Roofs with traditional asphalt shingles can be expected to last about 20 years while a roof with fiber cement shingles will last about 25 years. Other factors can lessen your roof's life expectancy, however. Here are three tips homeowners need to know to prevent roof damage.
Prune Your Trees
If you have large trees in your yard that are near your home, the branches should not be allowed to hang over your house. For example, the greater Phoenix area rarely has to contend with snow, but high winds, lightning strikes, and hail can cause the heavy limbs of trees to snap and cause damage to your roof.
Your tree limbs are also more likely to snap if the tree is diseased or has an insect infestation. Bark beetles and wood borers are common in Arizona, as are carpenter bees. The valley carpenter bee is a large bee found in the American Southwest. Using its strong jaws, the valley carpenter bee will excavate deep into a tree, especially oaks, to build a nest for themselves. This weakens the structure of the tree and could cause a branch to break.
Ventilate Your Attic
It's no secret that Phoenix gets plenty of sunshine and extremely hot weather. In fact, Phoenix averages 91 days of 90+ degrees Fahrenheit during the months of June, July, and August. As there are only 92 days total in these three months, pretty much every day is hot.
All this heat takes a toll on everyone and everything, and your roof is no exception. The shingles can fade, dry out, and curl long before the roof meets its life expectancy from this extreme heat. While you can't prevent the power of the sun from affecting your shingles and will need to have your roofer do annual inspections and maintenance repairs, you can protect the wood decking underneath by ventilating your attic. A ventilated roof will allow the heat to pass through rather than accumulate, which can cause your roof decking to dry out and warp. This can also lead to leaks.
Watch For Animal Damage
Arizona has several species of woodpeckers, all of which may decide to do their business of attracting a mate or building a nest on your roof. The holes they leave behind can collect water and cause the wood to rot or encourage mold growth. If you hear a woodpecker tapping away on your roof, ask your roofer to install reflective foil tape strips to flutter in the wind. Bats and raccoons can also cause damage to your roof. If you suspect animal presence on your roof, be sure to contact a roofer to come and inspect the damage and make the needed repairs.
Reach out to a residential roofing contractor to learn more.