Tips to Make Your Roof Last for Decades

Whether your roof is brand-new or years old already, here’s what you need to do to keep it in the best possible shape for the longest possible time. Remember that even if your roof is years old, maintaining it in good shape will prolong its life and keep you from having to replace it prematurely.


According to a company on roofing Portland, a new roof is an expensive proposition — $18,800 on average for composition shingles and as much as $36,000 for high-end materials. Once you’ve made that kind of investment, you’ll want to protect it. Here’s what you need to do to get the most from your roof and last for decades.


Clean the Gutters

Broken paint on siding and a wet basement are typical dilemmas caused by clogged gutters, but it might surprise you to learn that the overflow can also go upward. Yes, it can go upward. When leaves pile too deeply in gutters, water can easily wick into roof sheathing and rot it, or even rot roof rafters. Fixing that kind of damage could run into the thousands of dollars, but you can avoid it by cleaning your gutters once in a while.


Remove Leaves

If you have a plainly pointed roof surrounded by low landscaping, your house top probably stays clear of leaves on its own. But if the roof is more complicated or if towering trees are just right there, piles of leaves probably collect in roof valleys or near chimneys. If you don’t take them away, they will trap moisture and slowly decompose, allowing moisture to accumulate in your roof. Worse case scenario, it can create fertile ground for weeds to grow.


Get Rid of Moss

Moss needs to go because it traps water. If you catch it early enough, you can just sweep it off. A little chlorine bleach or detergent mixed with water will kill moss, but it’s safer for both you and the roof to just leave it alone. If you live in the Northwest, you’re likely to find moss growing on your roof, particularly on wood or composition shingles.


Trim Overhanging Branches

A little restriction in the form of tree-trimming goes a long way toward keeping leaves and moss off your roof and keeping your roof damage-free. Abrasion from limbs and leaves that touch your roof can ultimately damage shingles, especially in high winds. Overhanging branches also allow squirrels and other rodents access to your roof.


Prevent Ice Dams

If you’re bothered by ice buildup on the roof, removing some or all of the snow between storms might forestall leaks into your house. Don’t try to pry off the ice that’s already formed, since that could damage the roof. Use a roof rake to remove snow within three or four feet of the gutters. Get a telescoping pole and work from the ground. If you must be on a ladder, work at an angle so the falling snow doesn’t push you over.