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How Does Heat Affect Your Roof?

How Does Heat Affect Your Roof?

Canada is no stranger to hot summers. In the summer, your roof undergoes a lot of wear and tear because of the heat. Your roof needs to be able to handle this wear and tear for it to last for many years. This is why routine roof maintenance and inspections are essential. By keeping a close eye on the condition of your roof, you can spot the signs of thermal shock, roof degradation and humidity damage early on. Keeping an eye on your roof will give you time to ensure your roof has proper ventilation, keep up with repairs, and use dehumidifiers to stop or reverse any heat-related damage before your roof is damaged beyond repair. In this blog, we'll go over the signs the summer heat is negatively affecting your roof and how to keep it safe so it lasts as long as it should. Read on to learn more!

What is Roof Degradation?

Roof degradation is precisely what it sounds like. It can be caused by many factors, but in the summer, one of the main causes is extended exposure to direct sunlight. The sun can compromise your roofing material and may cause buckling shingles, eroding, and peeling. If this happens, the wood beneath the shingles becomes exposed, leaving it vulnerable to potential water damage. All roofs can be susceptible to roof degradation, but generally, it is older roofs that cause more concern. If your roofing system is older than 15 years, replacing it might be a good idea so it can handle the summer heat better.

What are the Signs of a Heat Damaged Roof?

There are a few common signs your roof has suffered heat damage. 

  1. Curling shingles
  2. Deteriorating or balding shingles
  3. Peeling
  4. Buckling
  5. Eroding

Once you notice any of these signs of heat damage, you should call a local roofing contractor to repair it as soon as possible. Heat-related threats to your roof are very common and are the leading causes of roof damage in the summer. The increased humidity and constant exposure to sunlight can cause your roof's lifespan during the summer months.

The Angle of the Slope

The slope of your roof can open it up to more extensive heat damage. This will not only decrease the lifespan of your roof, but it can also cause heat damage more quickly. When your roof has a lower slope, a larger section of your roof is exposed to the sun for extended periods. A higher slope will be better for your roof if you live in an area with a lot of sun.

UV Rays

In the summer, the sun is typically closer to the Earth. This increases the UV rays your roof has to endure during the day. Prolonged direct exposure to UV rays can age the material of shingles faster, causing them to peel or erode. Some roofing materials stand up to sun exposure better than others. Slate or clay tile roofs will typically not absorb heat and allow the heat to "bounce" off your home.

Thermal Shock

Thermal shock occurs when your roofing system expands and contracts due to constant heating and cooling. Thermal shock happens when it heats up quickly during the day and cools off quickly at night. The more this occurs, the more strain is put onto your roof, decreasing its lifespan. Some older roofing systems can even expect cracks and splits from thermal shock.

High Humidity

Homeowners in high humidity areas can potentially expect more roofing issues when the summer comes around. Hot and humid air can cause condensation underneath your roofing system, most commonly in asphalt shingles. Eventually, the high humidity will begin to cause water damage.

If you notice cracks and splits in your shingles, this is likely occurring from humidity damage. Additionally, if you notice leaks or water-damaged on your ceiling, this can also be a sign of humidity damage.

Protecting your Roof from Heat Damage

Aside from regular roof inspections, there are additional measures you can take to protect your roofs from heat damage during the hot Canadian summers. The roofing experts at United Roofing & Exteriors suggest you invest in any repairs as soon as you spot any damage to your roof, even if they seem insignificant. Taking care of repairs quickly will reduce the potential for more significant problems with your roof. You should also invest in proper ventilation to help your roof stay in tip-top condition during the summer. Most roofs have intake vents and exhaust vents installed. These vents protect your home from damage caused by trapped heat, moisture, and mould. Without proper ventilation, the summer months can cause your AC to overwork and end up hurting shingles by keeping moisture trapped in your attic. You can also get a "cool roof" paint for your older roofing system to help in the short term. Cool roof paints are designed to help reflect sunlight away from your roof rather than absorbing it. 

Routine Inspection can Improve your Roof's Longevity

Having your roof inspected at least twice yearly by a local roofing contractor is the best way to help you catch small problems before they become larger ones. This means your roof will have a longer lifespan, and you will get more value for your investment. At United Roofing & Exteriors, we know how important it is to keep your roof in tip-top shape. If you need roof repairs or replacement, we're your go-to! Contact us today!