The roof is undoubtedly a vital part of your home and keeping it in proper shape should be high priority. There are many different types of roofing materials in the market, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Nonetheless, each type of roof has to be maintained in some way, as it allows you to discover the little problems before they erupt into big ones.
Below are tips to extend the lifespan of your roof:
1. Be Involved
In many cases, the building owners fail to do their homework before they choose a roofing solution. Most of them tend to rely on others, such as a roofing contractor, a consultant, architect, or the purchasing department to make the various decisions.
However, it’s always advisable for the building owner to stay knowledgeable about the condition of the roof. This way, they will be much better at making the purchasing, repair, installation, and maintenance decisions regarding their roof. After all, it’s the owner who’ll have to live with the end result.
2. Choose a Roof from a Reputable Manufacturer
There are multitudes of roofing materials to choose from, and it might be a bit overwhelming to choose the material that will offer you years, or possibly decades of repair-free performance. The secret here is choosing a roof from a manufacturer with a proven track record, ideally one that has been in the business for years.
It’s also wise to confirm that the manufacturer is reputable and respected by the top roofing contractors. Good contractors will always lean towards quality products, since they know they’ll deliver impressive performance to their clients.
In general, a quality roof meets the following criteria:
It’s straightforward to inspect and repair when needed.
Doesn’t require resurfacing or recoating. Some roof systems might need to be “rejuvenated” periodically to perform well in the long run
Features a hot-air welded seam. Adhesive or tape sealing are known to cause maintenance issues on the seams. Hot-air seam are generally much stronger and can withstand the elements for a long time.
3. Proper Design that suits your Home
To maximize the life expectancy of your roof and reduce the need for regular maintenance, there are a number of things you should consider:
Penetrations: In general, the fewer the number of penetration on your roof, the better. If possible, place the various HVAC units on the ground, to keep the mechanics off the roof and prevent careless damage. It’s also wise to allow enough space between penetration clusters, so that each penetration can be individually flashed.
Slope: Roofs should have a minimum slope of at least 0.25 inch per foot (horizontally). If water ponds on the roof, it could lead to premature deterioration of some roofing materials.
Flashings and terminations: For a watertight, durable roofing system, make sure that the vertical flashings are extended at least 18 inches from the roof, for things like roof hatches, skylights, and fans. Have a system in place that reduces the reliance on sealants, which are a major source of maintenance.
Roof thickness: If your roof is heavily trafficked or located in an area that’s prone to damage, it’s best to have a thicker membrane for additional support. Most roof manufacturers include walkways systems in their roofing system to protect it from damage from people who traffic the roof to service the communication equipment, plumbing, and HVAC units. So, specify these walkways and insist that they be used.
4. Choose a Trained and Certified Roofer for Repairs, Installations, and Maintenance
The modern roofing systems are increasingly becoming complex. For a quality installation that will stand the test of time, one that offers years of repair-free performance, it’s recommended that you hire a trained and certified roofing contractor.
Working with a professional roofing contractor will help to minimize the hassle and cost of emergency roof repairs, since such contractors are ideally trained on the best practices of installing specific kinds of roofs.
5. Don’t Forget to Clean the Roof
When done professionally, roof cleaning is a great way to keep up the aesthetics of a clean roof, and to improve their lifespan.
For instance, if you have asphalt shingle roofs in an area where they are in a constant shade, it might cause the growth of algae, which typically feeds on the microscopic particles of limestone that makes up the shingles. This growth commonly appears as a dark green or black staining on the roof, which can take a toll on the aesthetics of your roof.
6. Understand the Causes of Normal Damage
There are three key common occurrences that account for the typical damage on roofs:
Weather and the Elements: Rain and other sources of water can ruin the insulation or the roof, and in turn cause serious damage to the roof. Debris and leaves have to be cleaned from the drains on a regular basis to prevent damage. Certain materials can easily contract and expand with freeze-thaw cycles, which could damage them in the long run, or damage the seams if they are not hot-air welded.
Physical damage: Your roofing contractor and other people who traffic the roof can inadvertently cause damage, especially if they aren’t trained on the best practices for taking care of it. For instance, a worker might drop a tool that punctures the roof or spill a liquid that eats away certain roof materials. Spending too much time in one place might lead to excessive pressure, which causes deterioration.
Regular wear and tear: regular roof inspections, especially in good weather will help spot any age-related deterioration and damaged seals, for timely repair.