Your Roof’s LongevityThere are many factors that can contribute to how long your roof lasts. These include:
- The material your roof is made of; slate, copper, and aluminum roofs will last longer than asphalt roofs.
- The location you are in; areas with more moderate climates tend to have roofs that last a little longer than those in areas with a lot of sun, wind, hail, or rain.
- The kind of maintenance you put in; regular roof maintenance is key to ensuring that your roof lasts the maximum lifespan. Maintenance includes regular inspections, removing snow in the winter, keeping your gutters clear, removing moss and algae, and replacing missing, broken, or curling shingles.
Get Attic VentilationYou may wonder what your attic has to do with how long your roof lasts, but proper attic ventilation can go a long way toward maintaining the integrity of your roof. Attic vents help keep air moving. This ensures that your attic doesn’t become super heated in the summer, or that the warm air rising in your home doesn’t become trapped there in the winter. Without the buildup of heat below it, your roof will not get as overheated in the summer, which will help prevent early deterioration of your shingles. And without a warm attic in the winter, the snow on your roof is less likely to melt, run to the edge of your roof, and refreeze into an ice dam that will force water to back up under your shingles. Most attics are under ventilated, and many roofing contractors will also install attic vents at the same time they replace your roof. Investing in additional vents will not only help your roof last longer, they’ll help your home stay more comfortable as well.
Stripping Old ShinglesIt is possible to layer a set of asphalt shingles over an old set. And some homeowners choose to do this to cut down on the cost of roof replacement. Unfortunately, this can cause some problems that may eventually lead to your roof deteriorating faster. First, you can only layer shingles once. So if you already have two layers, you risk the third layer not adhering as well to the roof, and causing problems with leaks. Second, many roofs aren’t redone all at once. So if you only need a partial reroofing, the newer section and the older section probably won’t match one another at the peak. The ridge cap has to be modified to help disguise this, which can lead to potential leaks in this area down the road. Finally, if the original set of shingles was in poor shape, you won’t know what was going on below them if you don’t pull them up. Wood rot, mold, and mildew are all issues found with a leaking roof. When you seal all that in with a new layer of shingles, you could be risking the integrity of the roof deck, and leading to much higher repair bills down the road. By stripping the old shingles, you can ensure that there are no problems with the roof deck before you reroof. You can also ensure that the new shingles go on properly and that the correct underlayments are used so you have fewer leaks in the future.
Using Good MaterialsDepending on the type of home you live in, and the climate your house is in, you may want to consider one of a few different roofing materials to help ensure the longevity of your roof. Architectural shingles, for example, last on average about 10 years longer than standard shingles. They’re thicker, with a different installation method than the standard three-tab shingles, which gives them a better appearance and a longer life. Standing seam metal roofs are also growing in popularity amongst homeowners for the simple reason that this type of roof can last for a lot longer with less maintenance than a traditional asphalt shingle roof. If you have a modern or rustic home, this style of roof fits right in and can last twice as long as an asphalt roof. Metal shingles are also available to give you a more traditional look, but with the same longevity as well. If you have an historic home, and want to put the money into it, copper and slate roofs can last for a hundred years or more. These materials are expensive and difficult to find a contractor for, but their longevity and relative low maintenance combined with their beauty makes them well worth it for many homeowners.
Invest in Your RoofThere’s a lot riding on your roof, from the way your house looks to how well it holds up to the elements. Make sure your roof lasts as long as possible by investing in these methods. Over time, you’ll find it more than worth the effort.
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