If you're a business owner and own your own building(s), you're likely always looking for ways to maximize the lifespan of these structures. Although you're able to deduct certain depreciation and repair costs on your business taxes, this deduction is not usually a dollar-for-dollar credit -- so it's better not to spend that money in the first place. Read on to learn more about the maintenance and products that can help you dramatically extend the life of your roof.
What types of preventive maintenance should you perform on your roof?
Although every roof will wear out and need to be replaced at some point, there are several steps you can take to keep your roof in good condition.
- Clean and guard your gutters
Clogged gutters age your roof more quickly than nearly anything else. When it rains, these clogs form miniature dams, preventing excess water from draining through the downspouts. The buildup of water can cause your shingles to develop mold or moisture problems, weakening them. In the winter, this pooled water can spill over the edge of your gutters, forming icicles that may be heavy enough to actually rip your gutters off.
In addition to regular sight checks and clearing out clogs when observed, you may consider having gutter screens or guards installed. These screens allow water to flow from the roof through the downspouts without allowing in leaves, twigs, or other debris.
- Replace loose shingles quickly
After a severe storm, you may notice that some shingles are curled or flapping after being assaulted by heavy winds and rain. Although a few loose shingles may seem inconsequential, ignoring or delaying repairs can have major implications for your entire roof. If water is allowed to enter the underlayment or wood beneath your shingles, it can quickly cause mold -- and these types of moisture problems are difficult to diagnose until they've reached a critical point.
During your occasional gutter inspection, keep an eye out for problem shingles. If any are spotted, replace them before cleaning your gutters. When purchasing shingles, always try to get more than you think you need -- it's always better to have too many than not enough.
If you find that a large section of shingles are missing or damaged, you should contact a roof contractor.
What are some recent innovations that can help extend the life of your roof?
The roofing industry continues to innovate products that can help your roof perform better and for a longer period of time.
- Reflective coating
Second to moisture, ultraviolet (UV) rays are a roof's biggest enemy -- fading and drying shingles to cause cracks. Regardless of whether your roof is old or new, it may benefit from an application of reflective coating. Although this coating doesn't create a true mirrored surface, it does successfully divert UV rays so that they don't penetrate the shingles and cause damage. The sunnier your area is, the more effective this coating will be.
- Liquid membranes
In the past, contractors were limited to thick, tar-like paste to help seal roof edges and areas between shingles to prevent water from seeping inside. For stick-built houses, this could be a complex process -- these adhesives were usually unable to be applied in precipitation and could take days to fully "cure" and render the roof water-resistant. Contractors were forced to make a choice between allowing the roof to be rained upon pre-waterproofing or trying to keep portions of the roof dry while applying waterproofing tar in the rain.
However, some companies have developed a thinner, more liquid membrane that can fully guard against moisture seep and cure in only a few hours (rather than a few days). This provides a tremendous advantage by allowing you to waterproof (or re-waterproof) your roof as soon as the weather forecast indicates rain.
For more information about caring for your roof, contact a local commercial roofing company.