How to keep your roof looking great for longer

New York City weather changes rapidly, exposing your roof to damage. With this city’s hot summers and cool winters, property owners need to be extra careful when choosing roofing materials for their residential and commercial buildings. However, the best quality roof can suffer damage due to poor installation and poor maintenance. This article will discuss five ways to keep your roof looking good for years.

What is the best roof material for New York City?

The most popular roof in New York City is the flat roof, mainly made of modified bitumen. Modified bitumen has a polyester core that gives it a lifespan of about 20 years. Flat roofs are cheaper to install than sloped and pitched roofs, make economic sense in New York City’s multistoried apartments, and make it easy for NYC residents to escape the crowded streets and catch fresh air up the roof. However, the longevity of your roof will depend on several factors. You will also find acrylic, EPDM, rubber, TPO, and PVC roofs in residential and commercial properties in NYC. Below are some of them.

Factors affecting roof life in New York City

There are factors within and beyond your control that affect the lifespan of your roof. Being aware of these factors will help you take good care of your roof and get the most value out of it. Here are things you need to watch out for:


The location of your property can greatly affect the life of your roof. Areas with extreme temperatures and rapid weather changes experience constant roof damage unless you use the right material. Excessive cold can cause certain roofing materials to shrink, while excessive heat gets trapped under the roof and causes cracks.


Roof washing is a great way to kill mold, mildew and remove moss from your roof. A clean roof looks beautiful and protects your home, but the wrong roof washing techniques can damage your roof. Pressure washing, for instance, will tear your shingles and increase the risk of roof leaks. Trapped moisture causes mold growth and irreversible damage to your roof.

Algae and moss

Gloeocapsa magma algae feed on asphalt and limestone, leaving black streaks behind. Algae spores travel through the wind and rest on the shaded areas of your roof. Where there are algae, there are likely to be lichens that penetrate your roof shingles, causing shingle deterioration and roof damage.


Leaves and twigs from surrounding trees are the leading causes of clogged drains. They prevent water and snow from draining, causing ice dams and water damage to the entire roofing system. Keeping your roof clean at all times can greatly increase its longevity.

Roof material

Your roof will not last beyond its lifespan. With proper maintenance, your roof should last between 7 and 100 years, depending on the roofing material you use. If you bought your home recently, find out how old your current roof is to prepare for repairs or replacements early.


Roofs installed by a roofing professional will last longer, while unqualified roofers will do a poor job leading to leaks and early roof damage.

If you get the right roofing material for your area, hire a roofing pro, conduct regular maintenance and inspections, and protect it from fungi and moss, your roof will serve you for years.

How long will my roof last?

Different roofing materials have different lifespans. Below are the most popular roofing materials used in the US and their lifespans.

1. Asphalt shingles. This is the most common roofing material in the US, with 75 percent of American homes using asphalt roofs. They are affordable, come in different colors and styles, and are durable. Manufacturers no longer support organic asphalt shingles because they are prone to moisture damage and are now turning to lightweight fiberglass shingles. Hot weather with rapid changes in temperatures damage these shingles, increasing their lifetime costs. They last for 20-25 years.

2. Metal roofs. These roofs offer an eco-friendly, energy-efficient, durable roofing solution for property owners. Metal roofs are made of aluminum, zinc, steel, or copper. They also come in different styles and colors for you to choose from. Metal roofs have a lifespan of up to 100 years, with most manufacturers giving 50-year warranties. In addition to reflecting solar, they are resistant to ice dams and impact.

3. Wood. Wood shingles and shakes are made of pine, cedar, cypress, or redwood. It offers a more natural look with either a smooth or rustic finish depending on the cut. Some wooden shingles and shakes are resistant to insects and moisture and last up to 10 years longer than asphalt. However, wood shingles are prone to fire damage, staining and can attract debris, algae, and moss that decrease their value. You will need roof cleaning services more frequently to maintain your wood shingles.

4. Clay, concrete, and fiber-cement tiles. They have a nice finishing that increases the tile’s curb appeal. Apart from beauty, they are reinforced for durability and come with a 50+ year guarantee. They are available in a wide range of colors, with light-colored tiles doing well in hot areas while dark-colored tiles are great for cool regions.

5.  Natural stone is among the most durable roofing materials available, going over 100 years. They give your home a luxurious look, drastically increasing the resale value of your property. Though the installation cost may be high, the maintenance cost for slate is low.

6. BiPV solar tiles are meant to cut your home electricity bills by 100 percent. They come with a lifetime warranty, with 30 years of guaranteed power generation ability.

7. Flat roofs come in different materials with different lifespans. The most common flat roof material in NYC is modified bitumen. You can also find PVC, EPDM rubber, and TPO roofs in the areas. EPDM is the most durable, lasting 15-25 years, while TPO is the least durable, lasting 7-20 years.

5 ways to keep your roof looking good for years in New York City

NYC has extremely cold winters and hot summers. Temperatures change rapidly, exposing your roof to wear and tear. Granule loss, cracks, and missing flashing are some of the roofing problems you will be dealing with in New York City.

1. Hire certified and insured roofers

When installing, repairing, or cleaning your roof, only hire licensed and insured service providers. Ensure their technicians have the required training and experience to deal with your roof type and material to avoid damage or poor quality. It is okay to check with previous customers for a second opinion and see how their roofs are holding up against the New York City weather years down the line. In addition, certified roofers only use verified and approved shingles by the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, giving your roof a longer lifespan.

2. Regular maintenance

Proper roof maintenance will help you get extra protection from your roof while saving you from costly repairs. Maintenance involves roof cleaning, trimming trees around the house, caulking seams, applying a protective coating, repainting, removing moss and algae, and preventing unauthorized access to the rooftop.

3. Regular roof and gutter inspections

You need to schedule roof inspections at least twice a year when debris from trees is likely to fall on the roof in Spring and the Fall. In addition, assessments look for algae growth, ice dams, and dirt that could cause clogging of drains and cause water damage on the roof. Further, inspecting the top ensures that missing, cracked, and damaged shingles, flashings, and gutters do not go unnoticed for long. You can always get a free inspection from local roofing companies.

4. Replace roof damage as soon as possible

Damaged shingles and gutters cause water damage which affects the longevity of your roof system. Also, add protective components such as water and ice dam barriers, attic insulation, and proper ventilation to prevent heat-trapping and ice dams.

5. Consider professional roof cleaning services

Roof cleaning should be part of your regular house washing. Professional roof cleaning can help increase the life of your roof. While most homeowners are tempted to pressure wash, pressure washing and power washing techniques can damage shingles and lead to leaks. If you are wondering where to get pressure washing alternatives, contact soft washing companies like Gulf2Bay Softwash for eco-friendly roof cleaning solutions that remove algae, dirt, and moss from your roof without damaging it.

Ways roof cleaning services save you from costly repairs

Cleaning your roof regularly helps you:

  • Remove algae and moss from the roof
  • Kill mold and mildew from the wooden structures
  • Restore the color of your roof hence maintaining its energy efficiency and curb appeal
  • Prevent corrosion
  • Expose areas that need immediate repair
  • Increase the life of your roof

Looking for professional house washing services in New York City? Call Gulf2Bay Softwash on 631-212-1153

Gulf2Bay Softwash is a fully insured roof cleaning and exterior house washing company. All our cleaners are trained to use softwash techniques that protect your house and roof. We also vet every one of our employees to ensure that they deliver great service, are friendly and professional when they come to clean your roof and house. In addition, your family, pets, and environment will love our biodegradable award-winning roof cleaning solution that gives your NYC roof a brand new look while saving you from costly repairs. Call us on 631-212-1153 today

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