Simple Steps to Extend the Life of Your Roof and Avoid Unexpected Costs

Unless you’re in a storm situation, replacing your roof out of pocket can be a significant investment. Being out of site to some degree, it’s easy to overlook the importance of your roofing system. But it’s one of the most costly components of your home.

The National Roofing Contractor’s Association (NRCA) reports a new roof can cost $10,000 for a 2,000 square foot roof to up to six figures for a slate roof for a larger home. The most important think you can do is to keep your roof clean. Leaves, limbs and other debris can make water move into areas where it’s not supposed to go.

You must remember though that safety should be your primary concern and focus. If you do not have the right equipment, hire a professional to inspect your roof. People do not realize the danger a ladder can cause. The ladder must extend over the gutter by at least four feet, and at the proper angle.

Enlisting a helper is also a must. Have someone hold the bottom of the ladder to make it secure. Wear soft-soled shoes for added grip, and never go barefoot. Don’t even attempt to inspect your roof if you do not have the right ladder, or the right helper, for the job. If you do call a professional, the ongoing inspection and care of your roof is another reason to call someone local.

The nature of the roofing business is to chase the storms so chances are if a storm came through, you might be visited by an out of town storm chaser. But if you need a repair done, it might be hard to reach that company again. Hiring a local company will allow you to build a relationship with someone who can get to know your property and provide service for years to come.

If you do have the right equipment for the job, here are some tips to maintaining the health of your roofing system:

  • Remove leaves and other debris from around the edges of skylights and valleys.
  • Clean your gutters.
  • Test downspouts by running a hose and making sure water flows out the end. If water is not flowing properly you might tap gently to find blockages within the downspouts.
  • Place wire mesh over gutters to keep out the leaves and debris.

Your roofing professional can install gutter guards, replace worn collars around vent pipes, replace flashing and remove clogs. If you’ve had a storm in your area in the last two years, it’s always a good idea to have a professional inspection. A professional roofer can spot damage that you might miss. Hidden damage can cause more problems down the road.

Often if you uncover damage from a storm, the repair or replacement of your roof may be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. A professional inspection will help determine if your roof may qualify for replacement.