A roof is a vital component of any building. It serves as protection against the elements of nature. Yet, roofs are one of the most commonly repaired or replaced components. Commercial & Residential Building Owners Spend Around $12 Billion on Roofing Repairs & Replacements Every Year. You may argue that this can be avoided by opting for durable, long-lasting roofing materials but your roofs are still prone to damage from sun exposure.
With the temperatures in Denver, Colorado hitting up to 84OF in summers, the damage from direct exposure to sun not only affects the aesthetics of the roof but also compromises the structural integrity thereby reducing its lifespan and performance. We are going to learn about the types and the signs of roof damage from direct sun exposure.
Types of Roof Damage from Sun Exposure
The damage to your roof can be divided into two categories.
Depending on the damage type, your roofing contractor would suggest an appropriate workaround.
Damage from Heat Generated
Thermal Shock from Expansions & Contraction
Materials have a tendency to expand when heated and contract with chilled. When sunlight falls your roof, it tends to heat the roofing material up. The expanded metal or plastic shingles may push each other or warp from the heat. Additionally, the sudden change from hot to cold can induce Thermal shock in the material, compromising its structural qualities.
Metals can become thin in certain sections and become brittle. Such a roof will no longer offer protection against rain, hail, or any debris as any impacts on any brittle sections will result in cracks. Water can seep in and lead to moss growth, leaks, and rot the internal roof support structures.
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Damage from Radiation
We all have learned that sunlight is made up of multiple radiations and exposure to UV radiation can severely damage human skin. The roof of your building is also susceptible to damages from prolonged exposure to UV radiation. The following are some of the damages possible on roofs from exposure to UV:
Every roof is coated with a protective coating that protects the roof from damage due to rain, hail, or debris. Moreover, sealants are applied between shingles to avoid seepage. UV radiation can interfere with these and cause them to dry out. Moreover, those with wooden supports, the radiation can break down the microscopic molecules, drain the moisture from within, and make them weak.
Similar to protection coating and sealants, UV radiation can also break down molecules of paint and turn the surface white. While this doesn’t affect the structural strength of the roof, it can make your roof look pale and decaying. This is an irreversible process and you would end up repainting the entire roof once the paint starts bleaching.
Signs of Roof Damage
As per the popular adage, a small stitch at the right time can save you nine more. Getting in contact with your local roofing contractor at the first sign of damages can help you from running high costs for repairing or replacing your roof. Some of the nuances that indicate that your roof needs repairing are as below:
As we mentioned earlier, due to the heat from the direct sunlight, there is a chance that your shingles may expand. This would lead to the shingles overlapping or buckling owing to strain from adjoining shingles. This would lead to minor bumps across the roof and can cause structural malfunctions.
Owing to corrosions or rot, certain sections of your roof may end up leaking. The leakage could in the form of natural light as well as water during rain. Moreover, the crevices can act as a gateway for household critters to enter.
(Source: Public Domain Pictures)
Due to corrosions, certain shingles can start crumbling or the roof may look caved in owing to the weight. This can be an indicator of wear and tear from sunlight.
How to prevent extensive sun exposure damage?
Sunlight is everywhere and there is nothing you can do to prevent your roofs from being damaged. You can considerably improve the life of a roof by proper maintenance and periodic inspections. Reflective paints or shining metal sheets are a good way to reflect most of the radiations and natural materials such as clay, terracotta or slate can bear the brunt better than asphalt shingles. For houses with aging shingles, it is advisable to have a roofing expert such as PRQ Exteriors inspect them and get it replaced with better roofing materials. It is greatly advised to conduct minor repairs twice a year than a huge repair every two years.