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Roof Maintenance for Asphalt Shingles

Posted September 27, 2022 by Jerry Becker
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Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing materials in the United States and with good reason. They are affordable, stylish, easy to install, durable, and available in a range of different colors and styles. What’s more, they inhibit algae growth, improve energy efficiency, offer good sound protection and are sustainable.

In terms of durability, asphalt shingles have a lifespan of between 15 and 30 years, depending on the specific type used. Routine roof maintenance is key to maximizing their lifespan and helping you to avoid prematurely having to replace your roof.

Your expert team at Roof Life Of Oregon will highlight how to maintain roof shingles. This includes everything from frequent inspections to unclogging gutters to ensuring proper ventilation and more. To start, let’s take a closer look at the composition of asphalt shingles themselves.

What Are Asphalt Shingles?

Put simply, asphalt shingles are a type of roof shingle that utilizes asphalt for waterproofing. They have been popular in the Portland area for decades and are seen as the traditional choice when it comes to roofing materials. As noted, this is largely due to the inexpensive up-front cost and ease of installation.

They were first used at the start of the 20th century and quickly became popular across the country. Today, asphalt shingles consist of either a felt paper or fiberglass base coated with a waterproof layer of asphalt. This is then topped with ceramic granules.

As noted above, they have a lifespan of up to approximately 30 years. A variety of factors will determine lifespan, which include:

  • Quality of installation
  • Weather conditions
  • Roof pitch
  • Quality of the shingles used

Weather issues that can affect lifespan include algae, ice dams and spiking temperatures.

How to Maintain Roof Shingles: 7 Steps You Can Take

Let’s take a look at 7 effective ways of maintaining your asphalt shingles.

1. Inspect Your Roof

It is good to periodically carry out a visual inspection of your roof to check for any signs of damage or deterioration. That way, if there is an issue, it can be addressed before it is allowed to worsen.

It is highly recommended that you visually inspect your roof after a period of inclement weather, such as storms which can inflict serious damage on a roof. Keep an eye out for broken or missing shingles, granule loss, and water damage.

2. Trim Any Branches and Overgrown Shrubs

While properties are undoubtedly enhanced by having trees and shrubs, they can pose a risk to the overall health of your roof. Overhanging tree limbs can scratch and scrape against asphalt shingles, which can result in premature peeling, curling and shingle loss. They may even poke holes in the roof, which increases the risk of attack leaks and water damage inside the property.

During periods of inclement weather, overhanding branches can become detached from their tree and cause structural damage to the roof and its materials. Therefore, it is important to routinely trim any branches and overgrown shrubs on your property.

3. Unclog Gutters

Gutters are definitely an unsung hero of our properties. Clogged gutters can result in a host of issues, including:

  • Damage to the property’s roof and walls
  • Weaken foundation of the property
  • Increase the presence of insects and pets
  • May lead to health issues for occupants (due to mold and mildew)

When gutters are clogged, rainwater is unable to properly drain away from the property. This can result in water damage, both to the interior and exterior of a property.

4. Clear Out Any Debris

Not only should you be proactive in cleaning debris from your gutters, but you should also keep the roof itself in a clean condition. The risks of leaving debris on your roof include:

  • Gutter leaks
  • Reduced energy efficiency
  • Roof deterioration

It’s easy to clean away debris from your roof. You can simply use either a leaf blower or a sweeping brush. Be sure to follow proper safety precautions when carrying out this work.

5. Watch for Any Moss Growth

Moss growth is bad for a roof. It can creep underneath asphalt shingles and uproot them, which can cause serious damage. This can lead to leakage, holes, and direct damage to the roof’s structure. Moss can also result in water retention of a roof, which leads to bacteria and mold growth.

6. Ensure Proper Ventilation

Proper roof ventilation supports consistent airflow through the underside of a roof. This prevents the buildup of moisture/cold/heat under the roof (depending on the season).

Improper roof ventilation can lead to mold, rot, and condensation. This can affect energy efficiency, reduce roof lifespan, and result in the deterioration of the shingles.

7. Prevent Ice Dams 

Ice dams are a build-up of ice on the eaves of roofs. When left untreated, they can loosen shingles, tear off gutters, and cause water to back up under shingles and drain into the interior of a property.

There are a number of steps you can take to prevent ice dams before they start. These include keeping the snow load down, cleaning gutters, keeping the air moving in the attic and ensuring that fans and venting are well sealed.

Schedule an Appointment With Roof Life

The best way to properly maintain your asphalt shingle roof is to schedule routine professional care from a professional roofing company. In the Portland area, your premier choice is Roof Life Of Oregon.

With proper inspections and maintenance, we help your roof look good, work right, and last longer. Contact us today and learn more about how to maintain roof shingles.

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