A new roofing system is a significant investment, so after shelling over the money for brand-new roofing shingles— it’s understandable that you want them to last.
Unfortunately, your roof takes a beating from the harsh weather in Pennsylvania, so it’s imperative to remain diligent about keeping your roofing system in tip-top shape with regular maintenance and annual inspections by an experienced roofing contractor.
What Is the Lifespan of an Asphalt Roofing System?
Homeowners love that asphalt roofing shingles are built tough to protect your home from rain, wind, ice, sun, and other extreme weather conditions. Roofing shingles come in a wide range of colors, designs, and textures to match your home’s architectural style, from Colonial to Craftsman, and are affordably priced to accommodate your remodeling budget.
When properly taken care of, asphalt roofing shingles will last anywhere from 15–30 years. Follow these tips if you’d like your roofing system to last on the longer side of the spectrum.
8 Tips for Extending the Lifespan of Your Asphalt Roofing System
1. Clean Your Gutters
Gutters are designed to direct water away from your roofing system — but when they are backed up with leaves, twigs, and other debris, they can actually cause more harm than good.
Make sure to clean out your gutters (or hire a professional to complete the job) twice per year — once in the autumn, after the leaves have fallen, and again in the spring. By doing this, you can avoid costly damage to your roof from rainwater, icicles, and ice dams.
2. Trim Any Overhanging Trees
Large shade trees surrounding your home add beauty to your landscape — but they can be a nightmare for your roofing system. When it’s stormy outside, tree branches that are too close to your home can break off onto your roof and puncture your asphalt roofing shingles. Leaves, twigs, fruit, and other falling items from your trees can also contribute to clogged gutters.
When you clean your gutters, trim your trees to reduce the risk of falling branches and debris to keep your roofing system in great shape.
3. Check Your Downspouts
Your gutters aren’t the only items that can get clogged with debris — your downspouts can get backed up too. During a rainstorm, head outside and check your downspouts. Is water flowing out of them? If so, that’s great. If not, there’s a blockage inside that needs to be removed.
Like clogged gutters, backed-up downspouts can cause water damage to your roofing system. You can unclog them using a plumber’s snake or a power washer or by calling the experts to do the job for you.
4. Ventilate Attic
Sure, attic ventilation helps to keep your home’s indoor temperature comfortable and consistent and can help you save money on utility bills. But did you realize proper attic ventilation can also help extend your roofing system’s lifespan by eliminating ice dams?
Your attic can become hot and stuffy when not ventilated, which may cause the surface of your roof to become warmer than the edges during the winter. Then, when snow piles up on your roof, it melts on the warm surface. As the melted snow travels off your roofing system, the water re-freezes, forming an ice dam, which can then cause roof leaks.
If you keep your attic at a consistent temperature (and clear off snow after a storm), you’ll reduce your chance of ice dams, which will significantly extend the lifespan of your roofing system!
5. Repair Any Storm Roof Damage
Over time, your roofing system will inevitably suffer wear and tear, including cracking, curling, buckling, or missing shingles.
If you want to extend the lifespan of your roofing system, it’s crucial to fix the damage as quickly as possible. Sometimes, a professional roofing contractor can salvage the damaged shingle with caulking or roof cement, but other times, a shingle replacement may be in order.
6. Clean Off Algae, Mold & Mildew
When your roof remains moist from ice dams, it’s common for algae, mold, and mildew to develop. Not only are these growths unsightly — they can significantly reduce the lifespan of your roofing system when they begin rotting or causing structural damage.
To remedy this problem, clean off algae with a solution of water and bleach (or dish soap), and clear mold and mildew with a mixture of one part vinegar and two parts baking soda.
7. Check the Flashing
Flashing is a thin, metal material applied around vulnerable areas on your roofing system, like your chimney, vents, or skylights, to prevent moisture penetration.
Sometimes, flashing can become loose, warped, or broken, which may cause moisture buildup and roof leaks. It’s crucial to replace damaged flashings immediately to protect the integrity of your asphalt shingles and the vulnerable parts of your roofing system.
8. Invest in a Roof Inspection
Finally, scheduling an annual inspection for your roofing system is one of the best ways to ensure your asphalt shingles enjoy a long lifespan.
Professional roofing contractors, like Remodeling Concepts, can identify damage to your roofing system you won’t be able to spot on your own from your vantage point on the ground. Plus, as trained professionals, they will be able to not only identify damage, but can also fix it!
Give Your Roofing System a Fresh Start with a Roof Replacement from Remodeling Concepts
We’d love to give you a free quote for your new roofing system. After it’s installed, we hope you can use these maintenance tips to keep your roof looking great for the next 15–30 years!