What Can a Homeowner Do to Extend Roof Life?

Perhaps you’ve just had a new roof installed and the price of it has motivated you to find out how to make it last.  There are steps that handy homeowners can take to extend roof life by as much as 50% in many cases.  The key to roof maintenance is catching potential problems before they lead to roof damage and the need to replace the roof.

In this Roofing Tutor Guide, we’ll help you understand 4 easy DIY steps that you can take to get greater durability from your roof. Remember, roof safety is not a laughing matter, always take the time to properly prepare for working on your roof!

Ventilate Your Attic

Make sure your attic has adequate ventilation.  Excess heat and moisture in a home’s attic are 2 of the greatest threats to the life of a roof.  Heat causes asphalt shingles dry out and shrink.  This cause them to cup, curl or become brittle, all of which lead to roof failure and the need to replace them.  Moisture will lead to rot in the roof sheathing, trusses and rafters.

Proper ventilation will alleviate all of these problems.  Those with good DIY skills can add soffit, gable or ridge vent and may possibly have the ability to install an attic vent fan.

Inspect Roof Frequently

Inspect your roof in the spring, fall and after wind or hail storms.  In the spring and fall, look for damaged or missing shingles, damage to vent stacks or anything else that protrudes through the roof, and problems with flashing.  Flashing is the bent metal squares that are found between the roofing material and exterior walls or the sides of chimneys.  Flashing that has slid out of place or that no longer fits tight to the wall might quickly become a source of leaks that will damage the sheathing material and possibly the interior of your home.

When a storm bringing hail or high winds has passed through, check for the same types of problems you look for during your semi-annual inspections.  If large twigs or small branches have fallen on the roof, look for roofing material that has been pierced, dislodged or otherwise damaged.

Keep Roof Clear of Snow and Debris

Remove snow in the winter if your roof is susceptible to ice dams. Extension snow rakes are available so that you can do this from the ground.  Ice dams are caused by a lack of adequate insulation in your attic and can damage roofing material as well as the underlying sheathing.  Adding a blanket of insulation may be another very effective way to extend the roof life on your home.

Fix Common Problems Immediately

Replace damaged shingles or other materials if you know the proper technique to do so.  With good do-it-yourself skills, there are quite a few minor roof repairs you can accomplish on your own: installing drip edge, replacing vent stack boots, and replacing damaged ridge vent.  Your comfort level with various repairs will determine what you should try and what you should leave to a contractors.

Finally, If you have the time and ability to inspect, maintain and work on your own home, there is a lot you as a homeowner can do to extend roof life.  The time and work you invest in your home will be repaid in greater durability which produces greater value for you every year you don’t have to have your roof replaced.

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