Florida is a harsh environment for residential roofs. Periods of intense wind, high temperatures, and long days in the hot sun can do damage to a roof over time. Knowing how to extend the service life of your roof can help you avoid roofing repair costs and a premature roof replacement. Many ways exist in which you can make your roof last longer, even in this difficult climate. Here’s what you need to know.
Clean Your Gutters
Gutter maintenance is critical for water shed and drainage. Without properly working gutters, your roof could experience wood rot and other damage.
Clean your gutters at least annually, if not twice, per year. If you have a lot of trees on your property gutters may need to be cleaned according to leaf buildup. You can do this yourself if your home is single story and you have the right tools. Use a ladder to access the gutter. Scoop leaves and other debris out of the gutters, and put them into a bucket. Wear gloves and safety glasses while you do this.
If you have clogged downspouts, use a plumber’s auger to clear the way. If your home is two stories, if you don’t have the right equipment, or if you’re not physically able, hire a professional to do this for you.
Clear Off Your Roof After Big Storms
High winds can blow debris around, and much of it will land on your roof. Leaving the debris there could trap moisture against your shingles, which could in turn lead to more damage.
You can clear the debris yourself or hire a roofer to clear the debris for you. If you want to get rid of the debris personally, you can use a leaf blower. Make sure to blow debris straight down and not sideways across the shingles. Blowing sideways may break the self-sealing feature for the shingles. When you’re done, clean your gutters.
Inspect Your Roof Annually and After Hurricanes
Inspecting your roof is a good way to catch problems before they spread. Set a date on your calendar to inspect your roof. During the inspection, walk around the outside of your home and look for problems like broken, cracked, or missing shingles. Replace missing or damaged shingles with a professional roofer as soon as possible.
Get on a ladder and stand up close to your roof. Inspect the condition of the shingles. Look for bare spots or a lack of granules. If the granules aren’t on the shingles, they’ll probably be in the gutters. Look for excessive piles of granules in your gutters and at the downspout outlets. If your shingles have missing granules, you should replace the shingles.
Finally, go inside your attic and look for signs of a leak. The best time to do this is after a heavy storm. Stains on the wood could be an indication of a leak, but the stains could be old. Touch the wood to see if it’s wet. If it feels moist, this is a sign of an active leak. Repair your roof with a professional roofer as soon as possible.
Hurricanes in Tampa are rare, but inspect your roof inspected after all tropical storms and hurricane activity. Even good roofs can get damage from the very high winds that occur during these weather events.
Use the Right Materials
When you build a new house or re-roof an old home, use the right materials. For example, clay and cement tile roofs last for 30 years or longer and are heavy enough to withstand the high winds that we experience during tropical storms.
Don’t Walk On Your Clay Roof
Clay and cement tile roofs can break if you walk on them the wrong way. To avoid making problems, don’t walk on your tile roof. Hire a roofer if you need to access a point on your roof that is inaccessible from a ladder.
Hurricane-Retrofit Your Roof
Hurricane retrofitting is an excellent way to make your roof able to withstand the occasional tropical storm or hurricane. If you have an older home, the roof may not have been built according to modern codes and standards. Have a knowledgeable roofer inspect your roof to find out if you need to hurricane-retrofit your home.
Get Regular Checkups From a Roofer
Once your roof starts to age, getting regular checkups from a roofer will help ensure that your roof is still in good condition. Contact a roofer every few years after your roof is a few years old. Your roofer can help you decide what needs repair and how urgent the situation is.
For more information about how you can extend the service life of your roof, contact a professional roofing company in your area. At Acoma Roofing Inc., we’re happy to answer your questions and give you more information. Call us today.