A home is usually the biggest investment of your life, so it makes sense to take care of its components. The roof, in particular, is subject to the most wear and tear of all exterior parts of a home. So let’s go over how to extend the life of an asphalt shingle roof in Florida.
Florida’s climate is punishing for buildings and their various components. In fact, besides snow, homes here get blasted by all the most intense weather conditions you can imagine: hot sun, heavy rain, and strong winds. The intense storms and hurricanes that also seem to occur more frequently are at another level, as well. Those storms can cause instant destruction, instead of gradual decline that we all expect.
Top Tips to Extend the Life of A Shingle Roof
Asphalt-shingle roofs are the most popular roofing type in the U.S. They’re economical, durable, easy to install, and look good too. They’re a solid choice for many homes, though they’re less durable than steel or tile roofing. Though you’ll see some companies offer up to a lifetime warranty on their highest-quality asphalt shingles, you’re not getting a 100-year-roof. Or a 50-year-roof, for that matter.
Most of these tips apply to most asphalt-shingle roofs. You might need get into the attic space or hire a contractor to address some of them. If you’re being proactive about your home’s roof condition, a full inspection by a specialist in residential roofing will be worth the effort. You could also hire a home inspector, but what’s most important is getting a thorough inspection.
That involves having a good look at all the components of the roof. Those include the flashing, the penetrations and boots, the ventilation, drip edge, facia boards, and the shingles themselves. After you’ve completed a thorough inspection, here’s what you can do to keep a shingle roof in top shape.
Keep It Clean
Keep the roof clean, but don’t power-wash it. Power washing is intense enough to remove the protective granular coating on the shingles. Yes, the granules do normally loosen and wash into the gutters over time, but a power washer is too powerful. You can strip paint with one of those machines, and force water into all the nooks and crannies on your home. With Florida’s often humid weather conditions, getting those areas dried out is not easy. Instead of a pressure washer, just use a broom and/or blower. Just make sure to work from top to bottom and don’t sweep or blow upwards, underneath the layers of shingles. It’s simple.
Keep Gutters and Downspouts Clear
Continuing with cleaning, keep the gutters and downspouts clear. A clog can cause water to back up and overflow, which could let the water find a path close to a trim board or the siding. We make repairs of this type pretty often, and they are totally preventable. Gutter screens or guards are worth the money and can keep the gutters clear while they keep you off a ladder doing a semi-dangerous task.
Trim Your Trees
Keep trees trimmed so there’s no contact with the house. If you’re lucky enough to have tall and shady trees on your property, you know how much they can lower the temperature of the house. Tree trimming is usually a job for professionals, by the way. It’s a physically demanding task with a huge potential for disaster. But it doesn’t need to be done often.
Check the Attic Ventilation
This is a task for a professional. For one thing, if the installed ventilation components have become blocked with insulation that’s shifted, or insect nests, and so on, then that lack of ventilation is causing a problem. You might have excessive temperature buildup, moisture buildup, or both. If the homebuilder under-ventilated the home from the start, the home has been under-performing for a while. It’s also fairly common to see bathroom fans and kitchen ranges venting directly into an attic, which is a major problem. Anything that introduces more moisture into a space that may not be properly vented needs a fast fix.
Check the Attic Insulation
This goes hand in hand with checking attic ventilation. What does the building code require for attic insulation where you live? If your home is under that, you might have to bring it up to code to sell the home. Even if you’re not planning to sell, you can save money on your cooling costs by adding attic insulation. It simply prevents more of the intense heat from the sun from radiating into your home.
What About Tear-off?
Do a full tear-off whenever you install a new roof. It’s more work but will extend the life of your new shingle roof. This task is not always done, especially with do-it-yourself projects, but it is the best practice. In some circumstances, you are allowed to re-roof over an existing asphalt-shingle roof one time. The existing shingles need to be in good repair overall, and all the other components should also be in good repair. The potential problems are many, however. For one, skipping tear-off means adding another layer of heavy shingles. Can the house framing support the weight? Furthermore, without a tear-off, you can’t inspect the condition of the roof decking and other components. Third, many contractors won’t install a new shingle roof without tear-off. There’s more work with a tear-off, but fewer opportunities for problems. Finally, you may not get a shingle warranty without tear-off. Manufacturers often require it, and there’s no way around it.
What Does A New Shingle Roof Cost?
Here are a couple of resources you can use to look into the cost to replace your asphalt-shingle roof:
We’ll Help You Extend the Life of Your Shingle Roof
If you’d like to talk about replacing your roof, give us a call at 813-373-9088. Our team has more than 40 years of experience in roofing. You can also use this form and ask us, “what’s the cost to replace my roof?” and we will contact you.