When installed correctly, your roof can last up to 45-50 years depending on the materials and the annual maintenance. On the flip side however, using your roof as a ‘set it and forget it’ type of home feature could result in damage and wear starting as early as year two after installation.
Not only is roof maintenance important, so is roof safety. Your roof is arguably the most dangerous feature of your home especially as the pitch starts to increase. It is the responsibility of homeowners and contractors alike to make sure the roof upkeep is done regularly, but that it is also done in a safe manner. Here are some tips to accomplish those tasks:
Be Proactive with Inspections
Roofing inspections may seem like overkill to some homeowners but they really are the lifeblood of your roof life span. You never really know how much a sever storm damages your roof, not to mention how the everyday wear and tear from the sun has caused wear. Since many roofing warranties are prorated, a bi-annual inspection that identifies issues could legitimately save you money on repairs that are going to be needed anyway. Plus, an inspection can find little problems that are easy fixes before they become high-priced catastrophic repairs.
Make Sure the Gutters are Cleaned
One of the most important roof maintenance tasks is making sure the gutters are cleaned. Sure a clogged gutter may seem like only a nuisance, but it’s actually one of the biggest risks around your property. When water can’t evacuate through the downspouts, it overruns on the side of the gutters. This water can get into fascia and rot those boards but will also pool at the foundation. The soil grade around the foundation will eventually wear away and thus every time it rains, water will be forced towards your basement causing in-home flooding – all because of a few leaves.
Clear Drains, Downspouts and Other Ground Features as Well
Trim Trees that Overhang on the Roof
Trees hanging over your roof might provide an effective shade that keeps your roof cool and thus lowers your air-conditioning bills. Unfortunately they also lead to moss and mildew growth which will eat away at specific roofing materials and cause the need for premature replacement. It’s really just best to trim away any tree limbs that hang over the roof.
Inspect Your Attic As Well
Also, remember to inspect under your roof via the attic. This is where you can identify any moisture that has formed on the underside of the sheathing or in insulation identifying leaks or ventilation issues.
Sometimes there are storms that will roll into town and completely negate your on-the-ball roofing mentality. That being said, it’s still better to have to replace roof damage caused by an act of God than it is for just being lackadaisical in your home maintenance strategy.