The typical shingle roof lasts 20-25 years, depending on storm damage and natural wear and tear. Other types of roofing materials last longer, but they are more expensive to install.
The amount and quality of care you give your roof along the way can shorten or extend the time between roof replacements. If you are lucky, you might end up only having to replace your roof once in your lifetime, just as long as you give it the maintenance it needs.
Installing a new roof is expensive regardless of the type of roof you have. You’re much better off in the long run doing maintenance and minor repairs as needed to help lengthen the lifetime of your roof.
If you are not confident in your roofing abilities – or just can’t stand the thought of climbing a tall ladder – you can always find a licensed, certified roofer to give you a hand with all your maintenance and roof repair projects.
PREVENTATIVE ROOF CARE
Doing tasks to prevent roof damage before it happens is the most affordable route to increase the lifetime of your roof. Here are some preventative care tips for your roof:
Cut tree limbs that hang over your roof. High winds and rain can break tree limbs and even knock over trees. Decaying, dying trees will also drop their branches onto your roof if they are not pruned. Falling limbs damage all types of roofs, including asphalt shingles and metal roofs.
Install gutter guards. Gutter guards are metal or mesh covers that can be installed over your gutters to reduce clogging. They can reduce the amount of gutter cleaning that you need to do and help prevent overflow into your yard. You can install gutter guards yourself or leave the job to a roofer or gutter cleaning company.
Schedule routine inspections. Shingles start to lose asphalt granules after only a few years, and metal roofs will be dented or start to show signs of age like rust or tarnish. Having regular inspections done by a roofing pro will let you know if there’s a problem that has to be taken care of.
Apply a roof coating. Roof coatings replenish the oils from roof shingles so they don’t dry out, making your roof last 5 years or more beyond its expected lifetime. There are regular and plant-based products so you can feel safe about spraying these coatings on your home, where they will inevitably run off and be in contact with your children, pets and lawn.
Make sure your insulation and ventilation system are in excellent condition. Too much or too little insulation can create a condensation issue. Limited ventilation will cause trapped moisture. This can quickly result in mold and mildew growth, as well as odors inside of your home. Besides being a nuisance, mold and mildew will eat away at wood and other home materials, damaging your home’s structure.
ROUTINE ROOF MAINTENANCE
From time to time, you’ll have to complete some general maintenance on your roof. If this is done in a timely manner, you’ll help prevent leaks and increase the lifetime of your roof, regardless of the type.
Do these projects at least once a year to prevent damages and keep your roof looking good:
Roof cleaning. Cleaning a roof removes debris, mold and dirt. This will reduce the risk of pests building nests on your roof, and it will immediately freshen up the curb appeal. Birmingham Pressure Wash Co. offers roof cleaning in Birmingham as one of our services.
Gutter cleaning. Cleaning out rain gutters is a necessary part of home ownership. Check your gutters often, especially if it’s raining, to see if there are any clogs that should be removed. Most pros recommend gutter cleaning once in the spring months and again in the fall season.
Remove moss. If moss begins to grow, it probably means that your roof is too shaded and stays relatively moist. Moss’s roots attach to roof shingles and other types of materials and damage them if it isn’t removed fast enough. Typically homeowners choose to have a professional do this so no damage is done in the process.
MINOR ROOF REPAIRS
Damages will happen, but as long as you take care of them quickly, no serious problems should result. If you are a handyman, you might feel confident enough doing minor roof repairs yourself. But if not, professional roofers are certified to tackle these fast fixes for you to keep your roof in good shape.
Replace damaged or worn shingles. Shingles have asphalt bits attached to them. The texture can be knocked off the shingles by debris, hail or heavy rain storms. These asphalt pieces help protect your roof. If they start to come off, the roof will begin to look worn, but, more importantly, it won’t protect what’s underneath. Only a small section needs to be re-shingled if the damage is only superficial.
Replace fascia. Occasionally, the section of your roof that rests between the roof material and the top of the exterior wall (called the fascia) will have to be replaced. The fascia can sometimes leak, letting mold and mildew into your home, and sometimes pests.
Re-caulk around the flashings. Flashings fill in gaps on the roof where it is impossible to place roofing material. It’s the perfect location for leaks on a roof, and it is easily damaged. If more extensive work is necessary, replacing the flashing is an easy task for roofers and proficient homeowners as well.
YOUR ROOF NEEDS LOVE TOO!
The roof is often the most expensive home maintenance costs. With the typical lifetime of a roof being around 20 and 30 years, you will likely only need to replace it one or two times. Of course, if you move often, you might end up installing a lot of roofs in your lifetime.
When buying a new home, a roof inspection is definitely worth your time. You can include the price of a new roof – if necessary – in the closing costs or request that the home seller have the roof replaced before the sale. When selling a home, give Birmingham Pressure Wash Co. a call for professional roof cleaning in Birmingham to improve curb appeal for interested buyers.