulation reduces the amount of heat transfer through your roof.
Clean Off Mold, Mildew, and Other Fungi
Mildew and mold often grow on rooftops during humid and warm summer months. While these growths might seem like they only present an aesthetic problem, they do not. Fungi and algae on your roof may not cause structural damage immediately. But they can cause problems over time and shorten the lifespan of your roof.
When they are left unchecked, roof mold can result in rotting wood. It can also damage the asphalt in your roof’s shingles and promote water leaks.
Luckily, cleaning mold and algae off of your roof is a fairly simple process. Spray any roof mold down with a 50/50 mix of bleach and water. This will kill the growing fungi and keep your roof protected. Do not use pressure washers, though, as they can damage your shingles by removing granules.
While mildews and molds seem like a minor problem, they can cause more serious issues if left unattended.
Protection from Leaks and Water Damage
One of the most common issues that shortens the lifespan of a roof is water damage. Leaks cause a wide range of problems for homeowners. While we are focusing only on the roof, water leaks can cause problems across many different areas of your home.
Making sure that your roof is watertight involves a number of things. As we mentioned above, an annual roof inspection can help you to anticipate and prevent problems.
When it comes to leaks and water damage, there are two areas of your roof that you should keep an eye on:
The term “flashing” refers to the metal sheets that direct water away from the intersections of your roof. The spaces around the flashing are filled with caulk, which deteriorates over time. Be sure to check the integrity of the caulk around the flashing on your roof. These are common spots where leaks develop.
Seal Gaps Around Nails and Screws
When work is done on a roof, the nails and screws that are used need to be driven into the rooftop. This creates the possibility that water can find its way into the materials and cause damage. Seal any cracks around nails and screws with caulk or liquid rubber. This will help to stop leaks and will protect the hardware from rust.
Water is one of the most common causes of roof damage. Making your roof watertight is a small investment that will save you time and money in the long run.
Winterize Your Roof
Winterization is one of the best ways to prevent damage and extend the lifespan of your roof. Although winters in South Carolina are typically mild, excessive snow and ice can still harm your roof.
When ice freezes in your gutters or around the corners of your house, it can cause significant problems. The increased weight of the ice can result in broken or loosened shingles. Ice dams can be prevented by installing heated wiring that stretches across the length of your rooftop.
Gutter heating can also help to deal with ice blockages that could cause structural damage.
Accumulated snow presents a threat because of the additional weight on your roof. Snow can collect in areas that are less susceptible to ice dams. Heated wires will help to prevent both snow build-up and ice dams.
These important roof maintenance steps can help you to extend the life of your roof and avoid the need for professional roofers. Save money, time, and frustration by preventing roofing problems before they arise.
If you have noticed problems with your roof, it may be time to call in a professional roofing company. To receive a roof inspection, get in touch with the team at Beemer KangaRoof today. We’d be happy to help!