Every homeowner feels a sense of pride when they finally buy their first home. But owning a home in part means taking on a challenge of sorts: you need to keep it well maintained to avoid any additional large unscheduled capital expenditures.
One of the biggest expenses for homeowners is typically a roof replacement or repair. A well-maintained roof can last homeowners anywhere from 10 to 90 years or more depending on the material and the quality of the installation. For our purposes here, we talk about asphalt shingle roofing, the type of roofing that over 75% of U.S. homeowners have installed on their homes.
The key to a roof’s longevity is making sure that you develop and keep to a scheduled maintenance program. Doing so can extend the life of your roofing system.
Keeping a Regular Maintenance Schedule
We’ve put together a list of tasks you should do on regularly basis to help you identify and prevent the kind of damage that spells doom for your average roof.
Regularly check your shingles, especially after a heavy storm or high winds. Inspect your roof for missing, curling or cracked singles, peeling flashing or missing shingles. Get this damage looked at by a professional roofing contractor, and have the necessary repairs made.
Get your roof professionally inspected to spot potential problems you might’ve missed, and ask the pro for tips for maintaining your roof. The pros can tell you how many more years your roofing will last. An inspection once a year or every two years will help you find potential issues before they become costly repairs.
Fix leaks in your attic and ceiling. Other common warning signs of a leak are musty odors in certain rooms, spots on your exterior walls and bulging patches on your interior walls. Locate the leak, and have the hole patched up.
Wash Your Roof. At some point, your roof will start to look dirty, especially if algae is growing on your house. Algae won’t cause any immediate damage, but can slowly rot your shingles. Spray your roof with a 50% mix of water and bleach to kill the algae. Installing copper strips just beneath your roof’s peak will also help kill off any algae that’s fixing for a comeback.
Clean your gutters. Though it’s a dirty job, cleaning out your gutters is an essential part of maintaining your roof. Clogged gutters make it easy for water to seep under the structure of your roof, creating more than just a few water stains.
Trim tree branches to prevent them from falling on your roof during severe weather. Cut off any large branches that are directly over your roof to help reduce storm damage. However, even when you closely adhere to a maintenance program, you will eventually need to repair, recover or replace your roof system, especially toward the end of your roof’s expected service life.
Repairing Your Roof Issues
Specific roofing elements may occasionally need to be repaired because of damage to the roof structure from impact or poor installation, among other things. If done right, the repairs should fully restore the expected service life of the system.