Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home – not only is it one of the first parts of your home new guests see, but it is also the first line of defense against the elements. Because of this, however, weather takes a major toll on roofing – and not just rain, hail, or snow. Sunlight itself can damage your roof, slowly but consistently, as the years go on.
How the Sun Affects Roofing
Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material, but they are also quite vulnerable to sunny weather wear and tear. Think about the different types of roofs across the world – in the Mediterranean, for example, many homes are built with terracotta shingles because they can handle the heat.
Hot materials expand, and as they cool they start to contract. The effect of this process is that roofing materials can experience slow, long-term damage as this cycle repeats. The ultraviolet light from the sun can also degrade roofs over time as it breaks down the microscopic bonds that hold shingles and tiles together. If there is any trapped air or moisture in your shingles – usually a defect from the manufacturing process – your roof might experience bubbles of hot, expanding air called blisters.
Bleaching and warping are also common results from long-term sun exposure. Bleached roofing can reduce the aesthetic value of your home, and there is little that can be done to reverse the process once it begins. Warping, however, is a more serious issue that can cause long-term structural problems for your home’s roof. Cracks can also form because of the sun and heat, and this can cause leaks over time.
What Can You Do?
There is no 100% effective sunblock for roofs, but there are ways you can extend the life of your roof. First, you can choose a roofing material that is resistant to sun damage and built to last. Sun damage is a long-term problem that can be easily combatted with good maintenance habits.
The most important thing you can do to help maintain your roof is to conduct regular inspections. An annual roof inspection goes a long way toward preventing problems, and by choosing to inspect your roof you can learn of a problem before it starts to develop. A few cracked shingles here and there might not be the end of the world, but they can turn into a serious problem over time.
Certain materials are better at resisting sunlight than others. Metal roofing, for example, is reflective and resistant to warps and cracks. As such, it is far less likely to experience damage from sunlight than traditional asphalt roofing. Terracotta, clay, or slate are also good sun-resistant materials that can take the full force of the sun all day without sustaining damages.
The best cure for sun damage is prevention and protection – simply hire an experienced roofing contractor, like Able Roof, to check your roof for damage. Sometimes, the best solution might be to invest in a new roof using higher quality, sun-resistant materials. Whatever you choose, being proactive about your roof is sure to add years onto its lifespan.