Reader Question: What Can I Do To Extend The Lifetime Of My Shingle Roof?

Today, we continue our series of answering your questions by addressing a subject that’s a chief concern for every homeowner – extending the lifetime of your roof. Your roof is your home’s most important layer of defense against the elements. It protects your family and all of your precious belongings, and keeping it in good condition should be a top priority. With that in mind, let’s tackle today’s reader question:

What can I do to extend the lifetime of my shingle roof?

With the extreme heat we get down here in Texas, a shingled roof typically lasts between 18-25 years, depending on the thickness and the grade of the shingle. Periodic inspections and maintenance are essential to catching any issues early on before they progress to the point that they become serious problems, especially with the harsh weather we often experience and with the condition of Texas soil causing homes to shift and sealants to fail on roofs. Remember, replacing a roof is expensive, with the average cost ranging from about $16,000 to $29,000 depending on the quality of materials, according to the 2014 Cost vs. Value Report from Remodeling magazine.

But the real question is how often should you have your roof inspected, and how often should you perform various maintenance tasks on it?

We suggest having your shingle roof inspected thoroughly every 2 to 3 years by a professional contractor. A complete inspection every couple of years is the best way to capture issues early on before they progress to the point that costly repairs are required. A professional can walk your roof and identify these issues and fix them promptly to prevent problems and help extend the lifetime of your roof.

Why only every 2 to 3 years?

You want to minimize foot traffic on your shingles. If people are regularly walking on your roof, the integrity of the shingles can become compromised as the granular surface that helps protect the asphalt from the sun’s harmful UV rays can break loose and thus expose your roof to sun damage.

DIY Roofing Maintenance Tips

While it’s best to bring a professional out to your home every few years to inspect your roof, there are still simple maintenance tasks you can do on your own to help preserve the health of your roof. These include:

[list style=”circle” color=”green”]

  • Clean your gutters to prevent overflow onto your roof, potentially leading to rotting of roof rafters and sheathing.
  • Remove any leaves and branches that have accumulated on your roof.
  • Trim overhanging branches to keep leaves, moss, and pests off your roof.
  • Do a quick inspection of your roof after any heavy storm, looking for missing shingles, damaged flashing, etc. This can be done from ground level.
  • Take swift action to repair any issues as you notice them.

[/list]

A little maintenance can go a long way to keeping your roof in prime condition for as long as possible. Have any other roofing maintenance questions? Leave a comment below and we’ll answer!