Save Money All Year With These 3 Roof Upgrades

With spring on the way, it's a good time to start thinking about home improvement. The spring season is good for more than just cleaning—it's a great time to take advantage of the mild weather to make some upgrades to your home that will improve its function and save you money. And the roof is a great place to start. Take a look at the roof upgrades that you should be considering to improve your home and save you money in the year ahead.

Invest in Energy-Saving Shingles

Is it time to reshingle your roof? If so, instead of your normal asphalt shingles, consider choosing shingles that are specifically designed to save energy. These shingles are made of reflective material and keep cooler than ordinary asphalt. Why is it important for your roof shingles to stay cool? Because when your shingles reflect the sun's rays instead of absorbing heat, the temperature inside of your house stays lower, and your HVAC system doesn't have to compete with heat being pulled in by heat-absorbent asphalt shingles. This keeps your energy costs down.

Homeowners who install energy-saving shingles approved by Energy Star can even qualify for a tax rebate of up to $500. The shingles come in a variety of colors and materials, so you should have no problem finding shingles that will complement your home. If you want to go even further, you may want to consider solar shingles that contain a thin film of photovoltaic cells. This way, you can actually generate your own electricity from the sun hitting your roof.

Check on Your Chimney Cap

With winter on its way out, you won't be needing to use your fireplace on a regular basis for much longer. When you're making improvements this spring, it's a good idea to check on your chimney cap and be sure that it's airtight. You may think of your chimney cap mostly as a way to keep rain, birds, and other animals out of your home, but the truth is that without an airtight cap, you're wasting energy. Masonry caps just don't do a good enough job of preventing airflow.

Airtight caps are equipped with a steel cable that you can access from inside your home. When you pull the cable after your fire is out, the spring-activated cap creates a seal that prevents air from flowing in or out, which can keep your energy costs down, as well as preventing rain from getting in and animals from nesting in your chimney. If you're already having roofing work done, it's a simple matter to ask the roofer to install an airtight chimney cap at the same time.

Give Your Gutters an Upgrade

It's definitely important to take your gutters into account when doing any roofing improvements. You should check to make sure that your gutters aren't damaged, misaligned, or leaking. If they're in good shape, you may want to consider installing gutter covers to reduce the amount of maintenance you need to do and to help keep your gutters and roof in good shape.

Gutter covers are curved hoods that fit over the open parts of your gutters. Their function is to allow water to flow through the gutter system while keeping leaves, sticks, and other types of debris out. Debris from nearby trees, or debris blown in from storms, tends to clog up gutter systems over time. This can lead to gutter damage and even roof damage if you don't pay to have the gutters cleaned or undertake the dangerous chore yourself. Gutter covers eliminate this problem, making your gutters basically maintenance free. This saves you money on gutter cleaning and will help both your gutter system and your roof last longer.

A good way to find out what upgrades your roof might need is to have it evaluated by a roofing contractor, such as Empire Roofing, in your area. The roofing contractor can tell you what repairs are needed and what weak spots your roof might have. Take the time to make some improvements to your roof this spring, and save money all year long.