Roof replacement is expensive – it is one of the costliest projects you will face as a homeowner. There’s no way to avoid the expense entirely, but there are ways to prolong the life of your existing roof. With a few dollars, a little bit of sweat and some smart thinking, you can add many years of useful life to the roof over your head.
1. Apply a Protective Coating
A liquid polymer coating helps protect your roof from water damage and keeps shingles looking newer for longer. The best time to apply a coating is immediately after a new roof is installed, but you can do it later if your roof is still in good shape. Coating is a fairly simple DIY project, as long as you’re comfortable on a ladder, and coating products are sold at almost all hardware and home improvement stores.
2. Replace Worn Shingles
Promptly replace any shingles that are broken or missing. If you don’t, water will penetrate the roof, eventually causing rot and leaks. Replacing shingles is a very quick and inexpensive project; repairing a leaky roof certainly is not. Once the damage has reached below the shingles, the dollars signs start adding up.
3. Choose the Right Roofing Material
When it does come time to replace your roof, give careful thought to the roofing material. Some materials are much more durable and longer lasting than others. You might find it worthwhile to pay more upfront for a roof that lasts 30 years, rather than 15 or 20. Use this helpful guide to compare the pros and cons of the most popular roofing materials, as well as prices.
4. Keep Branches Trimmed
Falling branches can damage your roof, scratching and breaking the shingles. Overgrown trees also give animals easy access to your roof. If you don’t have the equipment or skills to trim branches yourself, hire a professional. The cost will be less than a roof replacement.
5. Clean the Gutters
Gutters are designed to collect water and send it down and away from your roof. But if your gutters are filled with leaves and debris, they can’t do the job properly. To prevent water from sitting on your roof and causing damage, make sure the gutters are always clean and clear of debris. Experts recommend cleaning your gutters twice a year – once in the spring and once in the fall.
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