When it comes to the most important elements of your house, two components stand out more than the rest: the foundation and the roof. With the latter, learning to extend the useful life can provide significant savings.
Why Your Roof Matters
Of course your roof matters – but have you ever paused to consider exactly why it’s so important? Here are four specific reasons:
- Your roof protects your house. Without a well-maintained roof in place, water can seep into your home and cause water damage, mold, mildew, and other unpleasant side effects.
- Your roof protects your family. It’s the last line of defense against the outside elements. If the roof becomes compromised, so will your family’s safety.
- Your roof impacts your insurance. In fact, the roof is one of the first things an insurance company will examine when quoting you for a policy. If your roof is falling apart, you can expect to pay a lot more on a monthly basis.
- Your roof influences curb appeal. Spatially, the roof commands a strong visual presence. The appearance of buckled shingles, discoloration, and other issues can turn off potential buyers. A well-maintained roof, on the other hand, speaks to your attention to detail.
As much as we like to focus on cosmetic elements of the home – like paint colors and kitchen backsplashes – the reality is that the roof has a far greater impact on the value of your home. The sooner you realize this, the better.
5 Ways to Increase Your Roof’s Longevity
While a roof can be expensive to replace, the good news is that a well-maintained roof can typically last between 15 and 30 years.
Here are some ways you can increase the longevity of your roof:
- Schedule Regular Inspections
When did you last have your roof inspected by a professional? Most homeowners don’t call out a roofer unless there’s a problem, but it’s a smart idea.
“This is one of the most proactive things a homeowner can do to preserve the integrity of a roof and thereby increase its longevity,” American Home Contractors explains. “There’s just no substitute for a professional inspection. Only an expert has the knowledge and tools to assess potential problem areas. You can’t repair a roof if you don’t know there’s a problem.”
- Keep it Clean
Your roof may need to be cleaned on a semi-regular basis. This is especially true if you have asphalt shingles that are constantly in the shade. Under these conditions, your roof will attract algae growth, which feeds off microscopic particles in the limestone.
If you do decide to have your roof cleaned, it’s best to hire out a professional. They have the proper equipment and know how to safely reach every area of the roof without causing damage to the home.
- Remove Overhanging Branches
If at all possible, you want to avoid having trees or branches overhanging your roof. Not only does this increase the chances of damage when storms come through, but it also leads to other issues. For example, you’ll have to clean your roof more frequently to remove things like leaves, pine needles, acorns, etc. You’ll also find that squirrels and other rodents are more likely to spend time on the roof (which can cause further damage).
- Replace Worn Shingles
If you notice patches of worn shingles – or even a single worn shingle, for that matter – it’s smart to proactively replace it. All it takes is one flaw in the roof to compromise your home’s integrity. Visually inspect your roof on a regular basis and take care of small issues before they become major problems.
- Clean Out Gutter
Clogged gutters can cause numerous issues for your home. If they overflow, they may cause water to seep underneath shingles and damage the roof. By regularly cleaning out gutters – or installing a better gutter product – you can mitigate this risk.
Know When to Replace Your Roof
If you live in a house long enough, there will eventually come a time when you need to replace your roof. When this time does come, you should do your due diligence and get a quote from at least three different companies in your area. This will give you an idea of the type of services and prices that exist in the market.
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