How To Make Your Roof Last For Decades
The knowledge that you get to come home to a roof over your head is one of the most rewarding parts of being a homeowner. The knowledge that you’ll eventually have to replace that roof, however, is often one of the most daunting. With roof replacement costs averaging nearly $34,500, according to the 2014 Cost VS Value Report, it’s no surprise that most people want their current roof to last as long as possible.
Getting a roof to last is easy. All it takes is proper care. By following the right maintenance routine, anyone can keep a roof in great shape. Even if your unsure when it comes to roof care, don’t worry, we’ll walk you through it.
We’ve compiled a guide that will help you get your roof in to great shape. Read the post below and work the tips into your home care routine. With just a little extra effort you can make sure that your roof will last for many years to come.
Keep An Active Maintenance Routine
Like any sizable investment, the best way to keep your roof in tip-top shape is by developing an active maintenance routine – and actually following it. While, home maintenance may be the last thing you want to think about on a lazy Saturday, a little TLC will go a long way towards making your roof last for the long haul.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to happen every day. Roof care should take place at least twice a year. Make an effort to take a look at your roof once at the beginning of fall and again at the beginning of spring. Think of it this way: the main goal of roof maintenance is to prevent damage by ensuring that moisture can easily travel away from the roof. By doing work in the fall and spring, you’ll know that your roof is prepared for winter storms and heavy summer rains.
While you’re up there, you should concentrate on these three tasks, sweeping the roof’s surface free of any debris, clearing any buildup out the gutters and downspouts, and power washing areas that are showing signs of moss growth. Also, keep an eye out for any signs of water penetration or disrepair, as you’ll want to get those things taken care of as soon as possible.
Invest In Preventative Measures
You know the old saying: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? While those words are good advice for life in general, they hold doubly true when it comes to roof care. Investing a little bit of money in preventative care now will go a long way toward keeping you from having to replace the entire structure later on.
First, tackle the attic. You want to make sure that your attic has suitable insulation. A properly laid layer of insulation will help keep your home’s interior temperature more stable, which will prevent water vapor from pooling on the underside of the roof – and help save on heating/cooling costs! Consider adding a layer of vapor retarder underneath the insulation for extra protection.
After taking care of the insulation, work on ventilation. Good ventilation will also help prevent water vapor buildup and keep moisture from damaging the roof’s sheathing and rafters. Take a look at your attic’s vents to the outside. Make sure they are completely free of debris and, if necessary, install screens to prevent animals from nesting inside. If your vents seem to be a bit small, think about buying a ventilation fan to guarantee dryness.
The last prevention tip is a bit of a no-brainer: Cut away any overhanging tree limbs. No one wants to live with the worry of a branch crashing in the middle of the night, right? Take away the possibility entirely by removing any neighboring branches that look like they could break with a strong gust of wind.
Catch Problems Early
The best preventive maintenance tip that we can offer luckily costs no money at all. You just need to look at your roof and ceilings! By making an effort to look at your roof regularly you’ll have a better sense of what it looks like when it’s properly maintained and in good shape versus when something is wrong. That sense will help you catch onto problems early and leave you doing small fixes rather than large renovations.
Here are a few things you should try and keep an eye out for:
- Any appearance of sagging or leaning
- Obvious patches and cracks
- Torn, cracked, or missing shingles
- Damage or loose material around your chimneys, vents, and pipes
- Lots of visible shingle granules (These look like sand.)
- Detached gutters and downspouts
- A large accumulation of debris
- Algae growth
- Wet spots on the ceiling
Training yourself to pay attention to your roof is easy. Simply make a conscious effort to glance at your roof every day when you get home from work. After few weeks, this action will become habit and you won’t even have to think about it. However, in addition to this, you should also look carefully at your roof after every big rainstorm. Just take a quick walk through all the rooms in your home and around its parameter. Watch out for any signs of external damage or internal leakage.
Hire An Experienced Professional
We know that the internet is full of handy DIY guides to get you through any project. We love them. But, your roof is one the few areas where you should really put them aside and hire a professional. Not only is working on a roof a safety risk, but if you’re unsure of what you are doing, you could end up doing more harm than good, structurally speaking.
If you don’t already have a roofer in mind, ask friends for recommendations or read online reviews. Take the time to interview a few. You’ll want to focus on a contractor that is insured, can offer you estimates in regards to the price and timeframe for your current job, and will put them in written contract. As always, you should also trust your gut and hire an individual whom you trust.
Once you hire someone that you’re happy with, do your best to foster a good working relationship. Pay your bills on time and even consider bringing them out to do a quick inspection on your roof once a year. They can offer you an experienced set of eyes that can pick up potential problems and your continual business will ensure that they’ll want to come out quickly when you do need assistance.
The bottom line
No one wants to be faced with the prospect of putting a new roof on his or her home. While it is, unfortunately, a fate that every homeowner must face, there is a simple solution to buy yourself more time. All you need to do is take care of the roof you already have. Be active when it comes to roof maintenance and make an effort to fix small issues before they grow into big problems. Follow the tips above to help your roof last for decades.
Does your family follow a roof maintenance routine? If so, do you have any roof care tips that you love? Share them with us in the comments.