Factors That Impact How Long a Roof Will Last

The roof of your home provides a multitude of benefits. Most importantly, a roof protects the building below from heat, moisture, wind and other natural forces that can damage your homes shell and create an uncomfortable living space. A well-designed roof also contributes to the aesthetic appeal of a property. Because the roof is the most exposed element of a building, it absorbs the greatest impact from exterior forces such as weather and vegetation. For residents in the Houston area, regular inspections by a Cypress, TX roofing contractor will identify any problems with your roof.

Depending on the materials used and quality of workmanship, a roof can last from 15 to 50 years or more. The type of roofing material is one of the biggest factors in roof longevity. Clay tile, metal and stone typically last more than 50 years. Asphalt, wood shingle and cedar shake typically last between 15 and 25 years. Weather extremes such as heat, moisture and wind also affect how long a roof will last. A roofing professional can make recommendations for needed repairs and ways to prolong the life of your roof.

Ways to Prolong the Life of a Roof

Have regular inspections. No matter what material a roof is made of, regular inspections help keep a roof in good condition. An experienced Cypress, TX roofing company should examine your roof every two or three years to look for cracks, leaks, damaged roofing materials or water damage. An inspection will also examine the flashing, overhangs, ridge vents and gutters. Degraded tiles or shingles can allow moisture to seep into the attic below. Moisture can damage insulation and allow condensation to build up on materials and surfaces below. Eventually, the roof support system will be affected.

Keep gutters clean. Gutters route water from the roof to the ground. If gutters are clogged, water cannot flow. Standing water in gutters may seep into the roof structure and weaken the support materials. Clean gutters each fall and spring to make sure that water can flow through the system. If you have an asphalt roof, check the gutters for gravel or granules. The presence of granules is an indication that roof shingles are degrading and should be replaced.

Trim trees and keep vegetation clear of the roof. Trim trees so that branches do not scrape against the surface of the roof or fall onto it. Leaves and branches on a roof surface allow moisture to accumulate. Decaying vegetation creates bacteria and mold that can degrade shingles, soften tiles and provide an environment for moss to grow.

Increase attic ventilation. The roof serves as a moisture barrier between exterior elements and your home. However, a poorly ventilated attic allows moisture from the interior of a building to penetrate attic insulation and roof support materials. In humid climates like that of Houston and southeast Texas, moisture from inside the home can quickly build up in the attic. Increasing attic ventilation reduces the buildup of moisture. It also reduces attic temperatures, which can be up to 50 degrees higher than the outside air. Ask your Cypress TX, residential roofing contractor to inspect the interior elements of the roofing system and evaluate the ventilation system.

Repair small problems before they become big problems. Be sure to make repairs immediately. Caulking around chimneys and sealing around flashing are simple ways to prevent water from penetrating into the support structure. Replacing a few shingles or tiles as soon as damage is noticed is much less expensive than having to replace an entire roof at a future date.

A roof is one of the most expensive elements of a home, and roof replacement is costly. Regular inspections and timely repairs will keep your roof in good shape for years to come.

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