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12 Tips to Extend the Life of an Asphalt Shingle Roof

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Did you know that the average asphalt shingle roof lasts around 20 years? While roofs last a while, if you don’t take care of them they won’t last as long as they should. 

Roofs are essential to protect your home from storms, water damage, and to keep you safe. Because roof replacements and repairs are so expensive, you should try to keep your roof in good shape for as long as possible. 

How can you extend the life of your asphalt shingle roof? Keep reading to learn how you can keep your roof in good shape. 

1. Clean Your Gutters 

One of the most important things you can do to take care of your asphalt shingle roof is clean your gutters. If you don’t clean your gutters, they will fill up with leaves, branches, and debris. When your gutters are full of debris, water won’t be able to flow through them. 

When water can’t drain off the top of your home, it will sit on the roof. If water sits on top of your roof, it will cause roof leaks, water damage, and mold issues

You should try to clean your gutters at least twice per year. You should do it more often if you live in an area with a lot of trees. It’s also a good idea to clean out the gutters after a big storm. 

2. Trim Your Trees

Another one of the best ways to ensure that you don’t need a new roof soon is to trim the trees around your house. If you don’t trim your branches, they may fall on your roof when it gets windy outside. 

You also should have the trees on your property inspected every so often. If you have any trees that are dying or unstable, you should have them taken down to avoid them falling on your roof. 

In addition to not having to worry about dead branches, trimming trees will also reduce how often you have to clean out your gutters. With no trees over your roof, there won’t be as many dead leaves and branches in your gutters. 

3. Reduce Shade

Speaking of trimming trees, did you know that reducing shade can increase the lifespan of your asphalt shingle roof? If your roof doesn’t get enough sunlight, it won’t dry out as easily after a rainstorm. 

Also, moss and algae grow best in shaded, moist areas, and they can damage your roof. 

4. Remove Leaves 

Do a ton of leaves build up on your asphalt shingle roof in the fall? If so, you should take the time to clean them off. When leaves build up on the roof, they trap moisture and are heavy. 

If you leave wet leaves on the roof, your roof may rot or begin to sag under the weight of the leaves. Even if you only clean off your roof once a year (during fall), you can prevent the need for roof repairs. 

5. Clean off Snow

In addition to keeping leaves off your roof, you should prevent the buildup of snow and ice. While a little bit of snow on the roof is fine, a lot of snow is heavy, wet, and causes damage to your roof. 

If there is a lot of ice on your roof, water may not be able to drain when the snow melts. This can cause problems with water damage and rot. 

6. Ensure Good Asphalt Shingle Roof Ventilation

Did you know that it is important to keep your roof well-ventilated? Having roof vents on your roof keeps the temperature inside your house comfortable, removes moisture, and protects your roof. 

If your roof doesn’t have good ventilation, the moisture will stay trapped within your home, and leaving moisture in your home can cause the roof to rot. 

According to the International Institute of Building Enclosure Consultants, you should have at least one square foot of ventilation for every 150 square feet of your home. 

7. Clean off Moss

While plants are normally a nice addition to any home, you should not allow them to grow on your asphalt shingle roof. If you notice moss on your roof, clean it off immediately. Moss growing on your roof can lead to issues with moisture and rotting. 

If there is only a small amount of moss on your roof, don’t panic. All you need to do is wash it off with water and a scrubbing brush. 

If there are large amounts of moss on your roof and you haven’t cleaned it off, your roof may already have damage. Reach out to your local roofing contractor to allow them to look at your roof. 

8. Fix Any Broken Asphalt Shingles 

Have you noticed any broken or missing shingles on your roof? If so, you should get them fixed right away. Broken, worn, or missing shingles is a common issue to have as your roof ages. 

While a few broken shingles are nothing to worry about, they can damage the rest of your roof if not fixed. Missing shingles can cause roof leaks, ventilation issues, and can put more pressure on the rest of your roof. 

If you don’t fix broken asphalt shingles as they happen, you may need a full shingle roof replacement in the future. 

9. Repair Your Roof

In addition to fixing broken and missing shingles, you also should repair your roof as needed. Anytime you notice roof leaks, storm damage, stagnant water, or holes in your roof, call a roofing company to get them fixed. 

Even if an issue seems minor, don’t procrastinate having it repaired. If you do, there could be more damage to your roof that leads to more expensive repairs. 

Don’t Repair the Roof on Your Own

While it is important to repair your asphalt shingle roof as issues arise, you should not repair it on your own. Do-it-yourself roof repairs can create more problems than they solve.

To complete roof repairs the right way, a person needs roofing skills and the right tools. Most homeowners do not have either of those. To make sure your roof repairs are done correctly, leave it to the professionals. 

10. Insulate Your Home

Did you know that insulating your home is another way to make sure that your asphalt shingle roof lasts for a long time? Roof shingles get hot during the summer when the sun is beating down on them. Heat and the sun can damage your shingles over time. 

When you insulate your home, you keep the cool air inside, which helps to cool down your shingles. Between insulation and ventilation, having good airflow can extend the lifespan of your roof. 

11. Have an Annual Inspection 

One of the best ways to detect early problems with your asphalt shingle roof is to have an annual inspection done by professionals. During your annual inspection, a roofing contractor can inspect for any damage, look for rotting, and even detect early signs of future problems. 

If you can find roofing problems before they happen, you can save yourself money and make your roof last longer. 

12. Avoid Walking on the Roof

While it’s important to get on the roof to check for damage and clean the gutters, you should avoid walking on your roof as much as possible. Asphalt roofs have granules that protect the asphalt from the sun and damages. 

Without enough roof granules, the asphalt won’t hold up to UV rays. When you walk on the roof, your feet will rub some of the granules off. 

13. Check for Damage After a Storm

If you recently had severe weather, you should check your roof for damages. If there was a lot of wind and rain, check your roof to make sure there aren’t any holes, cracks, or leaks. When it is windy, trees and other objects are more likely to damage the roof. 

If the storm had hail, it may have damaged your asphalt shingle roof. Hail can cause dents, leaks, granule loss, and holes in your roof.

One of the best ways to check for hail damage on your roof is to check your gutters. If there are dents on your gutters, there is probably damage on the roof. 

Even if you just had a bad rainstorm, you still may need to check your roof. Clean out your gutters to make sure they aren’t full of roof granules. If they are, it is a sign that you may need a replacement shingle roof in the future. 

Are You Ready to Have Your Asphalt Shingle Roof Professionally Maintained?

Maintaining your asphalt shingle roof is essential because your roof protects your home from wind, rain, and other objects. If you want to prolong the life of your roof, be sure to keep these asphalt shingle roof maintenance tips in mind. 

Do you need help maintaining your asphalt roof? Is it time to invest in new roofing? If so, contact us today to get your roof in great shape!