Residential roofing systems are the first line of defense in protecting your home, family and belongings from the outdoor elements.
While often taken for granted, a well-maintained roof can typically last anywhere between 15-50 years depending on the materials, installation and upkeep methods used.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for a neglected roof to deteriorate long before its expiration date; as constant exposure to rain, wind, snow, ice, UV rays and a wide variety of pests, birds and/or animals can wreak havoc on the integrity of its internal structures.
At T. Simpson Roofing Ltd., we pride ourselves on helping our clients get the most out of their residential roofing investments.
As a well-maintained roof can last for several decades, here are 12 effective ways you can maximize the lifespan of your roof:
1. Ensure Your Gutters are Always Clear:
While common signs of a clogged gutter might include peeling siding paint, water overflow and flooded basements, did you know that a clogged gutter can push water upwards towards your roof as well?
When water starts to pool on a roof, not only can it result in severe water damage and mold growth, but the added weight may cause the roof to collapse altogether; causing a serious safety concern for you and your loved ones.
2. Prevent The Buildup of Leaves & Debris:
While some roofing styles are designed so that leaf buildup can be cleared by the wind, there are a number of factors (such as complicated roofing designs or nearby trees) that can trap moisture beneath the debris and cause it to gradually decompose.
In addition to moisture damage, this buildup of leaves and debris can also prevent your roof from efficiently draining water, which can cause a number of safety and structural concerns if left unresolved.
3. Quickly Replace Any Missing or Damaged Shingles:
With constant exposure to our harsh Canadian seasons, it’s not uncommon for homeowners to notice a few missing, curling or damaged shingles on their roof.
As these small vulnerabilities may leave your roof exposed to the risk of water damage, it’s very important to consult a professional as quickly as possible to assess and repair the damage before further deterioration can take place.
4. Trim Overhanging Tree Branches:
While oversized trees may be beautiful to look at, the risk of leaves, animals, moss growth and broken branches can cause a great deal of damage to your roofing structure.
In the case of high winds, there are many instances where overhanging branches can even crack or lift your shingles upon impact. To minimize the risk of damage, we highly recommend keeping any nearby trees trimmed to a safe distance away from your home.
5. Prevent the Buildup of Ice or Snow:
With each winter storm, the buildup of ice and snow can cause a number of problems for your roof; including drainage problems, moisture damage and the risk of added weight.
While it is best to avoid chipping away at heavy ice to prevent the risk of roof damage, we recommend using a roof rake attached to a telescoping pole (from ground level) to dislodge any snow within 3-4 feet of the gutters. If you must work with a ladder, be sure to clear the snow from an angle to prevent the risk of injury.
6. Insulate Your Attic:
Insulating your attic can play a massive role in optimizing the lifespan and performance of your roof.
As your shingles protect your home from the sun’s UV rays, they can also become very hot without proper insulation; causing your shingles to deteriorate prematurely.
As attic insulation can dramatically improve the air flow and energy efficiency of your roof, you will also be saving more money on overall utility expenses.
7. Maintain Sufficient Ventilation:
While water damage is the most common threat to the longevity of a roof, the accumulation of trapped heat can cause a number of problems as well.
As poorly ventilated roofs can allow for hot air to build up within the attic, this often results in uncomfortable living temperatures, expensive energy bills and moisture damage causing rot and deterioration.
By ensuring your soffit vents are able to allow cool air to flow in and hot air to flow out, you can help your roofing system function optimally for as long as possible.
8. Prevent The Risk of Mold or Moss:
While a moss-covered roof may seem like something out of a fairytale, the impact of long-term exposure is far from a happy ending.
As moss and mold hold moisture and feed on whatever surface they grow on, leaving it on your roof can accelerate the decay and deterioration of your shingles.
Although a bucket of water and a scrubbing brush are great solutions for mild buildup, it may be worth investing in a professional power wash to prevent the risk of future regrowth.
9. Pay Attention to the Weather:
From high winds and rain to hail storms and snow, your roof plays a crucial role in shielding your home from the outdoor elements.
As long-term exposure can sometimes result in minor damage, we highly recommend that Canadian homeowners inspect their roofing structures following extreme weather to ensure that any necessary maintenance is quickly resolved.
10. Commit to a Regular Roof Inspection Schedule:
Whether your roof is brand-new or many years old, it is important to periodically inspect your roof for upkeep.
From skylights and flashing to attics and roofing materials, it is helpful to evaluate your roofing structures each Spring and Fall season to ensure optimal functionality all throughout the year.
11. Take a Proactive Approach to Maintenance and Repairs:
While ongoing roof maintenance may sound like a chore, it can certainly save you thousands of dollars in extreme repairs or roof replacements down the road.
As noted in the examples above, what may seem like minor damage at first can quickly accumulate if left unresolved for too long.
12. Work with a Qualified Roofer:
Perhaps one of the most important tips on this list, we highly recommend that Canadian homeowners work with a trusted, qualified professional when dealing with roof-related maintenance and repairs.
As roof replacements are often expensive investments, you will want to make sure that your service provider can provide everything from high-quality assessments and roofing materials to reliable warranties, insurance and installation protocols.
From customization to high-quality service, our team at T. Simpson Roofing Ltd. will always have your best interest in mind.
If you are interested in learning more about your roofing options, click here or call 1-800-925-3044 for more information.