How To Ensure Your Roof Lasts For Decades

Updated: Aug 3


The roof is the part of the building most exposed to the weather. To keep it functional for a long time and to preserve its original aesthetic appearance, regular inspection & maintenance by a roof waterproofing specialist is required. The roof is a complex structure, with different materials and designs that require its own special attention and care. The objective of regular roof inspection & maintenance is twofold: firstly, to prevent roof damage before it occurs and secondly, to repair minor defects that have already occurred to prevent further deterioration.


Let’s see what best practices you can apply to keep a healthy home roof!


1. Start with a high-quality roof


Ceramic Roof
Ceramic Roof

As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. To have a long-lasting roof for your home, the first and most important part is to have a well-built roof during construction. When the roofing construction is done according to high standards and with quality materials, maintenance will be easier and your roof will protect your property under all weather conditions. There are various types of roofing materials such as asphalt shingles, clay tiles, metal roofs, wooden roofs and polycarbonate roofs.


Asphalt shingles are a popular option as they are affordable and easy to install. Additionally, asphalt shingles are known for their durability and ability to withstand wear and tear. They come with the additional benefit of being fire-resistant. However, asphalt shingles are more vulnerable to strong winds and heat as compared to other roofing materials. Homeowners can expect an effective lifespan of 20-30 years from asphalt shingles.


Asphalt Shingle Roof
Asphalt Shingle Roof

Wooden shingles are another popular option due to their appealing aesthetics. They are commonly used when it matches with the overall decor of the home. Wooden shingles are typically made of hardwoods or composite wood materials such as plywood. Building owners who are concerned about sustainability can opt to use wooden shingles as they are one of the more environmentally-friendly options. However, there are several downsides to wooden roofs, they typically cost more than other roofing materials and require additional fire protection. Wooden roofs are also prone to warping, cracking and termite infestations if not properly maintained.


Wooden Shingle Roof
Wooden Shingle Roof

Metal is also a commonly used material for roofing in Singapore. Some homeowners find the aesthetics of a metal roof appealing as they can be built from various metals such as steel, copper, tin or aluminium. The variety of colours and styles for metal roofs provide homeowners with a slew of choices when designing their homes. Furthermore, metal roofs typically last a minimum of 40 years and have an anti-rust metallic coating to prevent deterioration. Similar to wooden roofs, metal roofs are a more expensive option. Installation and material costs can rack up the homeowner's bill during construction.


Metal Shingles Roof
Metal Shingles Roof

Lastly, reinforced concrete (RC Concrete) flat roofs are another commonly used material for roofing. Rc concrete flat roofs are extremely durable, lasting well over 50 years if installed properly. Rc concrete roofs can easily withstand the harsh weather conditions in Singapore and require minimal maintenance as compared to other roofing materials. The downside of concrete roofs is that concrete is not a waterproof material. It has the tendency to absorb water and over time, water leakage and damage can occur. Additionally, plant, mould and moss growth is common on concrete roofs as they do not repel water and provide enough moisture for these organisms.


Reinforced Concrete Flat Roof
Reinforced Concrete Flat Roof

The material used ultimately depends on the needs of building owners based on aesthetic preference, cost, building structure and other factors. Hydro-seal Engineering has roofing specialists with decades of experience who can diagnose and repair roofing issues for residential, commercial and industrial properties.


2. Perform frequent maintenance


It is recommended to inspect your roof thoroughly once every six months. There are three key areas to inspect on your roof, read more about them in our detailed article here.


Performing a simple inspection and cleaning of your roof once a month is also recommended. Cleaning your roof includes these three tasks: remove any accumulation of debris from the roof’s surface, clear any debris from the downspouts, and power wash any areas where moss is a problem. Water penetration might quickly become a significant issue, therefore it is highly suggested to request professional support to do the necessary roof repair activities.


The gutter system is the most maintenance intensive part of the roof. The main reason is that the narrow and partially closed system, which drains water by gravity, can easily become clogged with debris, causing serious damage to other structures in the building such as waterlogging. In most cases, gutter maintenance includes inspection and cleaning only. Even if there are no signs of a problem, it is recommended to check the gutter system once a month to ensure there is no buildup of materials and debris. The tools used to clean the gutters depend on the visible dirt and the amount of dirt. Often, simply removing the debris by hand can do the trick.


Ventilation airflow under roofing requires that vents along the eaves be unobstructed. Cleaning of gutters can be done at the same time as cleaning of vents (if required). Thermal insulation and other building material debris, wasp nests, small bird nests, dead insects, and vermin can block the air path.


Most of the outer surface of the roof is sheathing. Nevertheless, it is advisable to inspect the entire roof surface once a year or after major storms. Minor surface damage, shifting, and even occasional tile breakage can occur after a major storm. Damaged tiles should be replaced as soon as possible (with tiles of the same shape and colour as the original ones).


3. Take note of these 7 signs


Diagnosing and repairing roofing issues while they are still minor will prevent further damage to the roof and building itself. The costs of performing major roofing works can be exorbitant and are easily preventable with regular inspection and maintenance. Here are 7 signs that you should perform roof repair works immediately to prevent roof damage from escalating.

  1. Roof shingles are curled or cupped

  2. Roof shingles show signs of cracks

  3. Bald spots are present on the roof

  4. The roof is at least 20 years old

  5. Roof flashings are bent or cracked

  6. There are dark streaks running down the roof, this is a sign of airborne algae growth

  7. There is mould or moss growing on the roof


If you require a roof waterproofing contractor to inspect your building's roof, Hydro-seal Engineering is here to provide assistance. Our experienced roof specialists have performed thousands of roof inspections since 1995 and will be able to solve your roof leakage and damage issues. Contact us today at +65 6289 6811 or drop us an email at enquiry@hydroseal.com.sg.