Maintenance Tips To Extend The Life Of Your Roof

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • June 21, 2019

Increase The Lifespan Of Your Roof With These Maintenance Tips

Throughout the years, your roof will see it all. It weathers harsh storms, catches fallen debris and supports seasonal decorations all while protecting your home and family inside.

It’s no secret that your roof takes a beating. Without proper maintenance, the lifespan of your roof can be cut significantly—not only threatening your safety, but also your pocket.

Repairing or replacing your roof can be extremely expensive, especially if the cost was unplanned for. To protect yourself from costly repairs, you need to create a plan for regular roof maintenance.

Below, we list the ways you can extend the life of your roof with regular and timely maintenance. With any luck, your roof will last for decades to come!

Clean The Gutters

Gutters are an important part of your home. Yet, they often see the most neglect! Gutters play a crucial role in directing water away from your home, which helps protect your basement or crawlspace from potential water damage.

However, clogged or damaged gutters may result in water and debris getting stuck. This not only impacts the safety of your home, but also your roof. Excess water may soak and soften the lower deck board, fascia and soffit boards along the gutterline.

To prevent this, check your gutters frequently for clogs or damages. Remove any leaves or twigs that may get stuck to make sure your gutters are able to flow properly!

Remove Any Debris

Speaking of leaves and twigs, you should be regularly removing any debris from your roof to increase its lifespan. After a storm, or during a gusty day, tree limbs, leaves and other sorts of debris may land on your roof.

Be sure to keep an eye (and ear) out on these days especially, and check your roof for potential damages. Clear away any noticeable debris and call a roofing specialist if you think damage is present.

Insulate The Attic

Making sure your attic is properly insulated is key to increasing the longevity of your roof. Attic insulation will help cool your home, requiring significantly less work on your HVAC. After all, the less work required from your HVAC, the less you have to spend on your monthly energy bill.

Aside from regulating the temperature in your home, attic insulation helps to support your roof. Proper insulation can protect the structural components of your home, allowing you to get more life out of your roof.

If your attic needs to be insulated, or re-insulated, call a specialist to take care of it for you!

Check The Ventilation In The Attic

Unfortunately, the insulation in your attic won’t matter much if your attic isn’t properly ventilated. During the summer months, temperatures in a poorly ventilated attic can reach 160 degrees. Think of what scorching temperatures like that can do to your roof!

High temperatures can cause shingles to fry, crack and break, resulting in costly repairs. On the other hand, the winter months can be just as unforgiving to a poorly ventilated attic and roof.

Due to a lack of ventilation, steam from various appliances (stove, bathtub, etc.) may cause condensation to soak into the underside of your roof. Left untreated, this build-up of condensation can cause the roof to sway or cave in. It may even affect the support beams in the attic, causing them to warp or crack. Or worse yet—you could end up with attic mold. Attic mold not only threatens your roof due to excess moisture, but it also threatens your health. Much of the air you breathe in your home filters through the attic. If mold is present, you could be breathing in harmful mold spores without ever realizing it!

Without proper ventilation, heat and condensation have nowhere to go. Trapping these elements may result in serious implications to your roof, once again costing you more than you bargained for. Avoid this by having a specialist inspect your attic and roof. They will be able to verify that your attic is ventilated properly, or supply additional ventilation where it’s needed.

Look For Moss, Mildew and Mold Growth

While mold can grow underneath the roof in the attic, it can grow on top of the roof as well. To spot potential mold spots on the roof, look for green clumps of moss. Moss is an issue for roofs because it retains water and threatens the integrity of the shingles. Since it retains moisture, moss is usually a gateway for mold and mildew growth.

Prevent this by inspecting your roof for moss. If moss is spotted early enough, you can simply sweep it away. However, if moss has begun to grow significantly, you may need to consult an expert for next steps. While there are plenty of store-bought moss killer options, you want to be sure you choose one that benefits the environment while inhibiting moss growth.  

Pro Tip: If climbing on the roof to look for moss isn’t an option, try using binoculars to spot moss growth!

Inspect For Damage Around Chimneys and Skylights

Anything that interrupts your roof like a chimney, skylight or pipe should be inspected regularly. If the seal surrounding a window or pipe are compromised, water may be making its way into your attic. Inspect the seals to make sure they are intact, and then explore your attic to look for signs of water damage. This may be water stains, rusty nails or wet insulation.

If you notice a seal needs to be replaced, you may be able to replace it easily or reseal it with caulk. It may not be a quick fix though, so contact a roofer before trying to make repairs on your own!

Examine For Signs Of Pest Damage

Your roof and attic are common points of entry for pests like bats, birds and squirrels. Scurrying squirrels may dart across your roof and chew or scratch on shingles. Birds may nest in overhanging eaves and bats may squeeze their way inside to colonize in your attic. Either way, it’s bad news for your roof!

Protect your roof from squirrels by removing any overhanging limbs from surrounding trees. If they can’t access your roof, they can’t damage it! For birds and bats, make sure there are no openings or easily accessible areas for them to roost. While these animals are small, they can cause more damage to your roof than you know, so do your best to deter wildlife from your home to protect your roof.

If these animals do make their way into your home, don’t attempt to remove them on your own! Always contact a wildlife removal specialist before attempting to make contact with a wild animal.

Prevent Ice Dams

While snow in the Carolinas isn’t exactly probable, you should still keep an eye out for large snowstorms in the winter. When left unattended, large amounts of snow may cause ice dams, which can cause water damage to your roof.

After the snow has fallen, do your best to knock snow off of your roof. If ice has already begun to form, leave it—you don’t want to damage the shingles underneath.

Knocking excess snow away will help prevent the likelihood of ice dams, and protect your roof from moisture damage and mold growth.

Repair Any Damages

Sometimes, you just have to bite the bullet and make the repairs. Unexpected things happen, and preventative roof maintenance isn’t always enough to save us from expensive repair bills.

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue regular roof maintenance! With hard work and attention to detail, you should be able to maximize the life of your roof.

Additionally, your roof should be inspected every three to five years. An inspector will be able to locate areas that need repair, and suggest specialized maintenance tips to implement throughout the year.

Curious about more ways to maintain your home throughout the year? Then you’ll love our Summer Home Maintenance Checklist! It’s packed with tips and tricks to maintain a healthy home while avoiding expensive repair bills. Click the button below to download your guide!

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