What to Know About Extending the Life of Your Rental Property’s Roof

June 24, 2020

Proper maintenance of your rental property is key to making sure that it remains profitable. It will be hard to justify high rental rates if things aren’t in good condition. Tenants don’t appreciate a residence that is in disrepair. Preventative maintenance will help you avoid costly repairs down the road and keep your tenants happy. One of the most important items to maintain is the roof. Here are some important things you should know about roof care.

Built to Last

If you haven’t already, you should have your roof inspected by a roofing expert. They will be able to help you know if your roof was built to last, or if you need to do some immediate repairs. They can also help you set up a routine maintenance schedule. A solid roof will help make sure that the rest of the home stays in good repair. The roof will help protect the home from rain, snow, and hail. It also helps keep out the wind and heavy objects that are tossed around in a storm. Without a good roof, your rental could be irreparably damaged.

Know Your Materials

There are a lot of different materials that you can use on the roof of your rental. Some of the most popular are, slate, metal, asphalt, wood, and clay. What material you choose depends on what attributes are more important to you. The asphalt shingle has moderately good performance and is cheap. However, it doesn’t tend to last as long as other materials. There are many reasons why people choose stone-coated metal roofing, but the short of it is they are tough.  But strength isn’t the only important factor for a roof. You want a roof that has good insulative properties as well. Metal is usually a very good conductor of heat, that makes it less than ideal for keeping your home cool during the summer and warm during the winter.

Regular Upkeep

There are few signs that you should watch out for when it comes to roof repair. Missing or crooked shingles are a bad sign. Also pay attention to any shingles that are flapping in the wind. Cracked, torn, or discolored shingles are a sign that they are starting to break down due to age. If you see these things, you need to replace them before they start allowing water into the home.

Even the best roof is going to allow water in if that water is pooling. To keep water from pooling, you need to make sure the gutters of your roof stay clean and clear of dirt and debris that can block water flow. This will also help prevent pests from making their home in your gutters.

Tenant Responsibilities

Your tenants share a responsibility with you for the homes upkeep. While they are not responsible for any damage caused by normal wear and tear or by the weather, they are responsible for any damage they cause. Make sure that your tenant knows that they need to inform you immediately of any damage that they notice. It is much better if you can fix things early on rather than later. They should know that they will be held liable if they caused the damage, and for any subsequent damage that occurs should they fail to notify you.

For these policies to be enforceable, they should be written into the lease agreement that you tenant signs before moving in. Before writing these policies, consult with a real estate lawyer. They will help make sure that your contract is legal and enforceable according to your local laws.


A rental property is only a good investment if it has good cash flow. In short, you should be earning more money off of the monthly rent then you are spending on upkeep. Keep this in mind when you are considering what work you want to perform on the roof. A certain roofing material might last longer, but it might also be more expensive. Money devalues over time due to inflation and lost opportunity. So you need to make sure that your decisions will turn out to be a wise investment in the long run.


While cash flow considerations may incentivize you to be frugal when it comes to your maintenance costs, liability considerations will make you want to spend more. You have to understand that you can be held liable for accidents that occur on your rental property. This is true even if you were not directly involved in the accident. If someone injures themselves because you did not properly maintain the roof, you may find yourself stuck in a lawsuit. You might wonder how roof maintenance could matter. If someone slips on a loose shingle and falls while hanging up Christmas lights, or shingles fall off the roof onto their head.  These are just two of many examples of injuries that could turn very costly for you.


You should think about the type of weather that your region experiences when making roofing decisions. For example, in some places, the winter will result in multiple feet of snow piling on the roof. This is a lot of weight and can cause the roof to collapse if the snow isn’t cleared. This is a responsibility that you will usually have to take care of. In other places, wind and rain can cause large balls of hail to fall out of the sky. This can put holes in your roof if you’ve chosen a weak roofing material.


Most roofs are black. That isn’t for style purposes, it’s because most roofs use asphalt shingles. While they are cheap and reasonably durable, this is really bad for keeping a home cool in hot regions. Black roofs suck up the sun’s light and heat up the house. If your rental is in a warmer region, you may want to use a lighter colored material to help keep the place cooler. If it is in a colder region, then black will be a great color for keeping the place warm.

If you are unsure of how to handle some of these concerns, your best bet is to talk to a professional roofer. They would be more than happy to share their knowledge with you. Just do your best to take precautions like the ones listed above so you can make sure that your property’s roof lasts for a long time.

Having rental properties can be a great source of income, but they can be hard to manage on your own. Let us take care of that for you! Contact us to learn more about how we can help.

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