4 Ways to Make Your Roof Last Longer

Learn how to care for the roof over your head and which type is right for you.


Replacing your roof is one of the most expensive repairs you can make to your home. Keeping the roof in good shape is essential to extending its life and getting the most for your money. Here are four ways to maintain your roof and help it last as long as possible.

1. Trust the experts

If you have an aging roof, ask a qualified roofing professional to inspect it every few years, or at the first sign of problems. Keep in mind that shingles are guaranteed against manufacturer defects for a certain number of years but may not necessarily last that long. To find a reputable roofing expert, get a referral from neighbors, look for reports on contractor review sites or check the National Roofing Contractors Association.

2. Mind the gaps

Even small gaps in your roofing can let in water and lead to major damage. Replace missing shingles and worn seals around vent pipes, skylights and chimneys to prevent leaks.

3. Clean your gutters

Clogged gutters can overflow with water, which can damage a roof. Late fall is a good time to clean your gutters, once all of the leaves have fallen. Also use this opportunity to inspect your roof. If you find damage, ask your insurance company to send someone to review the problem.

Learn how you can lower your home insurance premium (including getting a new roof).

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4. Keep it cool to avoid ice damage

Maintain proper attic ventilation, especially in winter. When it’s cold outside, it should be cold in your attic. If not, an ice dam can form at the edge of the roof, causing water to back up under shingles and leak into your home.

Bonus tip: Know what your insurance covers

homeowners policy will likely take care of damage caused by fire, vandalism and “acts of God,” like a hailstorm. It does not cover roof repair needed because of normal wear and tear. Many types of damage, such as from hail or wind, affect only a part of the roof, and insurance covers only the part that has actual damage.

Which roof is right for you?

See how four common roof types compare in popularity, cost, composition and life span.

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