The standard shingle roof lasts 20-25 years, more or less depending on storm damage and natural wear and tear. Other types of roofing materials last longer, but they are more expensive to install.
The amount and level of care you give your roof along the way can shorten or lengthen the time between new roof replacements. If you play your cards right, you could end up only having to replace your roof on your home once in your lifetime, just as long as you give it the care it requires.
Installing a new roof is expensive no matter the type of roof you have. You’re better off in the long run doing routine maintenance and minor repairs as they arise to extend the lifetime of your home’s roof.
If you are not confident in your roofing abilities – or just hate the thought of climbing up a tall ladder – you can hire a licensed, certified roofer to give you a hand with all your maintenance and roof repair projects.
PREVENTATIVE ROOF CARE
Doing tasks to prevent most roof damage before it occurs is by far the most affordable route to extend the lifetime of your home’s roof. Here are a couple of preventative care recommendations for your home’s roof:
Cut tree branches hanging over your roof. High winds and rain can break tree branches and even knock over trees. Rotting, dying trees will also drop their heavy branches right onto your roof if they’re not regularly pruned. Falling limbs damage all types of roofs, including asphalt shingles and even metal roofs.
Install gutter guards. Gutter guards are metal or mesh covers that can be installed on top of your gutters to prevent clogging. They can limit the amount of gutter cleaning you have to do and prevent rain flowing into your yard. You can install gutter guards on your own or leave the work to a roofer or gutter cleaning company.
Schedule routine inspections. Shingles begin to lose asphalt granules after a couple of years, and metal roofs will be dented or begin to show signs of age such as rust or tarnish. Having regular inspections done by a company will let you know if there’s a problem that should be repaired.
Apply a roof coating. Roof coatings renew the oils from roof 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 landscaping.
Ensure your insulation and ventilation system are in good condition. Too much or not enough insulation can create a condensation issue. Limited ventilation will result in trapped moisture. This can quickly lead to mold and mildew growth, as well as musty odors in your home. Besides being a nuisance, mold and mildew will eat away at wood and other materials, damaging your home’s structure.
ROUTINE ROOF MAINTENANCE
Here and there, you’ll want to do some general maintenance on your home’s 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 chores at least once a year to prevent damages and keep your home’s roof looking nice:
Roof cleaning. Cleaning a roof removes debris, mold and dirt. This will limit the risk of pests and rodents building nests on your home’s roof, and it will immediately freshen up the appearance of your home. Federal Way Pressure Washing offers roof cleaning in Federal Way as one of our services.
Gutter cleaning. Cleaning out the gutters is a necessary part of home ownership. Check your gutters regularly, especially if it’s raining, to see if there are any clogs that need to be cleared. Most companies recommend gutter cleaning once in the spring and again in the fall.
Remove moss. If moss begins to grow, it likely means that your roof is too shaded and stays relatively moist. Moss’s roots will attach to roof shingles and other types of materials and damage them if it isn’t gotten rid of fast enough. Most homeowners decide to have a professional do this so no unnecessary damage is done in the process.
MINOR ROOF REPAIRS
Damages happen, but as long as you take care of them right away, no major issues should occur. If you are a handyman, you may feel confident doing minor roof repairs yourself. But if not, professional roofers are certified 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 removed from the shingles by debris, hail or strong rain storms. These asphalt pieces help protect your home’s roof. If they start coming off, the roof will look worn, but, most importantly, it won’t protect what’s below. Only a section needs to be re-shingled if the damage is superficial.
Replace fascia. Sometimes, the section of your home’s roof that rests between the roof material and the top of the exterior wall (called the fascia) will need to be replaced. The fascia can sometimes leak, allowing mold and mildew into your home, let alone pests.
Re-caulk around the flashings. Flashings fill in 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 needed, replacing the flashing is an easy task for roofers and proficient homeowners as well.
YOUR ROOF NEEDS LOVE TOO!
The roof is typically the most expensive home maintenance costs. With the typical lifetime of a roof being between 20 and 30 years, you will likely only have to replace it one or two times. Of course, if you move often, you could end up installing a lot of roofs during your lifetime.
When buying a new home, a roof inspection is definitely worth your time. You can also include the cost of a new roof – if one is needed – in the closing costs or request that the seller have the roof replaced prior to the sale. When selling a home, give Federal Way Pressure Washing a call for professional roof cleaning in Federal Way to improve curb appeal for potential buyers.