5 Tips For Keeping Your Roof In Great Shape

A long-lasting roof is the key to a long-lasting home. However, many homeowners often make the mistake of putting off or even ignoring roof maintenance and care. This could have detrimental effects on the longevity and reliability of your roof. The following offers 5 crucial tips for ensuring your roof provides your home with many years of worry-free service.

Keep It Clean

Allowing dirt and debris to accumulate on your roof can cause a broad range of problems. For instance, a roof covered in leaves and debris can become the perfect breeding ground for moss and mold. Allowing tree branches and other clutter to come into contact with your roof can give squirrels and other small animals easy access to your roof.

You can use a roof leaf rake or a leaf blower to get rid of dry leaves and debris. For wet debris, you may need to wash it off with a garden hose. Using a power washer usually isn't recommended, since the pressure could force water underneath the shingles. Although exposure to natural sunlight usually stops most moss growth, you can speed up the process by using special cleaning products with potassium salts and other non-toxic formulas.

How often you should clean your roof depends on your overall environment and how often debris accumulates on your roof -- some roofs must be cleaned every year, while others can be cleaned every other year.

Watch Out for Wear and Tear

Being on the lookout for signs of wear and tear gives you an opportunity to tackle minor issues at an affordable cost before they snowball into major problems. Common signs of wear and tear can range from loose asphalt granules that wash up in your gutters to missing shingles and tiles. Other internal signs that something is amiss with your roof include doors and windows that suddenly become hard to open, as well as water leaks and daylight shining through portions of the roof.

If you see any of the above, you should have your roofing contractor take a look at your roof as soon as possible.

Tread Lightly or Don't Tread At All

It's not out of the ordinary to see a roofer take a brief stroll on the roof during an inspection. However, the foot traffic could cause damage to shingles and tiles, especially if the roofing material is worn out, brittle or otherwise fragile. In the case of clay tiles, not knowing where to step could cause significant and expensive damage.

Avoid walking on roofs that have visibly curling, cracked or broken shingles or tiles. If you must walk on your roof, make sure to walk only on the areas where the tile or shingles overlap one another. Don't forget to distribute your weight evenly as you walk. Stay clear of any shingles or tiles located at or near flashings, chimneys, valleys or wall runs.

Pay Attention to Ventilation

Believe it or not, ventilation plays an important role in keeping your roof in great shape throughout its life. During the summer months, attic temperatures can skyrocket to as high as 150 degrees Fahrenheit without proper ventilation. A combination of extreme heat and high moisture can damage asphalt shingles and roof rafters. During the winter months, inadequate attic ventilation can cause ice dams to form, resulting in severe water damage to the roof, walls and ceiling.

Know When It's Time to Let Go

Even the most thorough care and maintenance isn't a match for Father Time. At some point, the benefits of a complete roof replacement may outweigh any benefits found in repairing and maintaining your existing roof. Knowing when it's time to replace your current roof can help you save money on unnecessary repairs.

It's a good idea to keep tabs on your roof's natural lifespan. A typical asphalt shingle roof can last for 20 years and wood shake roofs can last for 30 years. Clay tile, concrete and copper roofs can last for 50 years or more. Of course, damage caused by severe weather conditions can easily reduce these lifespans. Contact a roofing company like Pro-Tech Contracting Inc. for more information.