Replacing the roof of your South Florida property is eye-wateringly expensive. The least you can spend is around $5,000, but if you want to build it using high-end materials, it can cost you as much as $36,000.
Fortunately, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on roof replacements. Your roof can stay in excellent shape as long as you stay on top of upkeep. Below, you’ll find the top tips from professional property managers on making your roof last longer.
#1 Inspect the Roof Regularly
According to Zillow, you should inspect your roof once a year. However, you should also do a check-up after snowstorms, hailstorms, and strong winds as these can cause serious damage to its structure. Inspecting your roof regularly lets you spot potential problems before they can turn into thousand-dollar issues.
Check for cracks and be on the lookout for rust. Ensure that the flashing (the metallic material that prevents water from penetrating the roof) is in excellent condition. If you’ve hired a property management company, checking the roof should be part of their inspection checklist.
#2 Clear the Gutters
Don’t ignore the dirt and debris in your gutter. Clogged gutters are the cause of rotten roof rafters, and if that happens, you’ll likely have to replace your entire roof. So, whenever you notice debris such as leaves, pine needles, and sticks in your gutters, get to it immediately.
If you’re comfortable doing this chore, you can do it yourself. However, if your home has two storeys or more, you should hire a pro.
#3 Get Rid of Moss
Moss makes your single-family home look like it’s from fantasy land, but it can shorten your roof’s lifespan. When there’s a build-up of black algae on the roof, this can cause the rainwater to be trapped. In addition, moss can raise the shingles and create an opening for water to seep into the structure. If your shingles are made of wood, this can cause them to rot.
If there’s a light layer of moss, you can simply scrape it off. However, if there’s more moss, you may need to purchase potassium-based products to get rid of them. Avoid pressure-washing the roof as this can result in more damage to the shingles.
Once the chore is complete, you should consider installing zinc strips along the top ridge of the roof. Zinc strips stop moss from returning.
#4 Trim Tree Branches
A build-up of branches and leaves can result in clogged gutters. Additionally, rodents can use branches as a “bridge” to your roof. To prevent this from happening, trim your trees every three to five years. There should be no branches that are touching or are directly above your roof.
Branches should be at least ten feet away from the roof. This way, rodents can’t reach your roof and start gnawing on your siding. If there’s nothing you can do about this, the least you can do is to wrap the tree trunk with a metal sheet. This prevents rodents from climbing up the tree.
#5 Inspect Your Vents
Do your bathroom fans vent into the attic? Discharging vents into the attic can cause serious rotting on your shingles. This is because of the condensation that occurs underneath the decking of your roof.
Fortunately, there is a correct way to do this. You’ll have to hire a contractor to check your ventilation system. They can suggest solutions that’ll save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
Pro Tip: Hire a contractor through a South Florida property management company. They have a network of vetted vendors that can complete the work for a reasonable rate.
#6 Reinforce the Roof
Do you live in an area that’s prone to hurricanes, thunderstorms, and tornadoes? If you’re from places like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, you should consider splurging on a three-stage treatment for your roof. It involves sealing the decking with special sealant, sheathing the roof with ring-shank nails, and sealing the edges of the roof with metal flashing.
Fortifying your roof will cost you anywhere between $700 and $1,200. It’s expensive, but would you rather repair your roof every time a hurricane hits your city?
#7 Beware of Ice Build-Up
Ditch your dream of turning your vacation home into a winter wonderland. Your roof wasn’t designed to withstand ice dams. A build-up of ice on your roof can result in damage to the exterior and interior of your home.
Whatever you do, don’t attempt to pry the ice off. If you’re not careful, you could damage the shingles. Instead, use a roof rake to slowly chip away at the ice. You can also use calcium chloride to melt the ice. Never use rock salt — it is corrosive and it can damage the roofing, siding, downspouts, and more.
When should you replace your roof?
All roofs have an expiration date. As a rule of thumb, if your roof is older than twenty years, you should replace it. At this point, your roof will probably be damaged beyond repair. However, if your roof has a few signs of wear and tear, you don’t need to worry about replacing it for now.
If you decide to do the repairs on your own, bear in mind that you should do it during the day. Don’t repair the roof after it rains, as it can get slippery especially if it’s covered in algae. As much as possible, request your South Florida property management company to hire a roof repairman or “roofer” for you.
The bottom line
By taking care of the roof that’s already above your head, you won’t have to replace your roof any time soon. All it takes is proactive maintenance and a bit of help from your property managers. At Luxury Property Care, we are committed to addressing small issues before they can turn into serious problems. We conduct regular inspections of your entire property to ensure that it’s in tiptop shape.