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How To Make Your Roof Last Longer

Question: As a homeowner, what can I do to help maintain and prolong the life of my roof?

Answer: Besides regular inspections, there are some things homeowners can do keep their roofs in good shape, and to prolong the life of a roof:

  • Keep trees trimmed to prevent the branches from scratching the shingles, and to avoid damage from falling limbs. Squirrels and raccoons can also reach the roof easily via touching limbs, and can cause extensive damage to roofs.
  • Use preventive measures to prevent punctures in the roof when installing television antennas or other wiring.
  • Always replace missing or damaged shingles as soon as possible.
  • Never walk directly on the roof – you can damage the shingles.To inspect the roof, use a ladder or walk board.
  • Make sure you have good ventilation in the attic, even during the winter.
  • Keep your roof maintained.An asphalt shingle roof – the most common kind – can be expected to last 15 to 20 years.
  • Keep gutters, roof valleys, and flat portions of the roof free of debris.

Question: What are some common things I can do to check for roof leaks?

Answer: Little roof leaks can cause big repair bills.To keep leaks and excessive bills from coming up, learn how to protect your roof and your pocket
book by taking preventive action.

Although you should rely on a professional inspector to inspect your roof, if you decide to do the inspection yourself, there are some tips you should follow:

  • Check your roof in the autumn, before winter weather hits, and again in the spring to assess any damage.
  • The best time to check for roof leaks is during a heavy rain. Look for water flowing over the tops of gutters, sagging gutters, leaks at gutter seams, or water pooling on the roof or in the valleys of the roof.
  • In the attic and on the roof, look for signs of mold. This means that moisture has gathered at some point, and could indicate a nearby leak
  • Inspect the attic, and look for water stains, moisture, or dark colored areas that could indicate wet wood or soft spots that could be dry rot.
  • Examine the gutters for leaks, cracks, and weak spots. Make sure the gutters are still firmly attached.

Most importantly, have your roof checked as part of a regular professional home inspection. A professional home inspector can troubleshoot potential roof problems, saving you costly repairs, time, and trouble.

Courtesy of AmeriSpec Home Inspections

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