How does Sun affect Roof Shingles?

How does sun affect roof shingles? From experience, roofing mission (a.k.a “BulletpRoof”) sees sun faded roofs, aged and damaged roofs on a regular basis, not all are due for replacement though.

Well, first what are roof shingles? Roof shingles are a sort of roof covering for sloped roofs that are set in an overlapping way so that each subsequent strip covers the next. They are small pieces of roofing material that are added atop the underlayment, sheathing, and roof trusses to enhance and safeguard your home from the outside elements.

There are quite a few types of roof shingles available, and they are popular amongst people. They include asphalt shingles, wood shingles, felt shingles, metal shingles, slate shingles, clay shingles, concrete shingles, composite shingles, and so on. These materials have various advantages and disadvantages. The type of roof shingle used in a building depends on personal aesthetics and the environment or climate of the area where the shingle is to be used.

A roof is a protective covering that covers or forms the top of a building. The roof is one of the most critical elements of your home, which serves as the first line of defense against unfavorable environmental elements and is one of the first areas that your home’s visitors will notice right away. Because of this, however, weather conditions take a significant toll on your home’s roof. In a building, the roof has the first direct contact with environmental factors such as rainfall, storms, snow, hail, heavy winds, and sunlight.

Unfortunately, these effects are compounded when a roof has two or more layers of roofing as it traps water and heat between it’s layers; The polar opposite of what shingles were designed to do, as explained in the anatomy of a roof. Helping the sun to do more damage to the roof in the summer and cause more potential leaks in the winter. How many layers of shingles are allowed? We recommend no more than ONE layer and there are about 64 reasons not to put shingles on top of shingles; Content below is in support of this.

Wind and storms are the most likely causes of roof damage, which are immediate problems. The sun, though, is another factor that can affect a roof that is far more subtle and persistent.

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What does the sun do to roof shingles?

The heat from the sun results in the expansion of roofing materials, and as they cool, they begin to contract. This cycle can cause slow, long-term damage that intensifies as the years go by. Sunlight contains a variety of radiation, including UV radiation, which may harm the skin and building materials, as you probably recall from science class. A roof can become damaged over time by the sun’s UV rays, which weaken the minuscule bonds holding the tiles and shingles together. Most significantly, if there is any trapped air or moisture in your shingles, which is usually a flaw of the manufacturing process, your roof might experience bubbles of hot, expanding air called blisters.

The sun harms roof shingles in several different ways, some of which are listed here:

  • ​Asphalt damage: UV rays can seriously harm asphalt coatings on shingles by rapidly heating the material, causing it to run, deform, or otherwise deteriorate. Simply put, shingles will decay more quickly in the blazing sun. Other causes of asphalt damage include hail, snow, and water damage. Each factor causes a different intensity of damage to the roof structure.
  • Coating damages:  Coatings and adhesives absorb that radiation and can wither under the relentless sun. Just as paint can crack, protective coatings on roof panels and shingles can wear out when exposed to too much sun. However, some coatings, including reflective coatings, are formulated to resist long-term sunlight effectively.
  • ​Bleaching: It is a phenomenon that does not compromise structural integrity. It will reduce the aesthetic quality of your home. If you’ve ever seen driftwood on the beach or old decks, you know how sunlight can bleach objects, destroying the particles responsible for color until the thing fades. This type of wear also occurs on rooftops, especially on darker rooftops. The sides of the roof exposed to the sun can fade over time.
  • Warping: When some of the shingles on your roof start to curl or bend upwards, that is called warping. This situation gets worse with prolonged exposure to harsh sunlight. We see this damage most often with plastic materials and metal elements. Sunlight tends to heat these materials quickly. In addition to potential thermal shock, this extra heat can also destabilize the materials, thereby causing warping.
  • ​Cracking: The pressure from warping can also produce cracking when there is tension in the shingle. Damage to the roof decking occurs shortly after cracking, just like deterioration and distortion do. Metal shingles may become weak and brittle, breaking more easily.
  • Quick Aging: Sunlight wears out your roof, and the more sun a roof gets, the faster it ages.
  • Decaying: Shingles begin to deteriorate due to repeated exposure to the harsh heat and sun. Newer shingles will typically hold up just fine because sun damage accumulates over time. The degradation will be easier to see on the older roofs. Shingles that are failing will appear distorted or rotten. They could be fragmentary or start to seem disruptive.

Preventing Sun Damage to Roof Shingles

Sun damage can be resisted to the best of our ability. Since the intense sunlight at high altitudes can hasten the destruction of conventional shingles, some asphalt shingles, for example, are designed to survive ultraviolet radiation for extended periods. Different materials are better than others at withstanding sunlight. For instance, metal roofing is reflective and resistant to warping and cracking. As a result, it is much less susceptible to sun damage than conventional asphalt roofing.

Additionally, solar reflective roofing, commonly referred to as cool roofing, can help stop UV shingle deterioration. These shingles have a coating on the shingle grains that increases their reflectiveness to reflect more of the sun’s rays. The shingle is covered with this coating at the manufacturing facility.

Similarly, you might select a long-lasting roofing material that is resistant to sun damage. The good news is that asphalt shingle damage is cumulative or worsens over time.

How to extend the life of roof shingles in this case would be to add new coating to the roof shingles as a part of annual roof maintenance to slow this damage over time. Normally, a spray-on solution that can be lightly coated across the shingles is enough to restore some of the shingle’s protection back.

Additional Proactive Measures for a Homeowner’s Roof

In conclusion, there isn’t a roof-safe sunscreen that works perfectly, but there are techniques to prolong the life of your roof. Conducting routine inspections is the most crucial thing you can do to support roof maintenance. A yearly roof inspection can help prevent issues and opting to inspect your roof detects problems before they worsen. Sun damage is a persistent issue that can be successfully avoided by practicing excellent maintenance.

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