How to Ensure the Longevity of Your Roof
It’s no secret that replacing your roof can be a significant financial investment. Ideally, when you spend thousands of dollars on a roof, it should last the life of your home.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. A “lifetime” in the roofing industry is only 50 years. And this lifespan can be affected by weather, workmanship, and poor maintenance.
When you’ve already invested so much in your roof it can be upsetting to learn that it may not last. You already need to plan for so many other things – you don’t want to have to count on repairs or another replacement.
Rescue My Roof has done thousands of roof replacements in the past decade and with every client, we have walked them through the process of roof maintenance. And today, we are extending that education to you because we believe every homeowner should have a roof that lasts.
We’ve put together all of our top tips and tricks for roof maintenance so that you can get the longevity out of your roof that you deserve. By the end of this article, you will know the exact steps to take to maximize your roof’s life.
1. Check Your Ventilation Frequently
Ventilation is one of the most critical aspects of your roof. Without proper ventilation, you can face many problems. Ice dams, excess moisture, and inefficient heating and cooling of your home are a few.
When you inspect your ventilation frequently – we recommend twice a year – you ensure that you are catching problems before they get out of hand.
When inspecting your ventilation, there are a few key signs you want to look out for.
Insulation Blocking Exhaust or Intake Vents
It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it can cause some severe problems.
The insulation in your attic can block your exhaust or intake vents. When this occurs, air cannot properly flow through the attic to keep your roof at a consistent temperature.
This can lead to issues with ice dams and ultimately moisture damage in your roof and attic.
To avoid this issue, make sure to check each of your vents to eradicate any blockages. You want to keep all of the vents free of debris so they can do their job.
Extreme Hot or Cold Spots in Your Attic
The goal of roof ventilation is to keep your roof at a consistent temperature.
When you are doing the inspection, make sure to walk through the attic space and note any areas of extreme temperature. If you find any, the likely cause is that you don’t have enough ventilation.
Your other option is to conduct an energy audit. Using an infrared thermometer, you can visualize the hot and cold areas of your attic space. If you find you have a lot of these areas, it’s time to call a professional to inspect your ventilation.
Additionally, if there are drafty areas, you can inspect the source of the air leaks and seal them with caulk. This may be a temporary fix to the heating and cooling issues in your attic space.
2. Inspect Your Roof Once a Year
Taking a walk around your house to inspect your roof once a year is one of the key things you can do to catch problems before they arise.
While walking the perimeter of your home, make sure to take note of any areas where there may be:
- Visible Flashing
- Curling or Cupping Shingles
- Missing Shingles
- Cracked Shingles
- Granule Loss
- Algae Growth
- Hail Damage
Many of these issues can be combated by calling in a professional to replace missing or damaged shingles before water can find a way into your home.
However, some of the more severe problems like sagging can lead to a roof replacement. That is why it is best to call in an inspector so they can accurately diagnose the issue.
Your roof takes the most damage in the winter. So after a long season of snowfall and ice, do an inspection to keep your roof in the best shape possible.
3. Take Measures Against Ice Dams
Ice dams are one of the main culprits of winter roofing issues, which is why you’ll want to take measures to prevent them.
Ice dams occur when the snow and ice at the top of your roof melts and then refreezes near your gutters. Over the top, more and more ice will accumulate at the base of your roof and begin to creep underneath shingles and pry them up.
Ice dams not only can cause damage to your roof but the inside of your home as well. When your gutters are frozen solid from the accumulated ice, water can begin to pool at the foundation of your home and leak into the basement.
Additionally, once the water finds its way into your home, it can begin to rot any wood or damage drywall, which will lead to costly repairs.
Two of the primary reasons why ice dams occur are improper ventilation and clogged gutters. That is why it is so important to check your ventilation and clean your gutters regularly.
By cleaning your gutters, you remove any debris that can stop water from flowing through the gutters. This makes the chances of ice building up in the gutters decrease.
Even if you have proper ventilation and clean gutters, ice dams can still occur. When you notice ice beginning to build up, call in the professionals for ice dam remediation.
A roofing contractor can use a steamer to melt the built-up ice off of your roof, which is the safest, fastest, and most effective means of removal.
However, this service can be costly. If you prefer to attempt a DIY method of removal, you can purchase heating cables to melt away the ice.
Need A Repair? Do It In a Timely Manner
If you notice roof repair warning signs, take care of them before they get out of hand.
Minor issues can turn into big ones in the blink of an eye. That small leak you noticed a month ago could now be rotting the wood in your attic and damaging the drywall in your home.
Don’t wait. The safety of your home and your family is at risk. If you are noticing mold and mildew in the attic, sagging in your roof, or even missing shingles, call a roofing contractor to get an inspection and evaluate your options.
Making Sure Your Roof Lasts a Lifetime
Your roof is not only a major investment, but it provides safety for your home. By taking simple steps like doing repairs when needed and inspecting your roof, you make sure your roof is in the best shape to protect your home and family.
Continue your roofing education with our article “6 Signs Your Gutters Need to be Replaced.”
Have you noticed any signs of needing repairs or want to call in an expert to inspect your roof and live in the greater Milwaukee area? We’ve got you covered! Contact us today to schedule your free estimate.