Can you imagine getting a brand-new roof or performing extensive repairs just to have to do it again in the foreseeable future? You’d be dealing with more unexpected costs and the dreaded process of filing an insurance claim all over again. While you can’t control extreme weather, there are a number of things you can do to help prevent the need for a new roof or more repairs.

Keep Longevity in Mind When Choosing Materials

If you’re in the process of getting a new roof, you’re at a distinct advantage because you have the power to choose the materials that will be used, such as shingles. While you’re shopping around, look for a manufacturer that offers high-quality shingles with the longest warranty you can afford to purchase. Some shingle manufacturers offer a warranty lasting 30 to 40 years, while others offer a limited lifetime warranty – in other words, the manufacturer won’t cover certain types of damage to the roof, so be sure to read all exclusions before purchasing anything.

Understanding Shingle Types

Taking things a step further, it’s also beneficial to understand the difference between the two main types of shingles: oxidized asphalt shingles and polymer modified shingles. Asphalt shingles have been around for over a century and are the most common type used. If you do select this style, we highly recommend you have your contractor use dimensional shingles instead of the older style 3-tab shingles because of their longer lifespan and more impressive wind rating. With dimensional shingles, you’ll get a 30 to 50-year lifespan (depending on weather conditions and thickness) and a wind rating of 110 to 130 miles per hour, while older style 3-tab shingles only have a 20 to 25-year lifespan and a wind rating of about 60 miles per hour. Plus, the price difference between these two styles is minimal, so it’s not a good sign if your contractor is pushing the 3-tab style just to save a few bucks.

Polymer modified shingles – the other main type – look identical to asphalt shingles, but they’re higher quality in terms of material. Their interior is made from a rubber compound, making them more flexible and typically rated as impact-resistant to protect against things like hail and falling debris. Because these are an “above and beyond” type of shingle, your insurance policy likely won’t cover 100% of it; however, we still recommend installing it for a couple of reasons:

  1. If you don’t have impact-resistant shingles, you’re risking storm damage and an insurance claim where you would need to pay your deductible anyway.
  2. Most insurance carriers offer a hefty discount – up to 20% – for installing this type of shingle. Be sure to confirm with your insurance agent what that discount would be, if any, before you make a purchase.

Do Soft Washes When Necessary

Another thing to keep in mind when selecting your shingle type is the algae rating – the higher the rating, the more likely it is that the shingles will withstand the blue-green discoloration that comes after years of algae growth. Both algae and lichen can damage a roof by causing premature wear to the shingles, so go for shingles that specifically come with algae resistance if possible.

With these types of shingles, the manufacturer should indicate how many years the algae resistance will last; once that timeframe passes, you may notice some algae growth, which you can remove by doing a soft wash.

Soft washes break apart the algae and lichen on your roof using a lightly sprayed chemical. It’s critical to get the mixture right, so be sure to hire a roof cleaning and maintenance contractor to do it for you. If you do it yourself or hire someone who isn’t experienced or licensed, you’ll risk leaving your roof discolored, which is exactly what you’re trying to avoid by doing the soft wash in the first place! Always consider quality over price and choose a licensed, bonded contractor to do any repair or installation work on your roof or home.

Also, keep in mind that a soft wash is very different from power washing your roof – do not, under any circumstances, power wash your roof! It can wash away the extremely valuable granules that protect your roof.

Clean Your Gutters

Although it isn’t the most glamorous task, cleaning your gutters at least twice a year is also important to ensure longevity with your new roof. If you’re able to climb a ladder and you have the right tools for the job, you can certainly do this yourself, otherwise you can hire a contractor.

If you don’t clean your gutters regularly, water can start backing up within the eave lines and cause damage to the structural foundation of your roof. Before too long, leaves, dirt, dead insects and freezing or standing water will start to rot, producing an unpleasant smell and impacting the functionality of the gutters. Plus, gutters might even snap and break off of your house from excess weight.

Clear Tree Limbs From Your Home

Another important to-do item is to make sure your house is clear of any tree limbs or branches. While it might seem tedious to continually trim back branches that will inevitably grow back out, remember that the most typical cause of roof damage is from limbs and branches that repeatedly hit the shingles from the wind. Or worse, a heavy branch could break off and land on your roof, causing tears or holes.

Arrange an Annual Roof Inspection

Many roofing companies, including Indy Roof Company, provide a free annual inspection after repairing or replacing a roof. Even when everything seems fine, it’s better to schedule yearly preventive maintenance than to wait until you see cracks, torn shingles, mold or another common problem on your roof. Sometimes, you won’t know there’s a problem until you feel a drop of water on your face while you’re eating breakfast!

When you wait until you already have roof damage to schedule an inspection, it can be costlier and more labor-intensive to fix. Preventive maintenance gives contractors the opportunity to detect and repair small problems before they reach that point. In addition to the roof, Indy Roof Company inspects the full exterior of the home. Your roof isn’t the only important part of your home to protect. I highly suggest using a contractor that is willing to inspect and repair the majority of the items on the exterior and interior of your home.

Reliable Roof Maintenance in Indianapolis

Questions on maintaining the roof of your Indianapolis home? Our team at Indy Roof Company is here to help, whether you want to protect your brand-new roof or you’re wondering how to keep an older one in the best shape possible. Call us today for a transparent, knowledgeable assessment and a team you can count on!

Aaron Christy

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