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Being a homeowner means enjoying all the perks ownership brings. You have the freedom to make your home exactly what you want it to be. Homeownership also comes with many responsibilities, including the car and maintenance of all major appliances and home structures.
As the age of a home increases, many of its components grow older too. One of the more costly parts of a house to repair or replace is the roof. Installing a new roof can be an expensive endeavor. Extending the natural life of your roof can go a long way in saving you money in premature replacement or repair costs. Here are some essential roof maintenance tips to keep in mind.
Trees and large shrubs that are growing very close to the home can have unintended consequences to your roof’s health despite the beauty trees and other flora bring to the exterior of your home. Fallen leaves can collect on the roof creating problem spots for moisture collection. Trapped moisture can deteriorate the integrity of shingle roofs, in particular, creating small holes that allow moisture inside the home.
Trees planted too close to the home can also serve as a bridge for animals such as squirrels or rodents to access your home. By cutting back limbs away from the roof, excessive leaf collection and clogged gutters will be less likely to occur, thereby keeping your roof dry and free of pests.
Rain gutters clogged by leaves and other debris will prevent rainwater from draining effectively from the roof. Rain buildup near gutter points can find its way inside the house through the underlying portion of the roof edge. Water leaking into the home this way will degrade the effectiveness of the roof and cause damage to the interior of your home.
The best way to ensure your roof is working for you is by inspecting it on a consistent basis. Finding small problems ahead of time will allow you to make the necessary repairs so that those issues to get bigger. Inspecting a roof can be done by you if you feel comfortable on a ladder and have a proper perspective on all areas of the roof from that point. But, it’s important to not go on a ladder without another person to support it from the bottom.
Photo by Win Henderson [Public domain] from wikimedia commons
It’s also a good idea if you have access to your attic to inspect your roof from the underside. Look for tiny beams of light seeping through the material. These pin sized holes can let water into the house, causing damage to the roof and the interior of the home.
You may also want to consider hiring a professional to inspect your roof on a scheduled basis, especially if you live in an area that is constantly exposed to heavy winds, or an area that experiences clear seasonal weather such as rain, heavy snowfall, or ice storms.
If you live in a warm, humid region or area where your roof hides from ample sunlight, algae and moss can tend to build up. Keep it clean by bleaching buildup and spraying it off gently with a hose. Do not use a pressure washer so that you don’t damage any roof tiles or shingles.
If you have the opportunity to pick a new roof, whether you’re building a home or buying a house that has a roof replacement condition, consider choosing a roof material that has a longer lifespan such as metal or clay/slate tile.
Coating your roof with a sealant is an option worth considering. However, there are benefits and drawbacks to doing so. Trapped moisture from previous roof damage can become worse under a sealed roof. However, if a roof is in great shape, but older in its years, a sealant may help extend its life.
Get to know your roof, what its current state of health is, and what you can do to improve it before focusing on what you can do to make it last as long as possible. Talking to a roofing professional will give you all the knowledge you need to make a decision regarding your roof.
The age of your roof, where you live, the material used for the roof, and the quality of the installation are all important components you should know so that you have the clearest picture of how your roof is holding up. Asphalt roofs last around twenty-five years or so, while other roofing materials may last much longer or even the lifetime of the home. Understand your roof, and what you should expect from it before buying a home or purchasing a new roof.