The roof is often taken for granted until it can no longer perform up to expectations. Most people invest thousands on their roofing then let it go, forgetting that, over time, the heat of the sun, snow, rain, wind, and temperature fluctuations all damage their roofing. However, if you want your investment in your roof to be worthwhile and want to have the roof stay new for as long as possible, then you need to do a little work.
That is why we are going to introduce ways to extend the lifespan of your roof today. Let’s get started.
What Is The Average Lifespan of Shingles?
Here is a quick glance at the average lifespan of roofing:
- 3-tab Asphalt Shingles: 15-18 years
- Architectural Asphalt Shingles: 24-30 years
- Concrete Tiles: 35-50 years
- Metal: 30-45 years
- Modified or Built-Up Bitumen: 10-16 years
- Rubber (EPDM): 10-16 years
When you fail to do the correct amount of maintenance, or when something is wrong with the shingles or other roofing materials as a result of installation, the average lifespan drops dramatically. In other words, those 3-tab asphalt shingles meant to last 15 years might only last 8-10 years. That is why preventative maintenance is important.
How To Extend The Life of Your Roof
Extending the life of your roof beyond those average lifespans all comes down to preventative maintenance. You have definitely heard of the term before. The notion is used in construction, engineering, and even in business, because it also encourages risk management.
This means that when you invest time in making sure things are working properly and not damaged, you reduce the risk of failure. Seems simple, right? It is. As long as you commit to the following things, your roof will last much longer than anticipated:
Never Stop Inspecting
The first step to extending the life of your roof is to get on the roof and make sure it hasn’t been damaged. Never stop inspecting the roof, especially after bouts of inclement weather. You never know when high wind will rip off a shingle or if that branch that fell down ripped sections of the roof unless you check it out.
If you are uncomfortable with getting up on the roof yourself, hire a professional roofer to do the inspection for you.
Know The Warning Signs
Sure, you might be inspecting your roof, but do you know the early signs of problems? Maybe not. Knowing what to look for will help you spot trouble before it can do damage to your home.
- Loosened material around vents, pipes, and chimneys
- Sagging and leaning
- Cracking along valleys
- Cracked, torn, and missing shingles
- Visible shingle granules on the ground
- Broken, sagging, or loose gutters and downspouts
- Algae and mold
- Wet spots on the roof or inside, damaging the ceiling
Remove Leaves and Debris
Your roof can withstand a lot of pressure, but wet leaves and other debris are not meant to stay on it for long periods of time. This includes ice and snow. When leaves and other things pile up on the roof or in valleys, moisture gets trapped. Decomposing leaves might also spread mold and algae, so you don’t want that to stick around.
Remove leaves with soft brushes and leaf blowers. Avoid using a power washing, since that can damage asphalt shingles.
Clean Your Gutters
Believe it or not, clogged gutters can mess up your roof. The reason is that any overflow will let moisture buildup within the roof sheathing, which can cause rot to occur within the rafters. Damage from that is expensive to repair.
Also dig debris out from the gutters and make sure the downspouts aren’t congested. Water should easily flow off the roof, into the gutters, and out the downspout, where it is sent away from the foundation of the house. If this doesn’t happen, something might be blocking the water.
Trim Back Leaves and Branches
Branches hanging over the roof pose a lot of risks. First, strong winds can easily send those branches slamming into the roof. You could see punctures, get shingles cracked and ripped away, and other damages. Plus, branches that hang directly over the roof give rodents and other pests easy access to your roof, including openings to vents and the chimney. Make sure to trim back branches to avoid such issues from happening.
If you have wood or composition shingles, moss can be a problem. You don’t want moss to grow on your roof, because it traps moisture, much like leaves. As soon as you see moss and algae, get on the roof and sweep it away. You can also prevent growth by using some potassium salt and fatty acids to wash it away. Once the moss is scrubbed off, lay some zinc strips near the top of the roof.
Apply a Protective Coating
You can hire a professional to come a spray a liquid polymer coating on the roof. The protective coat can sheet off water and prevent extensive weather damage. The end result is that your shingles will receive less damage over time, outlasting shingles that aren’t sprayed.
If you choose to DIY this, you shouldn’t have any problem finding a polymer coating, since most home improvement stores carry it. Application takes only a few hours. Keep in mind that protective coatings work best when applied to brand new roofing.
Hire The Professionals
DIYing might not be your thing, or maybe you’re inexperienced. Don’t worry. Taking care of a roof can be overwhelming. That is why it is sometimes best to bring in people who are experience and know what they are doing. Be sure to hire a roofing professional. They will be able to conduct inspections, minor repairs, and even replace your roof when the time comes.
Since no one wants to have to buy a new roof sooner than anticipated, make it your priority to perform routine preventative maintenance on your roof. Inspection and protection, such as laying down a protective coating and removing debris, are just a few ways to make your shingles last longer. Use the tips in this article, and your roof will last beyond the average lifespan.
Want to learn more about roofing and shingles? Check out our other blogs. And if you have questions, concerns, or would like to know how we can help you maintain your roof, send us a question by filling out the contact form.