A Guide to Extending Your Roof’s Lifespan

Not all roofs last forever. Proper maintenance can extend their lifespan, but many homeowners tend to skip this vital step. As a result, they neglect to fix roofing problems in their infancy and end up paying more to fix a larger problem.

Extending Your Roof’s Life

Here are some steps to take to properly maintain your roof:

1. Inspect

  • Skylights – Just like windows, unwanted accumulation of grime (leaves, dust, dirt, mold growth, etc.) causes irreversible damage to the skylight material and reduces light penetration. Regular skylight inspections, cleaning and care are suggested for improving their function and increasing durability. 
  • Flashing – The flashing in the valleys of residential roofing systems depends on a smooth surface for the rain to wash debris off your roof. The flashing around vents, chimneys and skylights prevents rain from leaking inside. Severely rusted flashing may warp, curl or even develop holes, exposing your home to the possibility of damaging leaks.
  • Roofing material – Inspect your roof to make sure the shingles, shakes or metal decking is not cracking or lifting. In case of damage, it’s important to have these areas repaired to avoid additional damage to the exterior and interior of the home.
  • Attic – Inspect the visible underside of your roof in the attic. Look for damage or staining on the plywood as these indicate that the roof is leaking.  Any watermarks should be assessed to determine where the leak is coming from and fix it before more extensive damage happens.

2. Clean

  • Debris: Keeping your roof free from debris will extend its lifespan. Moisture can be trapped under debris, which will degrade the roofing material over time. In addition, debris may prevent proper water flow off your roof. This can result in damage to other roof areas, overflowing of gutters and accelerated roof aging.
  • Moss and mold: Shady areas of your roof might be prone to moss and mold growth. Moss and mold will feed on whatever surface they infest, breaking it down slowly. They also tend to hold moisture, which only accelerates the decay. 
  • Gutters: Is there a buildup of leaves, sticks and, maybe, even trash on your roof? More than just unsightly, this roof debris can lead to costly damage if left alone. That’s why it’s important to clean out your gutters, especially in the fall. You should clean your gutters a minimum of once a year. You should do it more often if you have overhanging trees and after a big storm.

3. Remove

  • Water – Removing water from your roof seems obvious to keeping your roof intact for many years to come. Look out for moisture pooling on the roof, and eliminate the cause of the puddling. Standing water is the fastest way to ruin and shorten the life expectancy of a roof.
  • Ice and snow – Ice and snow are two of the main things that can cause a roof to age before its time. Ice and snow add a lot of extra weight to the roof, and extended contact with these substances will lower the temperature of the roofing materials. Removing the snow prevents your roof from buckling due to the increased weight and keeps your roofing material in good shape by preventing long-term moisture exposure as the snow melts.
  • Tree branches – Tree branches that have a tendency to grow over a roof should be removed for two reasons. First, removal will prevent them from breaking off and damaging your roof during a storm. Second, removal will allow your roof deck to dry out completely in between storms.  Since tree branches cause shade and trap moisture, the roofing material in these areas will wear far faster than a roof that can dry out completely.

Ready to talk about your roofing project? Call on quality roofing services providers to come and address your roofing problem. For a reliable and reputable roofing contractor, contact Balken Roofing.  You can use our contact form or just give us a call at (828) 662-3027. We serve clients in Asheville, NC, areas.

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