How can I make my roof last longer?

A quality roof in good repair is essential to a well-functioning home. The average lifespan of a roof is 25-50 years, depending on the type of material used. That being said, all homes will require a new roof at some point. How can you make your roof last as long as possible? Keep reading to find out.
Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson

Follow These Tips

Some of the best tips for making your roof last longer are:

    ● Trim any trees or branches hanging over the roof.
    ● Clear all debris from your gutters.
    ● Remove snow immediately after a shower.
    ● Clear mold and moss growth regularly.
    ● Don’t power-wash your shingles.
    ● Insulate the attic to limit ice buildup.
    ● Keep a proper maintenance schedule.

Watch For Warning Signs

Yearly inspections are crucial for ensuring the longevity of your roof. Look for water stains or signs of water infiltration, as these can indicate underlying issues that require repair.
[Remember] to check your gutters regularly as well. A buildup of granules from your roof in your gutters is a clear sign that your roof needs repair.

Never ignore the warning signs your roof gives you, such as missing, cracked, or broken shingles, excessive moss growth, water stains in your attic, or even a small leak. Addressing these issues quickly can help you avoid more significant expenses in the future.

A roof repair costs around $900, which is just a fraction of what a roof replacement could cost you if any damage becomes irreparable.

Charlotte Granville

Charlotte Granville

Home Remodeling Specialist at
Jack Williams

Jack Williams

CEO and Founder of Handyman Reviewed.

Plan And Take Precautions

Proper Drainage:
Proper drainage is essential for extending the life of your roof. A poorly designed or clogged drainage system can lead to water buildup, which can cause damage to your roof and lead to leaks.

Ensure your roof has adequate slope and gutter systems for proper water drainage. Regularly clean your gutters and downspouts to prevent blockages and ensure water flows freely away from your roof.

Install A Protective Barrier:
Installing a protective barrier, such as an ice and water shield or synthetic underlayment, can significantly extend the lifespan of your roof. These barriers are designed to prevent water penetration, even in the case of a damaged shingle or other roof covering. They provide an additional layer of protection against moisture and leaks, which can help prolong the life of your roof.

Limit Foot Traffic:
Limiting foot traffic on your roof can help minimize wear and tear and extend the lifespan of your roof. Walking on your roof can cause damage to shingles or tiles and create opportunities for leaks.

Avoid walking on your roof unless necessary, and if you must, take precautions such as wearing soft-soled shoes and placing boards or panels on the roof to distribute weight.

Address Nearby Trees:
Trees can be a significant hazard to your roof, as overhanging branches can scrape or damage shingles and fallen leaves can accumulate and create blockages in gutters. Address nearby trees by trimming branches that hang over your roof and removing any dead trees or branches that could fall and damage your roof.

Consider These 10 Tips

    1. Routine Inspections: Schedule regular roof inspections, ideally once in spring and once in fall. Additionally, after severe weather events, check for any visible damage. This includes missing, loose, or damaged shingles and any leaks or water stains in your attic.

    2. Proper Ventilation: Ensure that your roof and attic are properly ventilated. Without proper ventilation, heat and moisture can accumulate, leading to rotting of the roof structure and damaging shingles.

    3. Clean Gutters and Downspouts: Regularly clean your gutters and downspouts to prevent water backup, which can lead to rot and damage.

    4. Remove Debris: Debris like leaves, branches, or dirt can accumulate on your roof, holding moisture against it and potentially leading to mold or rot. Clean your roof regularly to prevent this buildup.

    5. Trim Overhanging Branches: If you have trees near your home, trim any overhanging branches. Falling branches can damage shingles and other roofing materials, and the shade from overhanging trees can promote moss or algae growth.

    6. Prevent Ice Dams: If you live in a colder climate, prevent the formation of ice dams by ensuring your attic is well insulated. Ice dams can cause water to back up under your shingles, leading to leaks and other damage.

    7. Repair Damage Promptly: Address minor damage promptly to prevent it from becoming a major problem. This includes replacing missing or damaged shingles and repairing leaks as soon as they’re spotted.

    8. Avoid Walking on the Roof: Limit walking on the roof to prevent damage. If you must walk on the roof, tread lightly and avoid causing damage to shingles or other roofing materials.

    9. Use Quality Roofing Material: Invest in high-quality roofing material if you’re replacing your roof. Better materials are more durable and can greatly extend the life of your roof.

    10. Professional Help: Consider hiring a professional for regular maintenance and repairs. Professionals have the necessary skills, experience, and tools to maintain your roof properly.

Remember, safety should always be your first priority. If you’re not comfortable performing any of these tasks, hire a professional to do them for you.

Walter E. Bennett

Walter E. Bennett

Professional Handyman at Green Leaf Air.
Vincent Zhu

Vincent Zhu

Founder of AcsLocks.

Proper Attic Insulation And Ventilation Are Vital

Ensure Proper Attic Insulation
Correctly installed insulation will keep your roof safe from damage, reduce energy costs, and keep your home at a suitable temperature. Insulation protects heat from escaping in the winter and allows cool air to stay inside during the summer.

Avoid condensation and moisture buildup on the roof’s underside [with] effective insulation. This keeps rot and mold at bay. Shingles are additionally shielded from deterioration by hot air exposure by attic insulation. The price to install attic insulation ranges from $1500 to $3,000.

Look At The Ventilation
Soffits and vents in your attic that are inadequate or in the wrong place can lead to condensation on the plywood decking that supports your roof tiles, which can cause decay. The same thing might happen with an improperly placed exhaust fan.

I visit many residences where the bathroom vents directly into the attic and causes a problem. You can’t just decide for yourself what that is. A contractor can examine your system and provide recommendations for improvements, potentially saving you money and hassle in the long run.

Keep Roof Clean And Check For Mold

One of the most common ways to maintain roofs and make them last longer is to clean them. However, checking for signs of mold and moss is often forgotten. This is a big mistake, especially if you have an asphalt roof.

Once there are signs of molds or moss in the roof, water or moisture has [got] in. Treating them with chemicals is necessary to prevent the damage from spreading. Applying a sealant can greatly help [the issue] and reduce the possibility of water from creeping into the roof again.

Vickie Larue

Vickie Larue

Edward Haris

Edward Haris

CEO and Founder of Phoenix Review.

Regular Inspections And Maintenance Are Essential

Regular inspections and maintenance are essential for detecting any signs of damage or wear on the roof. Inspect your roof at least twice yearly, especially in the spring and fall or after a major storm. Examine the roof for missing or broken shingles, leaks, and other problems.

Address any issues you discover as soon as possible to avoid further damage. Regularly cleaning gutters, clearing debris, and cutting overhanging branches will help [prevent] water accumulation, ice dams, and other concerns that can affect the lifespan of your roof.

Proper ventilation and insulation are required for a healthy roof. A properly ventilated roof allows hot air and moisture to escape, minimizing condensation buildup that can lead to mold, damage, and deterioration. Adequate insulation aids with temperature regulation and lowers roof stress caused by extreme heat or cold. Adequate ventilation and insulation can extend the life of your roof.

Investing in high-quality roofing materials is critical for your roof’s longevity. Quality materials are more robust, weather resistant, and have a longer lifespan. Consider the climate in your area, the slope of your roof, and the unique needs of your property when choosing materials. Consult a professional roofer to evaluate which materials best suit your demands and budget.

Addressing any roof issues as soon as possible and investing in professional maintenance will dramatically increase the life of your roof. Ignoring minor leaks, damaged shingles, or flashing concerns can lead to major damage and costly repairs in the future.

Hire a professional roofer for repairs and set up regular maintenance appointments to keep your roof in good shape.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors' statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.