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Tips to Extend the Life of Your Roof

How long your roof will last depends on the material it’s made out of. The National Association of Home Builders says to expect roofs with asphalt shingles to need replacement after a life expectancy of up to 20 years. Fiber cement shingles will last about 25 years, and slate, copper, and concrete roofs have the longest life expectancy at around 50 years.

No matter what material your roof is made of, however, if you don’t take proper care of your roof you’ll likely end up needing major repairs or a full replacement before it reaches its full lifespan. Here are a few roof maintenance tips to help you avoid this scenario.

Clean Your Gutters

One of the best things you can do to make sure your roof lasts as long as possible is to keep your gutters clean. Your roof can’t drain properly if your gutters are clogged, and the excess moisture can rot your roof and rafters.

No matter what material your roof is made of, however, if you don’t take proper care of your roof you’ll likely need major repairs or a full replacement before it reaches its full lifespan. Here are a few roof maintenance tips to help you avoid this scenario.

Prune Your Trees

Keep a close eye on trees near your roof. Dead or damaged branches can easily snap off in high winds or if they’re weighted down with snow and ice. A single large limb falling on your roof can cost you thousands of dollars in repairs, so if you have a particularly tall tree near your home, it’s well worth the expense to have a professional tree service come to trim it.

As you keep up with tree trimming, you’ll also cut down on foliage that may clog your gutters and downspouts.

Inspect Your Roof

Check for any damage to your roof structure and shingles twice a year. Look for any mold or rot, loose nails, and gutter damage. Inspect the flashing for any signs of damage, such as rust or missing caulk around the edges. Clean off any moss or debris that could rot and damage the shingles or skylights.

Assess your roof from the interior of your home as well. Check for discoloration and water damage on the underside of your roof and the rafters from your attic. Mold or mildew on your walls, cracked ceiling paint, and light leaking in from where your ceiling meets your walls are other signs of roof damage you can see from inside your home.

Replace the insulation in your attic if necessary. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you should have between 12 and 15 inches of cellulose or fiberglass insulation. Make sure the insulation is tightly packed around rafters and beams to minimize heat leakage. Proper attic insulation is vital to preventing ice dams in the winter months. 

Safety should be your number one concern when you get on your roof. If you’re not comfortable inspecting your roof yourself, call a licensed roofer for an inspection to identify any potential problems.

Make Repairs Promptly

If you or your roofer notice any damage, make the necessary repairs as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Replace curling, cracked, and missing shingles so they don’t put unnecessary stress on the surrounding shingles. Apply new caulk around flashing if the sealant is missing, moldy, or peeling to prevent leaks and water damage.

Hammer down or replace any nails that are sticking up from your shingles. If your gutters or downspouts are bent or rusty, it’s time to replace them with new ones.

Ray’s Harford Home Improvement Contractors Inc. is based in Bel Air, Maryland, and provides roofing and siding services throughout Harford County, Maryland, and surrounding areas. Contact us today for an estimate.

Comments (1)

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    Thomas Clarence

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    It really stood out to me when you explained that it is important to keep insulation tightly packed around the rafters in your home. For the past couple of days, I have noticed that my home has been colder than usual so I am thinking that it is time for me to replace the insulation in my roof. I will have to make sure that the contractor I hire packs the insulation tight enough.

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