If your roof has seen better days, but a complete replacement isn't in the budget right now, don't despair. There are some things you can do to extend the life of your asphalt shingles. Repairing the minor damage and taking steps to prevent further damage will help protect your home until you can afford a total replacement of your existing roof. Here are three important steps you can take to extend the life of your roof.
Care for Sun Damage
Your roof is exposed to direct sun just about every day. If you live in a region that experiences extreme temperatures during the summer, your shingles could start experiencing sun damage. Unfortunately, you might not know what sun damage looks like. Look up at your roof. If the edges of your asphalt shingles are curling, they've got sun damage. The curling occurs as the shingles heat up, and lift away from the roof. You can prevent further damage by restoring your shingles to their natural position. While the shingles are warm, apply a layer of roofing cement to the underside of the curled edges, and press them back into position. Apply one or two roofing nails to the edge of each shingle. Repeat the process with each curled shingle.
Replace Missing or Damaged Shingles
If you've got missing, or damaged shingles, your roof is in danger of leaking. Luckily, you don't have to replace your entire roof to care for the problem. To repair your roof, you'll need a stack of replacement shingles, roofing cement, roofing nails, and a roofing hammer. Carefully remove the damaged shingles, and use your hammer to remove any roofing nails that have remained. Lift the edges of the surrounding shingles, and apply a generous layer of roofing cement to the exposed area. Place the new shingle on the roof, and press down on it. Next, apply a thin layer of roofing cement along the edges of the new shingle, and press the edges of the surrounding shingles back into place. Apply roofing several roofing nails to ensure a secure attachment to the roof.
Prevent Ice Damage
If you experience freezing rain or snow during the winter, and you have gutters on your home, you could have ice damage along the lower edge of your roof. This is particularly true if your gutters are clogged. Unfortunately, clogged gutters can cause ice dams to occur, which can damage both the edges of your shingles, and the wood substructure below. If your shingles are damaged by ice dams, you'll need to repair or replace those shingles before the next freezing temperatures set in. You'll also need to clean your gutters to avoid a repeat of the problem.
Don't let budget constraints leave your roof exposed. Use the simple tips provided here to care for your roof until you can afford a replacement. You can also talk to a roofing company like Patriot Roofing for more help.