The roofing system is one of the most important parts of anyone’s home. Day after day, it takes a huge beating as it protects the entire housing unit from the harsh environmental elements like the sun, snow, wind, dust, rain, or hail. The roofing unit of the entire house is actually one of its more expensive components, so it is essential for the owners to take good care of it because replacing the entire roofing of a house is very expensive, time consuming, and inconvenient.
The biggest factors that determine a roof system’s lifespan is the quality of the materials used and the workmanship involved. There are metal roofs and tile roofs last longer than shingle roofs, but their installation is a bit more expensive. It is also important to know if the roofing contractor, who installed the roofing system, is reliable because they can easily scrimp on materials and deliver substandard performance. Thus, it is essential to have the roofing system inspected before moving into a new home. There are actually many ways to extend the lifespan of the roofing unit and these are:
Ensure that there is Proper Insulation
The moment the word insulation is mentioned what comes to mind are those heavy duty materials that prevent heat from penetrating deeply. These materials can usually be found in an attic, on walls, and in between crawl spaces. They do a good job at retarding heat transfer and keep houses and office establishment cooler during summer, but warmer during the winter time.
On top of that, one of the primary jobs of insulating materials is protection. They have the capacity to protect the structural features, making sure that building integrity is never compromised. Providing proper insulation for the entire roofing unit does not only help in reduction of utility bills and provide comfort for those living in the home, but it also has the capability to extend the roofing unit’s life. Adding years to this roofing system’s life mitigates unnecessary and expensive costs for the homeowners.
The top of the house gets the brunt of exposure to the sun, that’s why a roofing unit’s temperature can reach as far up as 90 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the already warm ambient air temperature. In tropical climates, the frequent sun exposure of the roofing materials inevitably transfer heat and radiant energy to the surface below, and it has the capacity to affect objects, too, in attics and office buildings.
Proving insulating materials for the attic with the capacity to bar radiant energy and the capability to provide reflective insulation greatly impedes the transfer of heat because it is reflected away. As a result, the ambient air temperature in the entire area decreases because of the disruption in the heat flow
If existing roofing systems lack insulation, this can be easily installed. Just take note that there are various materials available in the market. Each material has a job specification and is suited for different types of roofing, which are: steeped-sloped, low-sloped, and flat. Insulation products also come in various materials such as latex, butiminous asphalt, acrylic, elastomeric or non butiminous coatings, fibered coating, or rigid foam palling made of polystyrene.
Sometimes, the contractor would advice that a new roofing unit is required. Keep in mind that white or lighter shaded materials readily provide thermal insulation, reduce overall temperature, and prolong the roofing systems life. Traditional roofing materials like shingles and clay tiles have now been upgraded thanks to advancements in modern technology. These now come in reflective materials with the capacity to provide reduction in heat transfer and promotion of sun reflection to bounce the heat, which is very damaging to materials, away.
Provide a Good Ventilation System
A good ventilation system is a critical component of the entire roofing unit. If the house has been newly moved into, have the roofing contractors check if there is an adequate ventilation system, so the proper steps can be done to address any issues. Ventilation is also known as air circulation, which is vital in keeping the air moisture under control, ensuring that air pollutants dissipate, and helping to eradicate bad smells. The air circulation in the attic is managed through vents installed in the soffits and the air exhaust near the peak.
Ventilation is clearly a vital concern so the Federal Housing Administrations has standards in place. They recommend a minimum of one square foot of attic intake and exhaust vents for every 300 square feet of space up in there. To illustrate, if the attic is 1,200 square feet, then it is essential to have 4 square feet of vents installed because airflow is a primary concern in that area.
Proper ventilation is a part of a roofing system’s longevity because a poor ventilation design means there is a lack of good air circulation in the roofing area, making the materials subject to premature decays. To illustrate, during summer months, the temperature in the attic area can reach a high of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This means the air becomes extremely scorching hot, and what’s worse is that it has the potential to penetrate the insulation materials. As a result, it is harder to keep the entire house cool. This unbearable temperature can cause a breakdown on roofing materials, including the wall paneling, wallpaper, and paint on the floor below.
During winter time, improper ventilation means there is no place for the vapors emanating from the kitchen, the bathtub, or the shower to escape. This results in an upsurge of excessive moisture. The thing about vapors and heat is that these elements rise up. They have a tendency to gather, collect, and cling to the underside of the roofing panel, where the process of condensation allows them to fall as water, thereby soaking the attic insulation. This damages the insulating materials, which adversely affects their efficiency. What makes things more terrible is that a moist environment is loved by molds, mildew, and bacteria, which are not just damaging to the roofing materials, but are also detrimental to human health.
Perform Regular Cleaning
The homeowners should be responsible for routine maintenance in order to add years to the life of the roofing system. They should keep the gutters clean and regularly check for debris to avoid possible water damage from its clogging along the lower deck board. Ensuring the gutters’ cleanliness also protects the fascia and soffit boards the surround the gutter area.
Removal of debris from the roofing system is also critical because these can collect over time, solidify into one giant heavy mass, and weigh down the roofing materials. Branches and leaves have a tendency to collect on the valleys. Sometimes, birds even drop seeds on these valleys, so the homeowners can potentially see a shrub growing on their roofing system.
During winter time, it is vital to check for ice dams, especially when the snow has partially melted, because this can cause roofing damage. Of course, anyone would be hard pressed to go up there, so hiring a roofing contractor is a good idea to help get the work done.
Most importantly, it is crucial to have the roofing unit inspected by professionals every two years. They can help with preventive maintenance such as applying sealant on weak areas that develop along the joints. Nipping a potential leak in the bud is easier and less expensive to solve than fixing an actual leak.
Unfortunately, if the house ends up with a leak, it is important to call reliable people to immediately work to address the problem. Waiting too long will only make things worse because a small leak can grow rapidly, creating even more water damage to the surrounding area and the floor below it.
Add Protective Coatings and Sealant
Another method to extend the life of the roofing system is to add a layer or protective coatings and sealants that are both economical and environment safe. These elements protect against weathering, which is the abuse that the roofing unit faces every single day. There is an elastomeric roofing coating for asphalt shingles and for sheet-metal types of roofing. This acrylic and microporous emulsions is directly applied to the entire roofing material. It is akin to applying normal paint. This type of sealants and coatings are especially formulated to withstand unpalatable temperatures and strong gusts of winds.
These materials come in a wide array of colors, so it can easily change the look of the house. Aside from being able to pick a color, these materials are very flexible, so they are able to follow the joints and angles of the roofing unit. They are also very adherent, making sure they are stuck on the roofing material for a long time. Some sealants and coatings are even guaranteed up to 10 years.
Applying these protective barriers costs very little compared to replacing the entire roofing unit. It deters shingles from aging and prevents metal sheets from rusting. Prevention is always better than cure so staying top on the roofing game is a vital component in extending its life. Moreover, these coatings improve aesthetics and provide UV resistant features that have the capacity to make the colors last for a long time.
Before applying these coatings and sealants, do surface work in the roofing system first. Replace any damaged or aging shingles. Take out all the debris. Clean the surface of the roofing unit by taking out moss, mildew, and molds. Then the application of the coating can be done, which saves the prematurely discarded shingles from littering landfills, too.
There must be a regular inspection by the homeowner of vulnerable parts in the roofing system. This includes areas where the roof is interrupted such as joints and angles. This also comprised of areas like the chimney, pipe, or skylight are protruding because the surrounding sealant the keeps water out are more prone to wear and tear. Inspection for any weakening or damage is crucial because a compromised seal can wreck havoc if it suddenly implodes causing even more damage. Climb up the attic or check in the crawlspaces beneath the roofing system to check for any signs of seeping water or mold growth. Rusty nails and discoloration of the boards are signs of a leak.
On top of that, inspect for any hints of animal and insect infestation that have the potential to create even more damage. Sometimes, mice, raccoons, squirrels, and even birds end up in the attic during the months where they look for warmth and place to stay. Insects such as termites, bee hives, and wasps can easily enter the vents and set up shop in the attic. Look for insect droppings and wood wrappings. Sometime, this is visible in holes on the wood because insect like to burrow holes, such as wood borers and termites. Immediately call a pest control or animal control service company should there be any signs of infestation in the house.
Once again, replacing the entire roofing system is a huge expense for homeowners. Damage is the last thing anyone needs for this one part of the house that does an enormous job. Having a leak is also inconvenient and hard to repair. Ignoring the leak only serves to make things worse, leading to collapse. Thus, preventing damage is truly a great way to adding more years to the roofing system of a home, office building, rest house, or any other structure. Remember this, no one can stop storms, inhibit tornadoes, and keep natural disasters from happening, which can damage the roofing system. However, homeowners can control many other maintenance factors to ensure that the roofing units on their heads last for a very long time.