How To Extend Your Roof’s Lifespan
Extend Your Roof's Lifespan With These Tips
Having a home means having a roof over your head, but that roof will only last if you take proper care of it. Damage, wear and tear, and general aging of your home’s roof can lead to a wide range of major problems, including damage to your interior and exterior walls, insulation, paint and siding, windows and doors, foundation, and your belongings. A roof that’s in terrible shape can even present structural hazards that undermine your home’s integrity and can put you and your family’s safety at risk. Depending on materials, geographic location, and other variables, most roofs’ average lifespan is 15 to 40 years, though some can last up to 50 years. Many roofs fail to make it to their maximum possible lifespan because of damage, lack of upkeep, and general homeowner neglect. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to extend your roof’s lifespan to its fullest and make sure that you get the most of it for as long as possible.
Check Your Roof's Warranty and Insurance
Familiarize yourself fully with the warranty on your roof, and make sure you know what the warranty covers and what it does not. Similarly, make sure that you know all of the provisions in your homeowner’s insurance that relate to the roof.
Never put off small repairs or maintenance that your roof requires because doing so will lead to more extensive and much more expensive repairs or even roof replacement later on. The cost of resealing flashing, replacing a missing shingle, or patching a nail pop is trivial compared to the cost of having an entirely new roof installed. Failure to adequately maintain your roof can also invalidate certain types of coverage from your homeowner’s insurance.
Pay attention to the little details of your roof when you check for damage: often, the first thing to go as a roof ages is the caulking around the flashing, which dry rots, cracks, and peels due to exposure to weather. Recaulking is a fairly inexpensive and easy job, but failure to do it when needed will lead to major problems down the road.
Improve Your Roof's Lifespan
Try to keep foot traffic on the roof surface to an absolute minimum. Keeping foot traffic is particularly important if your roof is made of asphalt or wood shingles.
Keep your roof cleaned, and do not allow algae, moss, molds, or other plant growth to form on the roof surface. Be careful only to use washing equipment and chemicals that are authorized for your particular roofing material: certain kinds of washing processes, such as power washers, can cause damage to particular materials. If you’re not sure what the best option is for your roofing material, contact a roofing professional for their advice.
Cut back or remove any trees or bushes that overhang any part of your home’s roof. And don’t forget to think ahead: you should also remove trees that lean toward the house or grow in a way that suggests that they will lean toward the house or overhang the roof.
Clean out your gutters two or three times a year, particularly in the fall. Thoroughly inspect your gutters and downspouts for damage, loose pieces, or inadequate drainage. If water is allowed to sit in the gutter rather than pour out, it can freeze in the winter and cause ice dams, weight damage, or other problems.
Ensure that your attic or ceiling crawlspace is properly ventilated and insulated. Having the right amount of insulation in the right places can help prevent the roof from becoming damaged by temperature shifts, ice formations, and other problems. In many places of the country, a hot summer day can increase the attic temperature to 170 degrees or more, resulting in buckling and other forms of compromising damage to the roofing material. And proper ventilation allows air to flow through the attic or crawlspace, thus minimizing the chance of moisture build-up or the development of mold.
Ventilation also helps prevent hot air—which rises into the attic from the rest of the house—from accumulating beneath the roof. According to the Federal Housing Administration, every 300 square feet of attic space should be supported by one square foot of ventilation. Routinely inspect the underside of your roof from the attic, looking for any water damage from water or holes in the decking.
Promptly remove snow or ice that builds up on the roof. If snow and ice are allowed to accumulate, it can cause weight-bearing stress, and prolonged contact with either can cause some roofing materials to contract and expand, wearing them out faster over time. Be attentive to removing ice dams that might form along the roofline or in the gutters; these can prevent melting snow from flowing off the roof, causing the water to backup, damage the roof material, and seep down into the walls and the house itself.
Have Your Roof Inspected By a Professional
Schedule a roof inspection annually by a licensed and experienced roofing professional. In addition, perform your own spot-check on the roof’s condition following any storms that might have caused wind or hail damage to the roofing material. This inspection needs to be done at the roof’s level, not from the ground, so if you’re not comfortable getting up that high, contact a roofing professional to take care of it. Take photographs of your roof on a routine basis, so if your roof gets damaged and you have to file a homeowner’s insurance claim, you can provide evidence that you kept the roof in good condition.
Just like any other part of your house, you can maximize your roof’s lifespan if you care for it properly, check it regularly, and take prompt care of any small problems before they have a chance to become bigger—and more expensive—problems. The best way to do all this is to hire a professional to inspect and improve your roof’s lifespan
Hero General Contracting is a licensed , insured roofing and construction company dedicated to honesty and integrity. Operating in the Oklahoma and Texas roofing and construction industries, we treat you like family, working closely with you to arrive at the best possible solution for you. Hero General Contracting specializes in roof replacement, roof repair, and gutter installation and repair. Call us today at (405) 463-9119.