Here’s an amazing roof trivia: are you aware that some roofing systems like tile, slate, and copper can last for more than fifty years? Wood shake roofs, on the other hand, can last for up to three decades. Asphalt shingles have the shortest lifespan. However, they can still last for over twenty years.
If you observe proper care and maintenance, your roof can last way longer. Just like roofing insurance protects contractors, you also need to protect your roof if you want it to last longer. The right level of maintenance and care can also ensure you are spared from roof problems that might require costly repair or replacement.
Keep Your Roof in Peak Shape: Top Tips to Keep in Mind
Take better care of your roof by keeping the following maintenance essentials in mind:
Sweep away leaves and debris regularly
Roof brooms with long handles are designed to help you brush leaves and debris quickly and easily. There are also roof brooms that resemble brushes or scrubs. The brush-like variety can help sweep away large debris. Roof brooms that resemble scrubs can help effectively remove moss or algae.
When scrubbing your roofs, ensure you don’t use too much pressure as the broom bristles might damage your roof. It is recommended that you do not use too much force either when sweeping your roof as you might dislodge your roof tiles or shingles.
Clean downspouts and ensure connections are tightened
The angled or vertical drain pipes that are attached to the gutters are called downspouts. Downspouts can help ensure rainwater that is collected by the gutters will go straight to the sewer or the drainage system. Fasteners are used to stabilize and secure the pipes onto a corner.
Just like gutters, it is likely for downspouts to get clogged with debris. Putting mesh screens can make them way easier to maintain as they can prevent clogs from forming. Since many downspouts use joints, connections, and elbows, they become more susceptible to leaks.
Ideally, you need to check those spots whenever it rains. Ensure the leaks are sealed to prevent the pipes from becoming loose and collapsing. You should also check the fasteners regularly to ensure all the pipes stay secure. It is also recommended that you don’t forget to tighten loose bolts, nuts, and screws.
Coat your roof with UV protection
Hawaii and other southern states in the United States have high UV indexes. If you live in high-altitude states like Utah and Colorado, roofing systems tend to age faster due to the high UV index. Unfortunately, UV degradation can affect all types of roofs, be it wood, tile, metal, and asphalt.
Using a roof coating is considered one of the best preventive roof maintenance tips you can employ. Roof coatings are liquid-applied substances that function as extra roofing membranes. The primary purpose of using roof coating is to safeguard the underlying membrane from heat exposure and UV rays.
Roof coatings are elastomeric. In other words, they have elastic properties. This elasticity makes it possible for roof coatings to stretch and retain their original shape. This is important so when your roof contracts and expands due to heat, it won’t get damaged as easily.
High-grade roof coatings can also help your roof withstand extreme weather. For instance, they can stretch under the impact of hailstones and not get damaged. In essence, roof coatings can help slow down your roof’s aging process. What’s even impressive is that using roof coatings can extend your roof’s life for at least 15 years.
Trim the trees near your roof
Left unattended, low-hanging branches can damage your roof’s outer protective layer. At times, the abrasions can get so severe that water can seep through the underlying membrane. Larger branches can also push the tiles or shingles and cause them to loosen up. The constant contact can also detach the tiles and shingles.
When not trimmed, heavy branches can also snap under extreme winds or heavy rains. If the branches fall on your roof, it can cause severe cracks or dents on your roof. Also, trees that are not trimmed can become a way for rodents to get into your home.
Since rats and mice are good climbers, they can use the trees to get to your roof. Once they make it to your roof, they can create holes and use them as a way to access your attic. When trimming trees, remove only the branches that are within six feet from your roof.
It is important to note that there are laws in place regarding tree removal and trimming. Case in point: Trimming roadside trees in Maryland is considered illegal. With that in mind, it is recommended that you check with your city government first before you start trimming or cutting any trees.
When trimming trees, only remove the branch tips that are within six feet from your roof. It should be enough to hinder them from falling directly on your roof. Also, be cautious about removing too many tree sections as you might cause severe damage to the tree.
There you have it, some of the top maintenance tips that can improve the health and longevity of your roof. While you can do some of the things on your own, others might require the help and expertise of seasoned and trusted professionals. As a general rule of thumb, don’t put off any roof repairs so you can avoid problems that might require costly replacement in the future.