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Extend The Life Of Your Roof In 3 Simple Steps

new roofA new roof is one of the more expensive exterior home improvements a homeowner can make.  However, a new roof can net a return on investment of up to 89% in 2014 if you take good care of it.  Whether our customers are trying to extend the life of their current roof or are enjoying a brand new roof expertly installed by our team, the experts at Windows on Washington are often asked, "How can I extend the life of my roof and keep it looking great?"  As always, when our customers have questions, we have answers. Our experts put together 3 simple tasks to help to extend the life of your roof and prevent serious damage before it occurs.  Of course, we never recommend that a homeowner climb a roof if they are not comfortable, prepared and safe.  Always call a professional if you need assistance. 

1. Inspect

  • Skylights – Inspect the seals around your skylight. Often debris can get stuck or wedged around the edge of a skylight, degrading the seal. If your seal is cracked or worn, reapply sealant to prevent leaks. It is critical to keep water from penetrating a worn seal, for moisture can cause significant damage to the roof or the roof deck.
  • Flashing – Inspect the flashing around your chimney and vents. These areas of the roof are the most prone to leaks. Again, proper sealing of this area will prevent the moisture seeping into your roof and causing further damage.
  • Roofing Material – Inspect your roof to make sure the shingles, shakes or metal decking is not cracking or lifting. If the roofing material is damaged, we would suggest these areas be repaired to avoid additional damage to the exterior and interior of the home.
  • Attic – Inspect the visible underside of your roof in the attic. Look for damage or staining on the plywood, as these indicate that the roof is leaking.  Any watermarks should be assessed to determine where the leak is coming from and fix it before more extensive damage happens.

2. Clean

  • Debris – Keeping your roof free from debris will extend its lifespan. Moisture can be trapped under debris, which will degrade the roofing material over time. In addition, debris may prevent proper water flow off your roof which can result in damage to other roof areas, overflowing of gutters and accelerated roof aging.
  • Algae and Fungus – Algae and fungus growth on roofs are a common problem for homeowners in the Northern Virginian and Maryland areas. Cleaning these growths from the roof with a bleach solution will help prevent damage and pre-mature aging as well as unsightly black streaking. 
  • Gutters – Cleaning your gutters of debris, leaves and sticks will prevent any disruption in water drainage from your roof. If gutters become full or clogged, rain water will spill over the top of the gutter and onto lower areas of the roof. As the roof below is not built to handle this increased water flow, the roofing material will show wear and can develop leaks over time.

3. Remove

  • Water – Removing water from your roof seems obvious to keeping your roof intact for many years to come. Look out for moisture pooling on the roof and eliminate the cause of the puddling.   Standing water is the fastest way to ruin and shorten the life expectancy of a roof.
  • Snow – If your home is hit with a heavy snow storm, removing the weight of the snow will extend the life of your roof.  Removing the snow prevents your roof from buckling due to the increased weight and keeps your roofing material in good shape by preventing long term moisture exposure as the snow melts.
  • Tree Branches – Tree branches that have a tendency to grow over a roof should be removed for two reasons. First, removal will prevent them from breaking off and damaging your roof during a storm.  Second, removal will allow your roof deck to dry out completely in between storms.  Since tree branches cause shade and trap moisture, the roofing material in these areas will wear far faster than a roof that can dry out completely.
If you find any damage on your roof while you are inspecting, cleaning or removing damaged elements from it, give the experts at Windows on Washington a call.  We would be happy to evaluate your current roof and make suggestions for a repair or replacement without the hassle of high pressure sales.  Click the link below to ask a Windows on Washington roofing specialist all your toughest questions.
Roofing eBook

Topics: Roofing