During rainy weather, you might worry a lot about your roof. You might wonder if the shingles will keep water out of your attic. Or perhaps you doubt whether the gutters and downspouts will adequately redirect the rain away from your home.
But during sunny weather, you might not give your roof a second thought. After all, if you feel comfortable basking in the heat, surely your roof will, too.
But did you know that the sun can cause just as much damage as the rain?
1. UV Radiation
The sun emits more than the light we see; it also gives off UV radiation. UV radiation has a shorter, more energetic wavelength. This energy affects your rooftop on a molecular level, causing oxygen molecules to combine with the hydrocarbons in your shingles.
Dry, Brittle Shingles
Over time, the UV radiation causes molecular breakdown in your asphalt shingles. The oils that hold your shingles together degrade and evaporate, leaving your shingles dry and brittle. Eventually, your dried shingles lose their waterproof qualities, increasing the likelihood of leaks.
Your shingles may have originally come in a rich black or a striking chestnut colour. But as your shingles absorb UV radiation, the chemical bonds that give your shingles their colour start to break down as well. As the bonds deteriorate, the colour fades, making your roof look old beyond its years.
2. Direct Heat
Melbourne averages a comfortable 25 degrees Celsius in the summer. But what you feel on your skin doesn’t always reflect the temperature of your roof.
As many shingles have a darker colour, they absorb a great deal of light and heat. Although temperatures vary depending on colour and manufacturing, the average roof reaches as high as 65 degrees Celsius. And in some areas, that temperature can skyrocket to a whopping 76 degrees Celsius.
When exposed to direct heat, many asphalt shingles start to soften at 60 to 66 degrees. With even more heat, the oils in your shingles evaporate, and your shingles curl, warp and peel away from your roof.
During shingle manufacturing and installation, some moisture may become trapped within or between shingles. As the heat transfers to the water, the molecules move more quickly and create pressure. This pressure builds up within each shingle, pushing the materials outward and forming a blister-like bubble. Sometimes these blisters pop, resulting in visible holes in your shingles.
3. Heat Expansion and Contraction
Even after the sun has set, it can still damage your roof. High temperatures during the day cause your shingles to expand, and lower temperatures at night make your shingles contract again.
Cracked and Split Shingles
The constant expansion and contraction strains your shingles. The bonds have to stretch to their breaking point and then shrink again until they crack, tear and split.
As shingles expand and contract, they move slightly beneath the nail. This constant movement loosens the nails holding your shingles in place. As the nail backs out of the wood deck, it opens up a hole for future leaks and water damage. And given enough time, the nail pops out completely, and your shingles fall away as a result.
Call a Professional to Restore or Replace Your Roof
If you spot cracked, loose, curled or discoloured shingles on your roof, you can attribute much of the damage to the sun. Fortunately, you don’t have to live with the damage for long when you call a roofing expert to repair or replace your roof.
Installing metal roofing will ensure that your roof can withstand the sun. High-quality metal roofing can withstand the sun’s rays more efficiently than other roofing types. With the right materials, your roof will stand a better chance against Mother Nature, no matter rain or shine.
For a quote on roof restoration or metal roofing installation, call O’Boyles on 03 9718 2033.