A good roof should last you between ten and twenty years. A new one can be an expensive investment so you'll want to make sure you get the most out of the one you have. There are several ways a roof can be damaged, but lucky for you, most of them are completely preventable. Here are a few tips that will extend your roof's life.
Trees that brush up against the shingles are bad news. The branches blow in the wind and can scrape your shingles to pieces; it creates an open door for water to get in and cause damage.
Keep limbs about a dozen feet away. This ensures they won’t scrape, and makes it less likely, squirrels and birds will be on your roof. Critters can scrape holes in your roof as well.
It's best to leave tree trimming to the professionals though. You could end up causing more damage than you’re preventing.
Clear The Leaves
If your roof tends to gather leaves, make sure to clear them off every now and again. When leaves sit on the shingles and get wet, they hold moisture in the wood and will slowly erode your shingles. Plus, as the leaves breakdown on top of your house, they provide a home for things like ants, and even weeds. Your roof is for you to live under, not a bed for pests.
Recaulk Your Roof
When nails rust, they create small holes. These little holes can allow a lot of water to get in and rot the wood. If you take a can of roofing caulk and caulk up the fasteners again, then the water can’t get in. Roofing caulk isn’t expensive, and it can add years to your house. Plus you can easily do it yourself.
Check Your Flashings
Roof flashings are the metal parts on top of your house where the pitch of the roof changes a lot, especially by the chimney. Because they're made of metal, they're not quite as durable. Check them often for wear and tear. Double-check them after a storm.
There's a lot you can do to make sure your house stays in good shape. Make sure to regularly inspect your roof to get as many years out of it as you can. Catching problems early can save a lot of money in the long run. These inspections are no replacement for a qualified roof contractor. If you see signs of trouble, don’t be afraid to bring in the professionals.