Unfortunately, roofs aren’t made to last forever. To make matters worse, many people skip routine maintenance and repairs, only realizing they have a roof problem when they have a major expense on their hands.
Although you can’t make your roof last a lifetime, you can lengthen its life with proper maintenance and repairs.
Here are some steps you can take to — safely — extend its lifespan and prevent damage.
1. Be Safe
No matter what the material, the condition, or even the height of the roof, it is dangerous and even deadly to be on ladders and roofs without taking essential safety precautions and measures.
Safety is the number one top priority for any type of roof maintenance or care.
Never get on a roof without proper safety gear, in inclement weather conditions, or if you feel unsafe, insecure or unsteady.
Better yet, leave all rooftop care to a qualified, experienced pro who is licensed, bonded and insured.
2. Clean the Gutters
Over time, rain, snow and debris build up in your gutters. The added weight puts strain on your roof, which can weaken the home’s structural integrity and cause early breakage.
In extreme cases, overflowing gutters could even weaken the roof to the point of collapse. Older gutters can also be a haven for mold to grow unnoticed, which can then spread to the rest of your roof.
Next, install gutter guards, like GutterBrush. They’re the first line of defense because they keep leaves out of your gutters.
You can also hire professional gutter-cleaning services to make sure gutters are always spotless.
In the meantime, keep your trees trimmed and away from the roof. Doing so will help keep gutters clean. This also is a good safety precaution, especially in areas prone to wildfire threats or heavy snow or ice, which can lead to broken branches or falling trees that can damage roofs.
Finally, always keep your roof clean. Dirt and debris, combined with wet, cool weather can lead to unsightly rooftop moss and algae. Wood shake and asphalt are particularly susceptible to rot and displaced shingles that can be hard to spot but can cause major damage and costly repairs if left unchecked.
3. Put Your Guards Up
Major winter cold snaps lead to costly ice dam issues, especially for owners of asphalt roofs.
Metal roofs can help prevent ice dams from forming in the first place, but it’s always a good idea to take extra steps to ensure safety in areas that experience heavy snow and ice.
For example, snow guards can be installed to help keep frozen precipitation in place and cause it to melt or slide off in small pieces rather than dangerous chunks.
4. Check the Supports
Roofs are durable, but they still need support. Roof trusses span the width of the roof and provide support without the need for columns. Like any other support in the home, though, they can weaken over time, and may need to be replaced in older homes to prevent larger problems from occurring.
Different styles of roof trusses have their advantages, so you’ll want to research them and find the right fit for your roof.
Also, your roof is only as durable as its materials.
Some metal roofs with quality coatings can last up to 50 years compared to other types.