Can the Sun Damage Your Roof?

As the sun pours down copious amounts of UV rays, energy, and heat, your roof gets a front row ticket to it all. While a good roof is designed and manufactured to withstand a wide array of the elements, it is possible that the sun can damage your roof in ways you don’t expect. Since your roof puts up with so much to protect you, it’s helpful to learn just what kind of damage the sun can cause your roof and what you can do to help. To make it easy for you, Leaf guard of Indiana is here to provide you with some handy tips and information to reduce the potential sun-induced damage on your roof throughout the year!

How the sun affects your roof

Indianapolis summers are everybody’s favorite time of year. The days are long, the weather is great, and it’s the perfect time to spend countless hours hanging out with friends and family. However, while you’re doing all this it’s important to make sure that you’re not taking your roof for granted. While you’ve made it through the winter months and rainy spring, there are still ways the summer sun can assault your roof.

  • The sun floods your roof with heat: As temperatures soar this summer, your roof should be doing its job of absorbing the heat. While different kinds of roofs are designed to withstand direct heat, the course of time causes roof tiles to slowly, but surely, dry out and be sapped of most of their flexibility. Although tiles have oils that can help them adapt and morph over of time, the sun can soak up these oils and drain away the effectivity of the weatherproofing chemicals. Once these protective coatings are gone, your roof tiles will start to weaken, which can lead to your roof undergoing structural damage. With structural damage, you may face heavy leaks which can damage other parts of your home (for example, causing mold to grow), as well as caving holes and gaps in your roof.
  • The sun can cause warping and cracking: If you have plastic materials on your roof (think of plastic sliding) or certain metals, sunlight will cause these materials to heat up very quickly. When summer starts, these materials may undergo thermal shock, which takes place when there’s a sudden shift in temperature from cold to hot. The unexpected and extra heat can quickly destabilize the material, causing warps and cracks, as well as structural weakening.
  • The sun can cause bleaching: All you need to do is take a brief look at driftwood to picture this one. Excessive sunlight often bleaches objects and can damage the particles on your roof that provide color. Over the years, the color will fade. Fading can be most visibly seen on darker rooftops. The sides of your roof that face the sun will be especially sensitive to bleaching, especially if there are wooden materials or you’ve used coatings of paint on your roof.
  • The changing temperatures push and pull: The weather does change in Indianapolis—it’s not all sun and good times. When temperatures drop or soar, your roof will expand and contract accordingly. When it’s warm, there will be expansion. When it’s cold, there will be contracting. Because of this cyclical process, you can develop loose tiles over the years and accumulate damage to the attached parts. While your drainage system can easily expand and contract, your roof tiles will take it harder, pushing the drainage away from the roof and possibly leading to leaks and damages.

What can you do about sun damage?

  • Carry out periodic maintenance: Don’t wait for decay to set in—stay on top of your game! Open and unclog your drains throughout the year so water and debris doesn’t cause damage. Avoid walking on the roof when possible, and if you spot any damage or leaks, get them repaired ASAP.
  • Consider roof coatings: This step helps protect your roof from UV rays and infrared damage. Make sure to choose a coating with high emissivity and reflectivity. A roof coating is simply placed on your existing roof, providing a waterproof barrier that sticks to your roof. Recoating needs to be done roughly every 10 to 15 years.
  • Run regular roof inspections: Look out for warped tiles, dissolving tiles (there will be a lot of dust), and tile misalignment. The warning signs can vary by the type of roof you have, but include cracked or curled shingles, crumbling tiles, or excessive dust accumulation. Any of these indicate a bigger problem. Be sure to also check if there are any clogs or chemicals draining from HVAC units. If you spot anything amiss, make sure you get in touch with our friendly team at Leafguard of Indiana for general questions and assistance. We’d love to help ensure the health of your roof!

Call Leafguard for more information about your roof’s health!