An Overview Of Sun Damage To The Roof Plus Mitigation Measures

The sun causes and accelerates roof damage in various ways, and an unprotected (from sun damage) roof cannot last very long. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to minimize damage.

What Sunlight Does

The sun is not a friend to your roof. Below are some of the specific ways rays from the sun can damage the roof.

It Dries Out Roofing Materials

Roofing materials need to be a bit flexible. The flexibility allows the materials to withstand external forces without permanent damage. Asphalt shingles are manufactured with oils for this purpose; the oils give the shingles their flexibility to prevent damage. However, heat from the sun can dry out the shingles and make them lose their flexibility. As a result, the shingles can easily crack at the first hint of external force.

It Causes Roofing Materials to Expand and Contract

Solid materials expand when heated and contract when cool. When the sun is out shining, particularly on hot days, it heats up the roofing materials and causes them to expand. The materials then contract after they cool at night. The constant expansions and contractions cause too much stress on the materials; the stress can lead to various forms of damage such as cracking and curling.

It Breaks Up Materials Molecular Structures

It is not just sunlight that you need to worry about. Even invisible rays from the sun damage the roof. For example, ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun change the molecular structures of the roofing materials; this weakens the materials and makes them susceptible to damage.

Mitigation Measures

Some level of roofing damage due to the sun is inevitable, but you can minimize the damage if you take the following measures. 

Make the Roof White or Reflective

As previously mentioned, heat from the sun is one of the causes of roof damage. Therefore, limiting the amount of heat on your roof will reduce the damage. One way of doing this is to apply a white or reflective coating on the roof if your choice of roofing material is not naturally white or reflective. The coating will reflect most of the light and heat and protect the roof.

Ensure Adequate Roof Insulation and Ventilation

If your roof is poorly ventilated and insulated, heat from the sun will penetrate through all the layers of the roof. This heat will get trapped inside and under the roof, contributing to further damage. Thus, ensure your roof has adequate insulation and ventilation to mitigate heat-related damages.

Conduct Regular Inspections and Maintenance

Sun damage to the roof doesn't occur at once; it is a gradual process that worsens with time. Regular inspections on the roof will help you identifying these emerging problems before they cause disasters. Regular maintenance will help you take care of small defects on the roof, such as flashing damage due to expansion and contraction before further damage occurs.

For more information, contact companies like Surface Shield Protective Coatings.