Tips to Extend the Life of Your Roof
How long has it been since you’ve had your rooftop inspected for damage? Have you noticed any discoloration on the interior of your ceilings and walls? Replacing your roof can be a huge and expensive job, so keeping up with cleaning, maintenance and small repairs can save you a lot of money and headaches. Here are six simple tips on how to make your roof last longer.
1. Repair Any Damage or Leaks Promptly
The first place to start is to repair existing damage, especially if you notice leaks in the ceiling or walls. Those absolutely need to be repaired soon because if moisture is building up in your walls and attic, you will likely have to deal with mold infestations. Some molds can be toxic to humans, and the cleanup costs can be extensive. So you don’t want to procrastinate on addressing leaks.
2. Replace Worn Down or Missing Shingles
Sometimes you will also have damaged or missing shingles on your roof without even knowing it. The only way to know for sure is to get up on the roof for a visual inspection. Missing or worn down shingles can develop leaks come rainy season, so get those taken care of soon.
3. Make Sure Attic Is Properly Ventilated and Insulated
When attic spaces are not properly ventilated, heat and moisture can get trapped in there. This can create condensation inside your walls and attic which, again, encourages growth of mold. It can also damage the wood and drywall. So make sure air vents are not blocked and that you have circulation in your attic.
4. Keep Roof & Gutter Free of Debris
Depending on your location, you will probably have a lot of falling leaves and dust buildup to deal with at various times throughout the year. Rain gutters often get clogged up with dead leaves, debris, pests and dust, causing gutters to overfill and possibly break free from the roof in heavy rains. Clogged gutters can also lead to ice dams in the winter, having the same effect.
Roofing tiles and shingles can also be damaged by tree branches that rub up against them on windy days. Over time, these issues will cause shingles and gutters to wear out faster. So clean your roof and gutters every other month or so and trim tree branches around your roof perimeter as needed.
5. Inspect Chimneys, Skylights & Rooftop Attachments
Chimneys that get used during the year should be cleaned at least once a year. But if you have an older home with brick chimney, you should still have it inspected annually for cracks and weather damage even when not in use.
Skylights will also need annual cleaning and inspection. Air vents, antennae and satellite dishes should also be inspected to ensure that no leaks are developing in the roofing shingles around their base.
6. Get a Professional Roof Inspection Annually
Taking care of your roof can be a big job, and it’s one that not all homeowners should tackle themselves. This is why you should consider hiring a professional to come out and inspect your roof once a year. Not only will they take on the risk of falling, but professionals will know what to look for when checking your roofing tiles, shingles, gutters, chimneys and more.
Extending the life of your roof, just like any other part of your home, is simply a matter of performing regularly scheduled maintenance and of repairing problems right away. Many DIY maintenance and repair jobs can be completed by the homeowner, but you can also call in the pros if you need to. Either way, taking care of your roof is a good investment that will pay for itself over the years.