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7 Way to Make Your Roof Last Longer

Man cleaning the rooftop from pine

Your roof is a principal component of your home, and if you live in a single family dwelling – it’s your roof alone. You’ve bought it,paid for it, and we imagine you’d like to get as many years out of it as possible. Needless to say, re roofing a home is an expensive venture. But when you get to that point, it’s not an optional one. You have to replace it!

As a premiere home restoration service provider here in Vancouver, those of us here at Urban Environmental have learned a thing or two (or two hundred) about what it takes to properly maintain a roof, so we’ll share some of that with you today.

All of this is particularly relevant given the fact that we live in the Lower Mainland of BC, which is a rain forest and gets a LOT of precipitation in the winter, not to mention the constant dampness that means your roof may still be wet long after the rain has stopped. There’s nothing you can do stop Mother Nature’s fondness for the wet stuff, so you’re only option is to be proactive in maintaining your roof

Here are seven tips and insights on how you can make your roof last for decades.

  1. General Inspections

If you want your roof to serve you for decades, you need to inspect your roof on a regular basis to see if there is no definitive structural damage occurring. Moreover, you need to do a thorough check-up before the onset of winter and after the wet season has passed. You will probably notice cracks and other points of breakage. Make sure you start your inspection at the ceiling. Keep an eye on rust when checking metallic materials on the roof. Ensure the flashing is in good condition. The general examination is important because it tells you if the roof needs repair.

If you notice something that looks damaged or not quite right in any way, now is definitely the time to move on it and prevent it from degenerating further.

  1.   Frequent Gutter Cleaning

Your gutters are hard working fellas, and if they don’t ever get a reprieve from all the debris and whatnot that accumulates there then you’re going to eventually have problems. Clean them – thoroughly and regularly.

It ‘s not a good idea attempting to clean from the top of the roof. What you need to do is to stand firmly on a ladder, making sure to avoid the top three rungs. You will need two buckets; one for the debris and another for the tools you will use. It is safe to use wire hooks when attaching the buckets to the ladder, and the best place to start cleaning is the downspout. A trowel is essential in removing large debris. For finer materials, a hose can be used to flush them. If you see the water not draining after cleaning, it may be a sign of the downspout clogging. Take the time to carefully remove the downspout and clear it before re-affixing it. Take the time to do it correctly – it’s well worth it in the long run

  1. Repair Broken Gutters

Yes, this is a more tedious task than cleaning, but if you do in fact have broken or damaged gutters you definitely want to be putting in the work now rather than later. If after you flush the gutters there is standing water remaining, it is a sign that the gutter needs repair. If the gutter doesn’t slope well, you should detach the hangers and fix the drain. Check if the hooks are missing and replace them. If the channel lengths are not tight, repair the seams. Apply some paint to cover any rusting so that the circuit may look desirable. There is usually a close connection between the gutters and the roof. If water is not flowing well, the water may overflow from the gutters, and later spread on the roofs.

Long story short, water and debris that linger in a gutter can (and likely will) become a threat to your roof’s structural integrity. Be proactive in repairing your gutters to

  1. Get Rid of Moss

Nip this problem in the bud. As soon as moss growth appears, get up there and remove it thoroughly. If you get after it right away it won’t take long or be a particularly laborious job. Moss affects asphalt and wood in particular. Moss starts growth as a thin layer between and on the shingles. With time, they lift the shingles and water can seep through, which can then lead to wood rotting. Don’t use a pressure washer – it can damage the shingles. Many home renovation and supply stores sell a moss remover product.

To prevent moss from returning, you can install copper or zinc coated metal sheets beneath the top ridge on either side of the roof.

  1. Trim Overhanging Branches

Overhanging tree branches aren’t harmless. Not only do they let wildlife access your house with greater ease, they can actually damage the roof themselves. While trimming tree branches, you need to take more care, especially while dealing with the large ones. The safest process is to cut the branches into small sections. It allows for easier removal without the risk of damaging the roof. Don’t hesitate to call in a tree trimming service if you think the job is going to be too much for you. Cut branches that tumble onto your roof can actually cause the damage you’re working to prevent.

  1. Remove Rust Spots on Flashing

Any iron or steel component that’s directly exposed on a roof top is going to rust. That’s just how it is. The rust will then stain – and degrade – your shingles or other roofing material. Keep the spots clean  by hosing them several times a year. Also considering using an additional sealant coating on the shingles that are in the path of the rusty water as it trickles away from the metal. Again it’s time consuming, but again it’s worth it.

  1. Replace Blistered Shingles

There are two primary reasons why shingles blister. The first is when moisture becomes trapped and then exterior temperatures vary. The other problem is when the roof is installed poorly and not properly ventilated. Blistering shingles are not a concern to many people if they still keep granules, but if allowed to continue unchecked they will eventually pop. When this occurs, it dislocates the granules. The shingles then become exposed to the UV rays, and the loss rate for the granules increases rapidly. Which eventually leads to – you guessed it – leaking. To prevent blistered shingles from progressing to this stage, replace them when you see the first signs of blistering. Replacing during the warmer months of spring or summer is highly advisable.

This is only an introduction. There’s much more you can do to maintain your roof long-term, so feel free to do some online research of your own. And of course, for any property restoration needs in Vancouver or the surrounding areas, you’re always in the best hands with Urban Environmental.