How to extend the life of your roof

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Last Updated: May 4, 2021

Don’t want to spend the money for a new roof right now

If money is tight and the roof is getting near the end of it’s life, there are some things you may want to do.

At times when buying a home the roof may need repairs or replacement, however, as a buyer, you may not have sufficient money to replace the roof when first buying the home. The question is, what options are available?

Milking the roof

Investors will often use a term “milking the roof” along for a couple of years. What they mean by this, is that they will put a minimal amount of money into repairs and maintenance of the roof, until serval years down the road when they think they will have more money to do more extensive repairs or to replace the roof. Often this may be a period of 2 to 5 years.


Another term, often used by roofers, is the word “tuneup”. A tuneup, consist of patching or sealing small leaks; replacing missing shingles or tiles, pushing slipped tiles back into position; replacing small areas of  deteriorated building paper; and caulking or putting mastic (i.e. Henrys) around vents and other roof penetrations.

Wood shake and wood shingles

Replacing damaged shingles with new ones in various places is usually done when the roof is tuned up. Also, thin pieces of sheet metal, in rectangular shapes, can be slid up underneath of cracked shingles or where the felt is exposed. However, using the metal pieces is considered a temporary fix, not an actual repair, but is commonly left in place for several years.

Tile roofs

Cracked tiles are often repaired using a silicone caulking or a repair cement. Both of these can usually be purchased at a local home improvement store. Badly damaged tiles are often replaced with new tiles. At times it is difficult to match older tiles, so some roofers when doing the repairs, will pull off tiles from the back of the house which will match those in the front and use the new ones that don’t match in the back.

Composition shingles

Torn and damaged composition shingles can often be replaced easily and rapidly. The majority of home-improvement stores sell these in packs. Basically when repairing composition shingles you should follow the manufacturers instructions. Checking their website will often have a number of tips that makes the job very easy.

Who does this work?

Roofers and qualified handyman often do this work and it is not unusual for homeowners to do some of these repairs or maintenance themselves.

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My roofer wants to put a plastic on the ridge of my roof tile , to help prevent the rain from getting in. Hes charging 1700.00 and says it will extend the life of the roof by 7 to 10 years. Is this a scam?

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