Your home's roof is no doubt a major expense, so of course you want to make sure that you get the most out of your roof as possible before you need to replace or repair it. Unfortunately, because your roof is often out-of-sight, it may not be receiving the care and maintenance it needs. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to prolong the life of your asphalt roof and save yourself some money down the road.
Ensure Proper Attic Ventilation
Believe it or not, a long-lasting roof starts in your attic. If your attic space is poorly ventilated, you're more likely to end up with premature roof damage--especially during the colder winter months, when ice dams can form as a result of poor ventilation. Make sure your attic and roof system have proper ventilation, including ridge vents and soffits.
Check and Replace Flashing as Needed
Flashing refers to the pieces of asphalt that are custom measured and cut to fit around your chimney, vent pipes, skylights, and other things on your roof. Make sure to check your flashing at least once annually to ensure that it's not cracking or peeling away, as this is a very common cause of roof leaks.
Keep Tree Branches and Limbs Trimmed Back
If you have large trees in your yard, try to keep the branches and limbs trimmed back and away from your roof to the best extent possible. Not only will this reduce the amount of debris and leaves that you end up with in your gutters, but it will also reduce the chances of a large tree limb or branch crashing down onto your roof and causing expensive damage.
Keep Your Gutters and Downspouts Clean
Speaking of gutters, make sure that you're taking the time to have yours (along with your downspouts) cleaned at least once a year. This is especially important after the months of fall, when leaves and other debris tend to make their way into gutters and cause clogs. Your gutters and downspouts play an important role in carrying excess moisture away from your roof and home.
Take a Quick Look After Major Storms and Windy Days
Any time your area experiences a major storm or windy day, it's a good idea to take a quick look at your roof (after the bad weather has passed, of course) to make sure there are no obvious signs of damage. If you see any damage, contact your home insurance company and a roof installation and repair company.Share