A home can be costly to maintain. Electrical, water, and internet bills and other minor repairs can add up quickly. However, none of these can match the cost of a failing roof.  In fact, the roof may be the single most expensive investment of a house.

Asphalt shingle roofing is widely used throughout Salt Lake City and other places across the U.S. due to its affordability and ease of installation. This type of roofing material comes in a variety of colors and textures, which can be used with any type of architectural design. The service life of asphalt shingle roofs varies widely. Along with professional siding installation and drainage system construction, the determining factors of the service life of a roof are the quality of the workmanship, as well as the materials used to build it.

Here are some simple maintenance steps that homeowners can do to extend the life of their roofs:

Keep Gutters Clean

When it comes to prolonging roof life, gutters are an important part of the process. When the water has nowhere to go, it will pool along the bottom edge and cause the fascia boards and soffits to rot eventually. A clogged gutter with a lot of debris such as leaves, sticks, and branches is worse. It can cause severe damage to the roof’s sheathing.  Homeowners can clean their gutters themselves or they can hire professionals to do the job.

Trim Overhanging Trees

Trees provide shade, but they can also cause roofs to fail earlier than expected. When leaves fall onto the roof, they will most likely trap moisture under them. This increases the chances of clogging the gutter, rotting the shingles, and the possibilities of algae buildup. Large branches may also break and fall onto the roof, causing damage. Trimming trees can help keep homes safe in case a tree falls on it due to violent storms or strong winds.

Ventilate and Insulate the Attic

contractor installing insulationThe Federal Housing Administration suggests that homeowners use the 1/300 rule for minimum attic recommendation. That means houses need to have minimum attic ventilation of at least 1 square foot for every 300 square feet of attic floor space.

Proper ventilation allows cool air to enter the attic and hot air to escape; therefore, regulating temperatures, especially in hot summer days. When there is no proper airflow, the warm, humid air gets trapped, making the entire house warm, damaging the shingles, and warping the rafters.

Adequate insulation is equally important. Having the right type and amount of attic insulation will cut down or control energy bills and improve the interior comfort of the home. More importantly, with proper insulation, excessive heat in the home’s structural components and integrity can be prevented.

Avoid Ice Dams and Snow Buildup

Ice dams and excessive snow buildup are two particular things that can cause real damage to the roof. Ice dams are thick ridges of ice around the roof edges that prevent water from draining off the roof. The water that accumulated behind these dams can cause shingles to lift, gutters to tear off, and water to leak into homes. This can damage the ceilings, walls, and electrical work, among others.

It is important to understand that ice accumulates on the roof when attics are not well ventilated, so homeowners can avoid these from happening.

Once a roof has been installed, most homeowners forget to inspect and maintain it regularly. However, like most other things, proper maintenance schedules should be followed in order to get the maximum years out of roofs without any major problems.