Homeowner's Knowledgebase

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August 19, 2016


Factors Effecting Roof Lifespan


How the Sun Affects the Lifespan of Your Roof

You may consider your roof a hat or umbrella over your home, but that does not protect it from sun damage. Especially in warm climates, a bright afternoon can begin deteriorating your roof. Although such weathering is both natural and inevitable, learning about sun damage and how to detect it can help you maximize the lifespan of your roof.

UV Radiation

UV rays dry up the oils in your shingles, making them brittle. Consequently, some might warp, split or crack unexpectedly in the wind or rain. Note that UV damage can occur in all weather conditions, including cloudy ones.

High Heat

High heat exacerbates the effects UV rays have on a roof. Interestingly, the colour of your roof influences how much heat it retains. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the wood underneath black shingles warms up 10 to 15-degrees Fahrenheit more compared to white shingles. The material used also changes the reflexivity of the roof. For example, asphalt is more susceptible to sun damage compared to metal.

Thermal Shock

In the heat, shingles expand. When overly dry, this leads to splitting and cracking. But once the sun sets, the temperature of your roof begins to drop and your shingles contract. This is known as thermal shock. Such swelling puts stress on your roof and causes damage over time.

It’s best to routinely inspect your roof for signs of sun damage. If caught early, there are proactive measures that can prevent further deterioration. For instance, replacing broken shingles or adding a waterproof coating can mend areas of a weathered roof. Before attempting any repairs, always consult a professional to assess the damage.