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How to Extend the Life of Your Roof

Regular Inspections, Cleaning, and Maintenance Pay Off in the Long Run

© 2013 by Hillary Ealey; all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without written permission.

Chimney on a Roof

All roofs should be built at a high quality level because they are exposed to rain, the blazing sunshine, high winds, and extreme hail storms.

So to stop the roof from becoming damaged and helping it last longer, it is essential to inspect the building at least twice a year. I would suggest that you examine the roof regularly to help you notice any change that happens and prevent it.

There are several steps which need to be followed to be guarantee your roof lives a longer life and you can enjoy the financial equity that you have invested in your home.

A Regular Roof Inspection

This is your first line of defense. The warning signs of a damaged roof may be cracked slates or shingles or rust spots; the shingles are buckling, curling or blistering; and worn areas are visable around the chimneys, pipes and skylights.

Another warning sign of a damaged roof is if you find bits of grit in your rain gutters. This is normal with a new roof, but should recede over time. Dark algae stains are just cosmetic.

However, masses of moss and lichen could signal roofing that’s worn out underneath. At the very least this signals a moisture problem that will only get worse over time.

And finally, just seeing something basic such as shingles missing or nails popped out indicates that you really need to get it replaced immediately.

The Second Step it is best to take is being alert and being ready.

You should check your roof at least two times a year—in the spring and in the fall. You don’t want to neglect it and not notice something which has happened. I would suggest Valentine’s day for the spring season.

Early indications of trouble include dark areas on ceilings, peeling paint on the underside of roof overhangs, damp spots alongside fireplaces, and water stains on pipes venting the water heater or furnace.

When you decide you want to plan an inspection I feel you should have everything you want to check written down so it reminds you that it needs to be done. And if you want to be very specific try a scoring system so like I do on my own roof is give it a score of 1 out of 10.

10/10 means being spot on and nothing wrong with it but 1/10 being terrible and it needs to be fixed immediately.

Remove Leaves and Debris from the Roof and Gutters

If you have a simple peaked roof surrounded by low landscaping, your roof almost certainly stays clear of leaves on its own.

But if the roof has a number of trees surrounding it then there will be piles of leaves probably which collect in roof valleys, near chimneys, and in your rain gutters.

If you don’t remove them, they’ll trap moisture and gradually decompose, allowing wind-blown seeds to take root on the roof.

Clearing the Roof of Moss

Leaving moss growing on your roof can shorten the life of your roof drastically. Having moss on the roof during the winter causes it to react and make the shingles brittle.

Moss holds moisture where it can get to the wood sheathing, speeding rot. As an example of how insidious it is, moss can even crack cement or ceramic tiles when it works its way into the grout lines.

And finally, if none of these steps help your roof, then the only option is to get it reshingled. If you can replace them while it’s the sheathing is still structurally OK, all the better.

If you do need to get any sheets of sheathing replaced, instruct your roofing contractor to go back with the kind with radiant barrier. If you can afford to have all the sheathing replaced with it, it will soon pay for itself.

About the Author:

Hillary Ealey is a new blogger with a keen interest in anything Home Improvements or D.I.Y. The services reviewed here are from Leafield Projects.

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