The roof of your home is a very important feature that faces regular wear and tear. Though every roof will need to be replaced at some point, how long it will last depends on several factors: The materials used and how it is maintained.
Types of Materials Used
The most common materials used are asphalt, wood, slate, tile, steel, and foam. Asphalt shingles can last anywhere from 18 to 30 years and wood shakes could last 14 to 20 years. Slate, tile and steel can all typically last for 50 years or more. A foam roof will usually last for 10 to 15 years, though if certain coatings are applied, it could last up to 30 years. When you replace your roof, be sure to choose quality materials that will hold up well in your climate.
How to Increase the Lifespan of your Roof
There are several ways to make your roof last longer. You can inspect for wear and tear, take care of trees and regularly clean the roof.
Inspect Your Roof
One way to increase the lifespan of your roof is to inspect it annually. For climates with harsh winters, it is best to inspect the roof when winter is over. For hot climates, do this at the end of summer. It’s also a good idea to check your roof after heavy rain or hail storms. By regularly checking for any damage, you can keep your roof in great shape for longer.
Look for cracks or curled-up edges, particularly on asphalt shingles or wood shakes. Also be sure to look for any dips in the roof: This could be a sign of a leak. These problems are much easier to fix if they are caught early, so be sure to check your roof for any warning signs regularly.
Take Care of Trees
Depending on where you live, trees can either be good or bad for your roof. If you live in a wet or humid climate, trees that hang over a roof should be trimmed back. In wet climates, trees can prevent the roof from thoroughly drying, which increases the wear and tear it goes through. In a dry and sunny climate, on the other hand, trees can help prevent damage by providing shade for the roof. Whichever climate you live in, be sure that leaves are regularly removed from the roof, as these can trap moisture and lead to other problems.
Clean Your Roof
Cleaning your gutters is important for the lifespan of your roof. Clogged gutters are usually associated with causing problems for your siding or your basement, but it can affect your roof too. If the piles of leaves become too deep, water can get into the roof sheathing or rafters and begin to rot. Clean the gutters every fall and spring to prevent rot.
Some areas of the country, particularly the Northwest are especially prone to moss. Moss can trap water and be very damaging, so it is important to remove it. If it’s caught early, the moss can usually be swept off. If a lot of moss has accumulated, it may need to be killed first.
In areas with harsh winters, removing snow between storms is a wise idea. Snow becomes very heavy and under the right circumstances, could cause the roof to collapse. Removing the snow can also prevent leaks. If there are patches of ice that have bonded to the roof, don’t try to remove them, as this could cause more damage.
Your roof will eventually need to be replaced, but you can help keep this from happening too quickly. A longer lifespan depends on the materials that were used and how well you maintain the roof. With more durable materials and regularly cleaning and care, you can get the most out of your roof and your money.
Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikewebkist/2107890554/