Top 2 Roof Maintenance Strategies

An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure, especially when it comes to extending the life of your roof. You can save lots of money if you do things right, and that’s even true when your shingles are already starting to look a little tired.

This is the promise behind a relatively new type of remedial roof treatment called Elastomeric Roof Coating. It’s a Canadian product made by Quebec-based Techni-Seal, and it’s part of a two-part cost-saving approach to roof management that can save you hundreds of dollars while also reducing some strain on landfill sites. But to understand how, you need to begin with an often-overlooked fact.

Strategy #1: Always Opt for the Best Quality Roof Shingles

Roof ShinglesAsphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material in Canada, and for good reason. They combine an attractive appearance and durability in an affordable package that’s hard to beat.

There’s one key detail that most people miss when managing their asphalt roof. The biggest part of overall roofing costs isn’t the shingles themselves. The biggest cost is the price of…

  • Removing the old shingles
  • Disposing of the mess
  • Nailing down new shingles

Do the math and you’ll find that extending the period between reshingling jobs is by far the most profitable roof management strategy you can apply.

This is why I always recommend homeowners opt for the best quality shingles they can afford when reshingling. This is wise roofing strategy #1.

  • You might pay 40% more for 50-year shingles compared with the 25-year option, but shingle costs represent less than half of the cheque you’ll write to a roofer.
  • Go with durable shingles and you’ll save thousands of dollars in the long run. Just don’t get duped.
  • Some roofers are in the habit of jacking up installation costs when a client asks for premium shingles, even when it’s no extra trouble to nail down the good stuff. So when you’re assessing roofing quotes, call a building supply yard afterwards and get prices for shingles only. That way you can detect any financial shenanigans. You’ll be surprised how small a part of your quote shingle costs actually are.

Strategy #2: Elastomeric Roof Coating

Most people don’t begin with a brand new roof to make decisions about, and that’s where elastomeric coatings come in. It’s part of wise roof strategy #2.

  • Think of the product like a liquid balloon applied over tired shingles to extend their working life.
  • It comes in six colours and rolls on like thick paint.
  • When you apply at least two coats of this stuff, you get a seven-year manufacturer’s warranty, too.

I’ve used the coating myself and seen the roofs of others who put it on, but I was still initially concerned about peeling of the product. What’s the use of extending shingle life if the coating comes off in sheets and plugs up your eavestrough after a few years?

Francis Lacombe, director of retail sales with Techni-Seal (800-465-7325), explains that the coating slowly wears as it ages, so peeling isn’t an issue.

  • It stabilizes surface granules on the shingles, while sealing shingles down that have begun to curl upwards.
  • As a side benefit, the coating is even useful on shingle roofs that leak due to ice damming.
  • Apply an extra coat or two along the eaves only, and the shingle-to-shingle sealing action reduces the chance that pooled water will back up underneath shingles when ice builds up during winter.
  • Just don’t apply too much coating. The product is formulated to be micro porous, allowing water vapour to escape upwards through the roof during dry weather if necessary. Too many coats and moisture won’t migrate outwards properly.

Successful home maintenance is really about attending to the details, and this fact applies to roof surfaces, too. Even on an area typically turned entirely over to the professionals, diligence and care puts savings in your pocket.

Posted on November 16th, 2010