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Excess Sun Exposure and Your Roof: What You Need to Know

Excess Sun Exposure and Your Roof: What You Need to Know

As a homeowner, you may wonder about the consequences of excess sun exposure and your roof; let’s dive into everything you need to know.

You are likely aware of the things that can affect your roof, such as wind, rain, and hail. But did you know that the sun plays a huge role in the health of your roof? 

Keep in mind that rain, wind, and similar elements do not occur every day. However, the sun is constant — except for a few days here and there — which is why your roof’s ability to withstand heat and UV rays without quickly fading or declining is so important.

All roofs are outside, so they are all exposed to various amounts of sunshine depending on your climate. In Utah, we have long summers of intense heat and sun that can be incredibly damaging to our roofing materials. Can this excessive exposure to the sun damage your roof, and what can you do about it?

Learn more about how the sun can damage your roof and what you can do below.

Excess Sun Exposure and Your Roof

The same UV rays from the sun that burn your skin can degrade asphalt roofing, the main material in shingles. Asphalt is very resistant to the sun and does a great job of standing up against it, which is why it makes for fantastic roofing material. 

Manufacturers place granules on the top of the shingles to add color and reflect light away from the shingles, giving your roof a longer lifespan.

While asphalt is great for the job, it doesn’t last forever. Extreme heat will bake shingles, evaporating the necessary oils in the asphalt, creating a brittle and cracked surface.

How Does Excess Sun Exposure Damage Your Roof?

Damage to your roof from the sun is generally caused by one — or both — of two things: UV radiation or excessive heat exposure. While UV radiation is usually associated with wrinkles, premature aging, and skin cancer, these harmful rays and heat exposure can also be the culprit of cumulative damage to your roof. Here are some ways that the sun can damage your roof:

BLEACHING — Prolonged UV exposure can affect the color of your roof and cause it to fade over time. The darker color of your roof is, the more likely it is to become bleached. Thankfully bleaching is strictly a visual issue and doesn’t cause any structural harm to your roof or home; it will only affect the aesthetic of your property. 

It is important to note that this process cannot be reversed. The only way to “fix” a sun-bleached roof is to replace it. If your shingles are noticeably faded, chances are it’s old enough to need a replacement.

COATING DAMAGE — A more serious consequence of excess sun exposure and your roof involves the coating on your shingles. A protective coating is a crucial component of every roof as it shields it from weather-related damages, such as problems from hail or heavy rainfall. 

UV rays can dry the coating on your shingles, resulting in cracks, ruptures, or peeling, exposing the under layers of your roof to the elements. This can accelerate damage and ultimately lead to roof leaks.

THERMAL SHOCK — Roofing material is constantly expanding and contracting thanks to the cycle of extreme heat during the day and the drop in temperatures at night. Years and years of this back and forth can result in shingles developing jagged edges and cracks where water can creep in, which may lead to leaks, moss growth, and a shortened lifespan.

Years of thermal shock can significantly weaken metal roofs, too. While the expansion and contraction aren’t as drastic as with shingles, it is enough to cause the metal panels to move slightly, which may expose seams and lead to leaks over time.

How to Spot Roof Damage 

Calling in a trusted and skilled professional the moment you find even the slightest roof damage is essential. It could nip the issue in the bud before it becomes something more severe and expensive. However, knowing what exactly to look for can be tricky. So, if you notice any of the following, your roof may need to be fixed or possibly replaced:

  • Missing or torn shingles
  • Cracked or curling shingles
  • Dark spots or discoloration on your ceilings or walls
  • Mold or water spots in your attic
  • Obvious water leaks
  • Insect or critter infestations
  • Clogged gutters

How to Protect Your Roof From Excess Sun Exposure and Damage

Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to prevent the sun from beating down on the roof of your property. Once your shingles are on your roof, there’s really nothing you can do. You can, however, keep your roof in great shape by implementing these proactive steps:

  • Hire an experienced roofing specialist to conduct regular roof inspections. They will detect any potentially serious problems before they cause irreversible damage to your roof.
  • Invest in high-quality, durable roofing materials.
  • Apply any applicable protective coatings to your roof and roofing materials

My Roof Was Damaged by the Sun, Now What?

As previously mentioned, there’s not much you can do to stop your roof from being exposed to the elements, even the sun. Once your shingles have become damaged, all you can do is repair or replace them. If you are getting a roof replacement and live in an especially sunny climate, it’s best to opt for a shingle that is specifically manufactured for excess sun exposure.

Concerned About Sun Exposure and Your Roof? Call the Pros at We Do Roofing SLC!

If you are concerned about excess sun exposure and your roof, call the experts at We Do Roofing SLC.

Our trusted and skilled team is licensed and insured and are experts in all things siding, gutter, and roof jobs. With more than 20 years of experience, we can handle whatever job you throw our way; whether you need a simple roof repair or require a totally new roof for your property, our crew is here to help. 

We proudly service homes and businesses in Murray, Salt Lake City, West Jordan, West Valley City, and surrounding cities along the Wasatch Front. Ready for your quick quote? Contact We Do Roofing SLC today.