Roofs are expensive, there’s no getting around it. Whether you’ve just moved into a new home, are concerned about the lifespan of your current roof, or are looking for a new, durable roof, investing in a roof that will keep your family warm and dry for decades to come is always a top priority. While we can’t promise you a roof that will last forever, we can give you a few tips to keep your roof around for as long as possible – which is at least 20 years with an asphalt roof, and at least 40 with a metal roof. The best way to keep your roof in shape through the decades is to take the time to do some regular upkeep. Here are a few things to think about when working to extend the life of your roof:
Insulate Your Attic
One of the best things you can do to ensure your roof hangs around for a while is to keep your attic well-insulated and leak free. Ice dams cause major roof destruction, especially in Michigan, and happen when an attic is poorly insulated. When heat from inside your home escapes through the roof, ice dams form when the snow on your roof melts, and then freezes at the gutter line. Ice dams can wreak havoc on your roof, and come spring, you might notice you have some serious leaks and need either a big repair or a new roof.
So, to keep your roof in tip-top shape, it’s important that your attic has the insulation needed to keep the heat in your house and the cold outside where it belongs. While you’re up there, you’ll also want to check for any leaks or holes in the roof as well. If you find any, be sure to get them repaired immediately. Otherwise, you’re leaving your roof vulnerable to water damage that will destroy the structural integrity of your roof and can lead to serious mold problems.
Inspect Weak Points
While it’s likely that you’re already checking for minor noticeable roof damage on a regular basis, have you also been checking the weak points of your roof? Chimney flashings, skylights, and valleys are the most vulnerable parts of any roof and should be regularly inspected to ensure they’re not leaking. When roofs are hit with alternately hot and freezing temperatures, sometimes this flashing can expand and contract, eventually pulling away from the edges, thus creating leaks and holes that can be detrimental later. These are all issues that are easily fixed with new strips of flashing––if you’re handy you can probably even do it yourself! But if they’re not caught early, they can cause serious problems that shorten the life expectancy of your roof.
Check for Critter Infestations
While you’re completing regular inspections in the attic and on the roof, it’s important to make sure you’re also looking for signs of insect and pest infestations. Since most roof support systems are made of wood, they’re extremely attractive, secluded hiding places for little critters. And if you’re not checking the area regularly, these infestations can get out of hand quicker than you’d like. A lot of insects and animals – like carpenter bees, termites, and even squirrels – can cause major damage by gnawing through the supports in your roof or chewing through electrical wires.
Get a Regular Roofing Professional
If you’re really looking to get the most out of your roof, it’s a good idea to consider signing up with a roofing professional long-term. Many roofing companies offer regular inspection programs––you simply sign up, and they agree to come out and inspect your roof once or twice a year on a regular schedule. This way, you know your roof is always getting the attention it needs, and your roofing professional can let you know as soon as they see something that could be an issue. This means you get small repairs taken care of before they become major issues, saving you money and keeping your roof looking great for many years to come!
Invest in a Metal Roof
Finally, if you’re here because you’re looking for a roof that will last the lifetime of your home, you might consider investing in a metal roof. The average metal roof can last anywhere from 40 to 60 years, and many of them can last much longer than that with proper upkeep. The benefits of a metal roof are many, the only drawback being the slightly higher upfront cost. But if roof durability is your biggest concern, then a metal roof is probably worth the cost for you. Requiring even less maintenance than an asphalt roof, a metal roof is guaranteed to last the lifetime you’re looking for.
Whether you’ve decided to stick with your trusty asphalt roof or switch to a heavier-duty metal roof, we hope these suggestions help your roof last as long as possible. Be sure to check out this blog post for more tips on extending the life of your roof. And if you have any questions about the state of your roof, or would like to request an inspection, be sure to get in touch with the experts at Werner Roofing! We’re a local, West Michigan roofing company, and we’d love to answer any roofing questions you’ve got. Give our office a call at 616-844-5382 or request a free roofing estimate online today!