When you have a new roof installed, it can be quite a relief. You finally feel confident that you have an intact, durable roof to protect your home. You stop worrying every time the wind picks up or the forecast predicts rain. Indeed, a new roof can bring peace of mind and safety.
However, if you want your new roof to keep offering this same protection for years to come, you can’t just ignore it. Even new roofs should be properly maintained and cared for if you want them to stand the test of time.
So, how can you take care of your new roof and extend its life? Here are the core components of good roof maintenance.
Properly Installed Gutters
Gutters are essential for the longevity of your roof. They ensure water is gathered and drains off your roof properly, reducing the roof’s exposure to moisture. If you don’t already have gutters on your roof, the best thing you can do is add them. Hire a reputable gutter company so you can ensure they are installed properly in a way that won’t damage your roof. Gutters need to be pitched properly, and downspouts need to be spaced properly for a gutter system to do its job. So a DIY approach is not recommended here.
If you already have gutters, take a look at how they’re working the next time it rains. Is water flowing down the downspouts as intended? If you see water pouring over the edges of gutters or leaking from the seams, it’s time to have some work done on your gutters.
Good Attic Insulation
Most people think of attic insulation as a means to keep your home warm. But attic insulation also exists to protect your roof. A good layer of insulation reduces the heat that passes through your roof. Roofing materials are only made to withstand so much heat. Reducing the heat burden, over time, will reduce the amount of wear and tear your roof experiences.
If you only have one layer of insulation in your attic, have a second one added. You may also want to consider upgrading from fiberglass to spray foam, which has a higher R-value.
Flashing is the metal that surrounds chimneys and sewer vents. You may also have flashing in your roof valleys. Sometimes, this flashing can be loosened by high winds, or if a tree branch brushes against it in the right way. If you can see your roof flashing from the ground, take a look at it now and then. If you ever see it peeling or flapping in the wind, call a qualified roofer. Loose and damaged flashing will allow water to seep under your roof materials, which can lead to premature roof damage.
Adequate Attic Ventilation
Your attic needs to breathe in order for your roof to remain in good condition. Poor ventilation, like poor insulation, will allow the roof to get too warm, too often. Go into your attic space, and make sure there’s no insulation or other materials pushed up against the roof vents. If your attic seems overly moist and warm, consider having your roofer add some more vents. An extra ridge vent or a few extra soffit vents can go a long way toward keeping your attic cooler and your roof in better condition.
You don’t have to climb up on a ladder and sweep your roof. In fact, we recommend that you don’t do this. It’s just not worth the risk. However, we do recommend having your roof cleaned from time to time. This is especially important if you notice any moss growth on the roof, or if you often see big piles of leaves up there.
Leaves and other debris can trap moisture against the roof materials and cause accelerated deterioration. Clearing them away allows the roof to dry properly. Moss will rapidly accelerate roof deterioration. Luckily, it is fairly easy for roofers to remove in its early stages of growth. Do not try power washing moss away by yourself; this will simply cause more roof damage by wearing away the granules on your shingles.
Have the company that installed your roof come out for annual inspections. They’ll fix little problems, like loose flashing, before they lead to more significant damage. And if there is ever a bigger issue with your roof, regular inspections ensure it does not go unnoticed for long.
With good maintenance, your roof will continue protecting you for many years to come. If you’re looking for a roof repair and maintenance company in Central Florida, Orlando, Tampa, or the surrounding areas, contact Alan’s Roofing. We offer comprehensive maintenance and repair services, along with thorough roof inspections at both residential and commercial properties.