6 Ways To Extend The Lifespan Of Your Roof

Your roof is one of the most important aspects of your home- it keeps out the elements and unwanted critters, protects you from storms, and contributes to overall structural integrity. Replacing your roof can also be quite costly, so it makes good financial sense to take care of your existing roof and help it last as long as possible. Here are six great ways to extend the lifespan of your roof:

Clean Your Gutters

If your gutters are clogged with leaves, branches, and other debris, they can't effectively redirect water and snow away from your roof to the ground. Instead, some of that water will back up onto your roof, potentially damaging it as well as other parts of your home (including your foundation). Your gutter should be cleaned at least twice a year- once in the fall and again in the spring. While you can pay a company to tackle this task for you, cleaning your gutters yourself is a reasonably simple project.  

Trim Back Overhanging Tree Limbs

A common source of roof damage is falling tree limbs. Rather than risk a heavy tree limb falling off during a storm and wreaking havoc on your roof, perform some preventative maintenance by trimming back and overhanging tree limbs. It's a good idea to hire a professional tree removal company to complete this job for you, both for safety reasons and because they will know the best way to cut the overgrowth away without damaging or potentially killing the tree itself.

Insulate Your Attic

You may not realize how closely related attic insulation is to the lifespan of your roof. A well-insulated attic keeps heat inside your home where it belongs in the winter, instead of letting it escape through your roof. If excess heat escapes through an inadequately insulated attic, it can melt snow and ice on sections of your roof, which can in turn create destructive ice dams. As an added bonus, adding insulation to your attic will keep things more comfortable and potentially lower your energy bills.

Check the Flashing for Damage

The metal flashing around your chimney protects your roof as well as the inside of your home from leaks and water damage, and prevents critters from crawling into your chimney. Unfortunately, metal flashing can break or get torn away over time, especially if you live somewhere with a lot of winter storms. If you notice the flashing is cracked, missing, or damaged, be sure to call a roof repair contractor right away.

Remove Heavy Snow in the Winter

Allowing heavy snow and ice to build up on your roof all winter can lead to a host of problems. Your roof may sag under the weight, develop mold, or simply become cracked and worn prematurely. After a serious snowstorm that doesn't promptly melt away, you should have the snow removed by a professional. Alternatively, you can remove it yourself using a device known as a roof rake, which is essentially a snow rake with a very long handle that can reach the top of your roof.

Have Your Roof Inspected Annually

A good rule of thumb is to have your roof inspected by professionals once a year, as well as any time you notice roof damage. Having your roof inspected annually means that small problems (like a missing or damaged shingle) will get repaired promptly, before they become bigger, more expensive problems. A professional roof repair company has the expertise needed to accurately assess potential problems, and this is a safer option than attempting to walk on your roof yourself.

By following these steps, you will be able to maintain your roof and avoid replacing it for as long as possible.