How to Extend the Lifetime of your Roof
The roof over your property is a significant investment and one of the most important, protecting everything beneath it. Because roofs are expensive and so integral to the upkeep of the structure, it is important to routinely maintain the roof over your business or home so that it will last as long as possible.
Here we will discuss some aspects of roof maintenance which can extend a roof’s life expectancy. Life expectancy heavily depends on roofing material. Asphalt shingles, the most popular roofing material, have varying life expectancies from about 15 to 40 years, depending on type. Tile roofs can last about 50 years, precluding outside forces and with proper maintenance. Yet, no matter what kind of roof it is, without consideration of the factors below a roof can deteriorate and sprout leaks prematurely.
Have you ever wondered what all those vents are doing up on the roof? Well, they ventilate the attic, which is integral to insulating the structure and preventing premature decay of roofing materials. In an improperly ventilated attic, summer heat can cause temperatures to skyrocket to up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This heated air not only heats up the interior and makes it more difficult and expensive to cool the structure, but it also cooks the exterior roof covering from underneath. This can cause pitting, bubbling, and cracking. This can be particularly problematic in the South, where it is hot and sunny so much of the year.
During the cold months, conversely, poorly ventilated roofs trap moisture. This moisture can get into the insulation and dampen the roof sheathing from inside. To avoid these issues make sure that your roof has adequate ventilation and that it is properly installed. Poor vent installation is a frequent cause of roof leaks. If you suspect that your roof may have an issue in this area, contact a roofing professional or inspector.
While not all structures have gutters and downspouts, they are an important part of the roofing system. A roof’s lifetime can be increased by the addition and proper maintenance of gutters and decreased by a lack of these. Gutters prevent the structure from constantly being drenched by rain, which is especially important in a state like Florida. Vulnerable sections of the edifice and roof can sustain water damage if frequently exposed to it.
If you do not have gutters, it is a good idea to install them. If you do have gutters, make sure to keep them clear of debris like leaves, branches, and pine needles. Debris clogs gutters and prevents them from functioning correctly. It also weighs down the gutter system, which can lead to damage to the soffit and fascia system. Inspect your gutters a couple of times a year to make sure they are clear and that there is no sagging. This should also be done after all severe weather events. Finally, gutter-guards can help with preventing debris deposits and save you from having to clear the gutters frequently.
Debris is not only a problem in relation to gutters. It often accumulates on the roof itself, especially in the valleys. In the Palm Coast and Daytona Beach areas it is common to see roofs with pine needles lying in the recessed areas. Is this ok? Definitely not. Anything that shouldn’t be on the roof needs to be removed. Pine needles, branches, leaves, and animal droppings retain moisture, pool water, and add weight. Too much accumulation can even cause structural damage.
Avoid expensive repairs by preventing all that. Remove debris by using a broom to either push or sweep off the roof. Do not use anything with abrasive bristles or a power-washer, since both can damage the roofing material.
Inspect Your Flashing
95 percent of leaks are caused by improperly installed or damaged flashing. Pieces installed around skylights, chimneys, and vents should be checked. It is very important that they are tight and secure. If you notice any gaps, add some sealant or hire a professional to seal it.
Moss, Algae, and Fungus
Moss, algae, and fungus grow on almost any surface exposed to moisture, and the humid environment of our area is perfect for them. Many roofing materials are especially made to prevent moss, algae, and fungus growth, but even these succumb in time in high-moisture environments. To remove these elements, mix equal parts bleach and water in a bucket then spray it on the mold and mildew.
Trees and Branches
Do you have trees growing close to your home or business? Falling branches are always a risk. Additionally, trees that block the sun can encourage moss and fungus growth by preventing the roof from drying fully. Finally, in a hurricane-prone area, trees close to the house can pose a danger. Make sure these are appropriately trimmed or removed altogether.
The goal here is preventing problems before they begin or at the least catching them early. Make sure to perform regular roof maintenance and checks after severe weather events. If you notice even a minor problem–address it before it gets worse. This will save you time, money, and protect your home in the long run. Call Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. or fill out the contact form on our website for a free estimate!