Putting a new roof on your home is an expensive proposition. Once you’ve made that kind of investment, you’ll want to protect it. Typically, a roof should last 20 to 50 years, depending on the materials used in the roof; of course, one of the biggest factors in the lifespan of your roof is the quality of materials and workmanship at the installation of the roof. In order to gain the maximum lifespan on your rooftop, there are some basic techniques that any homeowner can perform. Here’s a list of our top tips.
Perform Regular Maintenance
By breaking your maintenance into a few simple areas, you can make it seem much less challenging as well as plan ahead for the “when” and “how” of performing these tasks. Here are some key areas to consider when planning your maintenance:
- Gutters and leaves – Peeling paint on your siding and wet basements are the typical problems that we equate with gutter buildup, but clogged gutters can cause water to leach back into your roof sheathing and create rot spots in your roof rafters. This kind of damage can cost homeowners thousands of dollars to repair, but can easily be avoided by simply cleaning your gutters each fall and spring.
- Cleaning and mold removal – Much of the country faces moss and algae growth on rooftops. It is important to get rid of this growth because mold and algae trap water. Often, mold and algae can be brushed off of the roof or killed with a little chlorine bleach or detergent mixed with water. Once you’ve removed the mold and moss, you may want to consider investing in zinc strips to keep it from coming back. The runoff rain water washing over these strips inhibits the growth of moss, making it an effective and environmentally friendly treatment.
- Trim trees and remove debris – Trimming trees goes a long way toward keeping leaves and moss off of your roof and avoiding storm damage from falling debris. Falling limbs can damage shingles over time. Overhanging branches also give squirrels and other rodents access to your roof and in turn, your home. By trimming your trees back to 10 feet away from your roof, you keep pests and damage at bay.
- Watch for winter problems, such as ice – Ice buildup on your roof can create weaknesses in your roof structure and create leaks that cause structural damage. Avoid prying off the ice, as that may further damage your roof. Instead, invest in a roof rake and carefully dislodge snow within three to four feet of the gutters. Pay special attention to insulation in your home, as this may increase the risk of ice dams.
Watch For Ventilation and Insulation Concerns
When the ventilation in your attic is limited, or if you’re facing limited insulation, premature aging of your roof will occur. During summer months, temperatures in your attic skyrocket, weakening insulation and causing your shingles to decay and your rafters to warp or crack. During the winter excess moisture inside your home can create buildup that a poorly ventilated attic holds. If your attic isn’t properly ventilated, this moisture collects and condenses reducing insulation efficiency and causing structural damage.
Know When to Contact the Professionals
As a rule of thumb, homeowners should have their roof professionally inspected every two or three years and have small repairs made as needed. This may include resealing weak spots that may begin to develop along the flashing. If you discover that your ventilation or insulation seems compromised, it may be necessary to replace your roof.
When it’s time to make these types of repairs, or if you’ve decided that the damage is too much and you need to replace your roof, contact the trusted professionals at Allen Keith Construction Co. With nearly 40 years of construction and repair, Allen Keith has the know-how and dedication to meet all of your roofing repair needs.