Did you know that your roof can be damaged simply from the good ol’ sunshine? More specifically, the sun causes damage in two ways – UV radiation and thermal damage. Before you start to get too worried, the granules on your asphalt shingles are designed to scatter light and reflect heat. They are made to last for years, which is why many shingles come with manufacture warranties of 10-15 years. However, over time, these granules will wear away, fall off, or get swept away from the wind, water, and sun. It is normal wear-and-tear you can expect to see on a roof and we always recommend keeping an eye on the state of your roof. Here’s how to tell when there is sun damage on a roof!
UV rays rain down on rooftops, but we can’t see them. They are the same rays that cause skin damage if your skin is exposed without protection. Sunburns? Yep – a result of excessive UV radiation on your skin.
As ultraviolet radiation hits the roof, deterioration takes place. The reaction is not extreme or quick, but over time, the damage slowly increases. Eventually, the oily material over your asphalt shingles will evaporate, leaving them less water-repellant and flexible. As more evaporates, your shingles get brittle and likely to crack. When they break, that’s when you’ll start to experience minor or major roof problems.
If you leave something out in the heat, it’s going to warm up and get hot. It sounds obvious, but your roof can get extremely hot as it reflects the sun as it shines. Shingles absorb energy as the UV light hits them. When they cool, the shingles will contract. They are in a constant cycle of expansion and contraction as the temperatures change around them. When shingles contract quickly, they can go into what is called thermal shock.
Thermal shock leads to cause a separation in the materials that make up a shingle. This separation can also lead to cracks and breaks in your roof. Metal roofs are especially susceptible to extreme heat as they become brittle over time. Drastic changes in temperature result in even more damage that will lead to mold growth, leaks, or possible frame rot, depending on how bad it gets.
There are a few telltale signs that your roof needs some repair. You might see discoloration on your shingles. Warping is also a common thing to see. Shingles will start to curl at the edges signaling that they need some attention. When you begin to see this, it’s a good idea to call your local roofer. They may tell you only a few tiles need to be replaced, which is just part of good maintenance.
Crumbling roof tiles are a definite sign that you need to pay attention to your roof. Not only does it mean that the wind took some of the tiles off if it’s a windy day, but it also means that your roof may not be as strong as it once was. It is a common issue in older roof tiles and can easily be replaced as needed.
By maintaining your roof, you will ensure that your roof will live a longer life. If you are not sure where your roof stands, call your local roofer for an inspection. Many will offer a free assessment just to let you know what you can expect for any necessary repairs, and if it’s not free, the cost is much lower than having to repair an entire roof because you went too long without an inspection.
Maintaining your roof to protect your house from the elements is critical in caring for your home. Ideally, you should have your roof inspected annually, which you can schedule by calling IBEX Roof’s friendly office staff at 360-218-3134.