Your roof is the most important part of your home. It helps to keep your family safe, warm, and dry. A roof can also be one of the most expensive investments you can make, as repairing or replacing a roof is not a cheap job to complete.
Photo by Trygve Finkelsen
Luckily, there are several things that you can do to make your roof last longer. Considering the cost of replacing a roof is so high, it is recommended that homeowners complete several jobs regularly to maintain their roof and help to increase its lifespan.
Take a look at the guide below, which explains seven things you can do to help make sure your roof lasts for many years.
Clean the gutters regularly
Your gutters are in place to direct water away from your home when it rains. As water slides off your roof, it needs to be directed away from your walls to prevent water damage. If your gutters are filled with dirt, leaves, or debris, this can cause the gutters and downpipes to become clogged, meaning they won’t work effectively. This could cause damage to your roof or walls. You could also find that the water starts leaking into your home, which can cause even further damage.
With this in mind, it is recommended that you clean your gutters or have them professionally cleaned regularly, as debris can quickly build up in them – especially during the autumn months when the leaves are falling from the trees.
Get your roof inspected
You can usually tell the condition of your roof by simply looking at it. However, you won’t usually be able to see much if you don’t know what you’re looking for. This is why it’s much better to hire professionals to complete a roof inspection for you. A professional roofer will help you to identify small issues before they become much bigger, more expensive problems.
It’s a good idea to get your roof inspected regularly. Aim to have your roof inspected at least once each year. That way, you can prevent forking out on fixing costly damage down the line.
Trim trees or branches
Trees are a lovely addition to your garden. However, when they’re too close to your home, they can cause some problems. If you have trees with overhanging branches, these can cause damage to your roof. The branches may scratch the roof, pull away roof tiles or cause impact damage if the branches break and fall. Branches can also provide a path for pests to make their way onto your roof, which can result in further damage.
Trim any tree branches that hang directly over your roof. If this is too difficult to complete yourself, you may be better off hiring a professional, as it can be difficult and dangerous working at heights if you’re not experienced.
Add insulation to your home
Home insulation is great for keeping your home warm and lowering your energy bills, but it’s also great for helping your roof last longer. Good home insulation can protect your roof against a build-up of warm air. Warm air build-ups can deteriorate the roof shingles.
However, if you’re insulating your loft, be careful of the loft vents. The vents help to ventilate your loft properly and keep air flowing freely. If you accidentally block the vents with insulation, this can have a severe impact on your roof.
Clean your roof
In addition to regularly cleaning your gutters, you should also focus on regularly cleaning the roof itself. The roof of your home is the perfect environment for things like algae and moss to grow, so regular cleaning is essential.
It can be tempting to just give your roof a quick pressure wash and leave it at that. However, pressure washing your roof can actually cause severe damage to the shingles. Instead, it’s much better to scrub algae and moss with a scrubbing brush along with some soapy water. Alternatively, you can use a cleaner that is specifically designed to treat moss or algae. Either way, if you are not comfortable working at heights, you should hire professionals to clean your roof for you.
Professionals will have all of the tools and products required to get the job done properly and safely. Professionals will also be able to get right up on top of your roof and complete additional tasks, such as unblocking a roof valley or removing birds’ nests.
Repair roof shingles
As time goes on, the roof shingles on your roof will break, become loose, or fall off the roof. If you live in an area that is often susceptible to strong winds and heavy rain or snow, it’s much more common for roof shingles to become damaged or fly off. Inspect your roof and keep an eye out for any shingles that appear loose, curled, or missing altogether.
A broken or missing shingle can allow unwanted water to seep in through the roof and cause the structure below to start to rot. Not only can this cause some significant problems with the roofing structure, but it can also cause an increase in your energy bills. This is because a missing roof shingle can affect the efficiency of the roof. With this in mind, it is vital that you replace roof shingles that are missing or have become damaged.
Prevent ice dams
Ice dams are quite common, particularly in areas that are prone to very cold weather. Cleaning your gutters can help to prevent ice dams. However, there are some additional things you can do to help prevent them from happening.
Removing snow from your roof with a snow rake can help prevent ice dams. You will also need to winterise your home before the cold season arrives. Check that all of the areas below your roof, ridges, and eaves are getting good airflow to prevent any possibility of freezing. If an ice dam forms, this can prevent water from draining properly from your roof and may cause roof leaks and damage to your property.