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The roof is one of the most important aspects of a home, as it protects you from the elements. Throughout the year, roofs face extreme heat, snow, rain, wind, and other forms of harsh weather to keep you safe and comfortable. Because they’re continually exposed to such unforgiving conditions, they may deteriorate or become damaged over time. To prevent costly repairs and other issues a damaged roof can lead to—such as leaks, water damage, and high energy bills—you must properly maintain your roof. Here are some helpful tips on how to protect your home’s roof from damage.

Install an air conditioner in your attic

Keeping your attic at a comfortable temperature may seem unnecessary, as most people don’t spend a lot of time there, but installing an attic air conditioner has several benefits—including protecting your roof from damage. On hot days, attics can become super-heated, which causes warm air to transfer out of the roof. This heat transfer can cause the shingles on the roof to become overheated, which may damage them or decrease their lifespan. To keep your shingles in good condition, consider installing an air conditioner in your attic, which will prevent it from becoming overheated.

Insulate your attic

If you live in a colder climate, insulating your attic can prevent harmful ice dams that wreak havoc on your roof during the winter. Ice dams form when warm air from inside your home rises and melts the snow on your roof. As the melted snow runs down your roof, it refreezes before it drips off the roof. As the ice continuously thaws and refreezes, a barrier of ice forms at the edge of the roof, which prevents snow and water from dripping off. Instead, the snow and water accumulate on the roof. As a result of the extra weight, the roof may sag or even collapse. By properly insulating your attic, you can prevent warm air from escaping through your roof, which will prevent ice dams from forming.

Clean your gutters regularly

Clogged gutters are common causes of roof damage. If your gutters get clogged with twigs, leaves, and other debris, water won’t be able to flow out of them properly. Instead, it will accumulate and overflow onto your roof. Eventually, the water may work its way into your roofing, which could cause it to rot or grow mold. This is very expensive and tedious to get rid of, so it’s important to clean your gutters regularly.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.