Five Steps to a Longer-Lasting Roof
A longer-lasting roof is possible with the right kind of planning. The covering on your home or business is not only a major investment but it is your assurance that outside elements stay on the outside where they belong. Even a little water that finds its way into the building can result in serious consequences.
To achieve a longer-lasting roof and maintain its maximum protection and efficiency, there are steps that can be taken over time to help guarantee its longevity. Getting to know a trustworthy and experienced contractor is the best place to begin. Here are five steps that can be taken to get the most out of your roofing system:
- Keep it clean. Debris collecting on your roof can hold moisture for extended periods of time and cause the surface, under layer and even the decking to decompose prematurely. Any collected debris around flashing can cause the seals to break down. It is very important to keep the house top clear of debris and leaves.
- Keep it dry. Areas of standing water will eventually find their way into the building below. Any standing water should be removed and preventative measures taken to keep it from recurring.
- Clear all overhanging branches. Even small branches falling from heights or driven by wind can damage shingles. Dings on asphalt shingles may just be a quarter-size where the gravel is knocked away. The gravel on a shingle is there for a reason, and if missing will allow the heat of the sun to soften and weaken the shingle. Remember that they are in sheets and cannot be replaced individually. One damaged shingle requires the entire section to be replaced.
- For a longer-lasting roof, keep gutters flowing freely and be sure they are sized properly and leak free. A debris and leaf clogged gutter or an ice blocked gutter can cause damming that can back water up beneath the edge of the shingles and underlayment of even steep slopes. This is evident inside the home by staining along the wall where it meets the ceiling beneath the eave. Undersized gutters will overflow during heavy rains and cause moats around the foundation and possible water in the basement, along with ruining beds and plantings. Leaky gutters can have the same affect. Icicles look pretty in the winter but are a sign of leaky, blocked or undersized gutters.
- Proper attic ventilation. Heat buildup in the attic can greatly shorten the lifespan of the house top’s material. Buckling and curling shingles will become brittle and easily blown away and just break off. Attics that are over ventilated will hold moisture during cold weather and cause issues with the decking from the inside.
To have a longer-lasting roof, consult with a qualified contractor. Performing regularly scheduled maintenance and inspections is the best way to keep it effective for a long time. They will identify areas that may be a potential for leakage in the future and stop the problem before it happens. They will make sure your upper surface is clean and dry. They will check all your downspouts and gutters to ensure proper flow of water down and away from the building. Your attic ventilation system will be evaluated and recommendations for an upgrade will be made if required. There are five steps to adding years to your house top’s life, but you can do it all in one easy step: by putting your trust in a qualified contractor and scheduling regular preventative maintenance and inspections for your home and building.
A longer-lasting roof is achievable with an experienced, local, well-established contractor who can provide preventative maintenance. A local contractor will be familiar with the local building codes and the regional weather conditions, and his references will also be local and easy to verify. He will also have experience dealing with the insurance adjusters in case a storm makes a claim necessary.