When it is time to install a new roof, you will hear a lot of talk about how long the roof will last – 25 years for asphalt shingle, 35 years for clay tile or 50 years for metal roofing. But regardless of the materials which you choose for your roof, the key to long roof life doesn’t lie in the material – but in how well you maintain it.
Florida roofing undergoes some brutal conditions. The sun is blazing hot from spring through fall. Torrential rains pound the roof throughout the summer, and high winds are always possible during hurricane season, whether from a Category 3 or a passing tropical storm.
Because of the nature of roofing, even a small crack or vulnerability in the materials can eventually lead to a leak which is large enough to do some serious damage. Water is insidiously relentless when it comes to intruding into the roof structure, and making its way down through the attic, framing and even into the walls.
But not only will minor damage wreak havoc on the interior of your home, the damage can spread quickly. If you see any of the signs listed below, you should call in a professional roofing contractor as soon as possible. Delaying roof maintenance is the leading way to reduce long roof life by years.
Steps to Ensure Long Roof Life
- Fix any cracks or tears in asphalt roofing shingles immediately upon discovery. Even though there is an underlayment below the shingles, any water intrusion on your roof is dangerous. Cracked or broken shingles not only provide an opportunity for leaks, but any small breach gives water, critters and wind a way under the materials.
- When asphalt shingles lose their granules, they lose their ability to provide UV protection. This makes the shingles less energy efficient, as they cannot reflect the sunlight as well. Loose granules can also clog gutters and drains, which can cause water to back up and seep under the roofing materials.
- Broken clay tiles are similar to asphalt shingles, in that broken tiles should be replaced as soon as possible. Any breaks or cracks can allow water intrusion, but broken tiles also have the ability to lose their adhesion to the underlayment. While this can happen with all materials, it is especially dangerous with tiles which can become a serious projectile in high winds.
- The roofing structure is also key to a long roof life. If you install a new roof on an old frame structure, be sure that the roof deck, eaves and beams still have their structural integrity. Otherwise, your roof deck may sag or break. It is especially important to understand the weight load of the new roofing materials. If you install a new tile roof over a roof deck which previously supported asphalt shingle, it may not be strong enough for the additional weight.
- Keeping your roofing structure free of any critters is also important for keeping it well maintained and long-lasting. Animals and birds can chew on roofing materials, gnaw through framing, or contaminate insulation which can cause disease. If you see birds or animals on your roof often, have the structure inspected and the animals removed if necessary.
In order to ensure long roof life, a homeowner should visually inspect the roof after each storm or weather event; periodically check for signs of animals; keep an eye on gutters and downspouts for granules, and fix any minor damage as soon as possible.
Ready to begin protecting your Venice or Sarasota roof? Call Kingdom Roofing today for your first roof inspection.