The average shingle roof lasts around 20 years, more or less depending on damage and natural wear and tear. Other roofing materials can last longer, but are more expensive to install.
The extent and quality of care you give your roof can shorten or increase the time between roof replacements. If you play your cards right, you might end up only having to install a new roof on your home once in your lifetime, as long as you give it the attention it requires.
Installing a new roof is expensive no matter the type of roof. You’re much better off doing routine maintenance and minor repairs as they arise in order to lengthen the lifetime of your roof.
If you are not confident in your roofing abilities – or just hate the idea of climbing up a ladder – you can find a licensed, certified roofer to give you a hand with all your maintenance and repair needs.
PREVENTATIVE ROOF CARE
Doing tasks to prevent most roof damage before it occurs is the most affordable way to extend the lifetime of your roof. Here are a few preventative care ideas for your roof:
Cut branches that hang over your roof. Strong winds and rain can break branches and even knock over trees. Rotting, dying trees will also drop their branches right onto your roof if they’re not regularly pruned. Falling limbs ruin all types of roofs, including asphalt shingles and metal roofs.
Install rain gutter guards. Gutter guards are metal or mesh covers installed over your rain gutters to prevent clogging. They can reduce the amount of gutter cleaning that you have to do and prevent overflow into your landscaping. You can install gutter guards on your own or leave the work to a roofer or gutter cleaning company.
Schedule regular inspections. Shingles begin to lose asphalt granules after a few years, and metal roofs will be dented or begin to show signs of aging such as rust or tarnish. Having inspections done by a roofing company will let you know if there’s an issue that has to be repaired.
Apply a roof coating. Roof coatings renew the oils from shingles so they don’t dry out, helping your roof last 5 years or more beyond its expected lifetime. There are regular and plant-based options so you can feel safe about applying these coatings on your home, where they will inevitably run off and possibly come in contact with your children, pets and lawn.
Ensure your insulation and ventilation systems are in excellent condition. Too much or too little insulation can create a condensation issue. Limited ventilation will result in trapped moisture. This can quickly result in mold and mildew growth, as well as odors throughout your home. Besides being annoying, mold and mildew will ruin wood and other materials, damaging your home’s structure.
ROUTINE ROOF MAINTENANCE
Here and there, you’ll need to do some general maintenance on your roof. If this is done in a timely manner, you’ll prevent leaks and extend the lifetime of your roof, regardless of the type.
Do these things at least once a year to prevent damages and keep your roof looking good:
Roof cleaning. Cleaning a roof will remove debris, mold and dirt. This will reduce the risk of pests and rodents building nests on your roof, and it will freshen up the curb appeal. West Palm Beach Pressure Washing offers roof cleaning in West Palm Beach as one of our services.
Gutter cleaning. Cleaning out gutters is a necessary part of home ownership. Check your rain gutters regularly, especially if it’s raining, to see if there are clogs that should be removed. Most pros recommend gutter cleaning once in the spring months and again in the fall.
Remove moss. If moss starts growing, it likely means that your roof is too shaded and stays relatively moist. Moss’s roots will attach to shingles and other materials and damage them if it isn’t gotten rid of fast enough. Many homeowners prefer to have a professional do this so no unnecessary damage is done in the process.
MINOR ROOF REPAIRS
Damages will happen, but as long as you take care of them right away, no major issues should result. If you are a handyman, you might feel confident doing minor repairs yourself. But if not, professional roofers are more than willing to complete these fast fixes for you to keep your roof in good shape.
Replace damaged or worn shingles. Shingles have asphalt pieces attached to them. The texture can be knocked off the shingles by debris, hail or heavy rain storms. These asphalt chunks help to protect your roof. If they start coming off, the roof will look worn, but, most importantly, it won’t protect what’s underneath. Only a small section needs to be re-shingled if the damage is 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 leak, allowing mold and mildew into your home, and sometimes pests.
Re-caulk around the flashings. Flashings fill in the gaps on the roof where it is impossible to place roofing material. It’s the most common location for leaks, and it is easily damaged. If more extensive work is necessary, replacing the flashing is an easy project for professionals and proficient homeowners as well.
YOUR ROOF NEEDS LOVE TOO!
The roof is one of the most expensive home maintenance costs. With the typical lifetime of a roof being around 20 and 30 years, you will likely only have to install a new one once or twice. Of course, if you move often, you might end up replacing a lot of roofs in your lifetime.
When buying a new home, a roof inspection is definitely worth your money. You can also include the price of a new roof – if necessary – in the closing costs or ask that the seller have the roof replaced before the sale. When selling a home, give West Palm Beach Pressure Washing a call for professional roof cleaning in West Palm Beach to improve curb appeal for interested buyers.