Northern Virginia may experience a relatively moderate climate, but the extremes of heat and cold that strike in summer and winter, as well as occasionally heavy storms, can reduce your roof’s lifespan. Based on the median year of homes in Alexandria, VA being built in 1973, it can be safe to assume many homeowners who have not had their original roof replaced, may be noticing some wear and tear on their roof. While a roof replacement may be inevitable at some point, there are a few key factors which can maximize the lifespan of their roof.
How To Increase The Life Of Alexandria, VA Roofs
Your roof stands as a crucial shield, protecting your cherished home from the diverse elements that Alexandria’s climate presents. From the sun’s scorching rays to the occasional downpours, your roof is your first line of defense. Here is a look at how you can ensure your roof stands the test of time.
Get An Annual Roof Inspection
Many Alexandria homeowners wait until their roof has sustained damage to call in professionals, but regular inspections can make a big difference when it comes to maximizing your roof’s lifespan. Even if you believe your roof looks fine, a yearly inspection is vital for detecting issues that are just beginning to develop so they can be addressed before expensive repairs or replacements are ended.
You should also have a roof inspector look at your home following a severe storm to identify potential leaks or other issues before they grow.
The flashing around the chimney, vents and any skylights you have should also be inspected for signs of damage or rust.
The roof should also be inspected from the inside. Water staining and other visible signs of moisture should always be addressed immediately. On sunny days, you can go to the attic and look for pinpoints of light shining through, which can point to a damaged part of the roof that you might not be able to spot from the outside.
Perform Proper Maintenance Throughout The Year
Throughout the year, you should ensure your gutters are always clean. Fall is a particularly common time in Alexandria for gutters to experience clogs due to the presence of fallen leaves. Your gutters keep your roof safe from water damage, and neglecting them can cause water to pool on your roof, eventually forming leaks. If you are unable to keep your gutters maintained on your own, hire professionals for periodic maintenance to help prolong your roof’s lifespan.
It is also important to keep the roof itself clean and avoid allowing debris to collect on its surface. This can serve as a breeding ground for fungi, algae, moss and insects that can eat through the waterproof membrane of your roof and cause leaking and other issues.
Prune Trees Around Your Roof
Another important maintenance task for preserving your roof is cutting trees that are hanging over it. When you trim branches that are shading the roof, it will allow sunlight to penetrate it, preventing the growth of algae and moss. It can also help you avoid severe damage caused by long tree limbs breaking off and falling onto the roof in high winds or storms. A good rule of thumb is to make sure branches are at least 10 feet away from the roof.
Stay On Top Of Roofing Issues
Even the smallest roof issues can grow into major problems surprisingly quickly, so it is essential to address them as soon as you notice them. If you observe missing pieces of trim or loose shingles, repairing them immediately is vital as they could form gaps that allow moisture to enter the home and cause rotting. In addition, a loose shingle can easily fall off in a storm or high winds, leading to further damage.
Make Sure To Choose The Right Materials When Replacing Your Roof
One of the biggest factors that determines your roof’s longevity is its material. While asphalt shingles typically last around 20 to 30 years, other materials last much longer. For example, metal roofing can last up to 50 years, while tile and slate can last for 100 and 150 years, respectively. This longevity comes with a higher price tag, however.
Although your roofing contractor can provide you with an expected range for your specific roofing material, do not overlook the influence that weather factors and maintenance have on how long a roof ultimately lasts.
In Alexandria, roofs with a southern orientation will be exposed to more damaging UV rays, and the materials on that part of the roof may therefore be more prone to deterioration. The same is true of darker roofs as they absorb heat.
The area is also prone to storms. Hail poses a major threat to roofs and has the potential to crack or break brittle roofing material, which can enable moisture to make its way inside. If this occurs in winter, the water will expand when it refreezes, causing even more damage to tiles and shingles.
Another factor to consider is the pitch of your roof. Flatter roofs are not efficient at shedding water, which means it can easily pool on the roof and make its way into smaller cracks.
Request a Roof Evaluation From The Northern Virginia Roofing Contractors
Is your roof ready to stand up to Alexandria’s climate year after year? The Northern Virginia roofing contractors at Adelphia Exteriors offer a range of services, from roofing inspections and repairs to replacement and installation. Call us today at (571) 322-8316 or request a free roof evaluation with our online form.