How Does the Sun Damage Your Roof?

Think of Your Roof as Your Home’s Outer Skin

Unprotected skin, when exposed to the sun is damaged by the ultraviolet rays. Your roof can suffer from those same UV rays.  Marin, Sonoma and San Francisco counties enjoy a variety of microclimates, exposing roofs to varying degrees of heat and moisture. Depending on your location and immediate surroundings, your roof may get more, or less sun exposure than a home only a few miles away.  

No Sunscreen for Your Roof

There isn’t any reliable sunscreen for your roof, though modern technology is seeking ways to protect roofing materials. Spray-on reflective/protective options are available, though reviews vary. A better alternative might be to choose a UV resistant roofing material at installation. In very hot microclimates, clay or concrete tiles could be a wise choice. Think of Mexico, or Sienna, Italy, with the red tiled roofs that last for many decades.  You might also consider a slate tile roof.

Not all roof designs are right for tiles, but other options are available. Asphalt shingles are the most common. Unfortunately, they are susceptible to the sun’s UV rays. Composite shingles that are made up of fiberglass combined with asphalt can be longer lasting, even when they get a lot of sun. Metal roofs are becoming more popular on homes, as manufacturers expand their designs beyond industrial to residential markets.

Don’t Assume Your Roof is Fine because it doesn’t Leak

sun-damaged-roofsFor those of you who are not likely to change your roofing material any time soon, you can take precautions now. If your home is exposed to fairly rapid changes in temperature, do frequent inspections. For instance, if your roof is absorbing the sun’s rays for most of the day, only to cool down rapidly when the fog rolls in, that can cause your tiles to dry out, get brittle and hard. This can lead to cracking so the seal is compromised. You can often see these changes by climbing up and looking at your roof, without ever walking on it. Examine the roof for discolored, cracked or curling roofing materials. Minor damage, caught and repaired early can extend the life of your roof.

Keeping your roof free of debris can also help prolong the life of your roof. A roof that is being prematurely aged by the sun may also crack more easily if someone walks the roof. Observing certain areas of your roof from a ladder might be a better option. If you want a thorough inspection, it is a good rule of thumb to call a professional to conduct an inspection at least once a year.

Our professional roofing team are experts. They know how to walk a roof without damaging your existing roofing material. Give us a call today.