Living in a home without a roof is like living in a tent without walls. While it might be a fun time for kids and campers, it’s not exactly a sustainable lifestyle. And when it comes to roofs, many factors come into play when trying to figure out the lifespan of your roof. These factors include the age of the structure itself, the materials used in its construction, and the climate conditions in which it is used. Perhaps the biggest factor that can improve the lifespan of your roof is the way you maintain it. Here are some ways to keep your roof as long as possible.

Clean Algae, Debris, and Mildew

Algae growing on your gutters or other areas where water sits for an extended period will eventually cause rot. To prevent this, clean the area around your gutter regularly using water with a little bit of bleach added (or dish soap) so that algae do not grow and debris will not collect and begin to clog the downspouts. If mildew begins to form, use something like a mixture of vinegar and baking soda (1 part vinegar, 2 parts baking soda) to clean away any mold before it becomes too severe and causes structural damage. The solution may need to be reapplied every few days to ensure it continues to work.

Keep It Dry

Keeping your roof dry helps reduce the number of algae and mildew that grows underneath it. Overly rainy weather tends to encourage mold growth. A good rule of thumb is to keep your gutters clear by removing debris and leaves, especially during the summer months. Also, make sure your roof is well-ventilated. This can be accomplished by keeping vents open through windows, doors, and crawl spaces.

Inspect Regularly

A yearly check of your roof can help identify potential problems long before they become serious issues. With a little care, you can extend the lifetime of your roof considerably. Take note of any spots that appear damaged and how much snow has accumulated on top of them. When winter arrives, take extra care to keep any shingles free of ice build-up. Water seeping in between the shingle layers can lead to rotting and cracking.

Install Gutters

Gutters act as a catch basin for rain water pouring off your roof’s sides. They also channel excess water away from your house, helping to prevent damage. Not only can gutters save you money on repairs down the road, but they also help protect against moisture damage to your basement, foundation, and attic. So if you don’t have gutters installed yet, now is the best time! Roofing contractors can install new ones quickly and efficiently while ensuring no damage occurs.

Sealants and Coatings

Sealant coatings are commonly applied to the bottom of metal roofs to repel water. But what about those wooden and tile roofs? These types of structures require a different type of sealant coat to protect them from moisture. Many people believe that wood and tile roofs cannot withstand excessive amounts of water exposure.

If you want to make sure your roof lasts a long time, try implementing a few of these tips. You should consider making changes, whether they are big or small. Small maintenance projects can go a long way towards improving the lifetime of your roof. Even if you have a brand new roof, remember to follow these tips from time to time because even perfectly maintained roofs can still experience leaks. That’s why maintaining your roof year after year is important.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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