While it’s common for us to be concerned about our roofing after a storm, or after winter has unleashed months of relentless and harsh precipitation on us, most of us don’t think about checking our roofs after a hot summer. For the most part, roof repairs seem to only really be needed when strong winds and debris are present, but, perhaps surprisingly, the effects of a long and hot summer can also be equally as damaging.
How the Sun and Heat Can Damage Your Roof:
When we’re out tanning, swimming and soaking up the blissful rays of sunny summer, our roofs are silently putting up with a battle of their own. Built to withstand extreme weather conditions and made to hold up under fluctuating weather conditions, the long and hot months of summer can really do a number on our roofs. Going unnoticed, prolonged sun and heat exposure to a roof can cause damage that might result in the need for a total replacement, far before its lifespan is up. Some ways in which the sun and heat can damage your roof are:
- Decay – it might seem strange that a dry and hot atmosphere would cause decay, but with relentless heat and sun exposure during those Canadian summers that we so look forward to, your roof can start to decay. While not common in newer roofs, in roofs that are slightly older you will notice deformed or rotted looking shingles, a sign of decay. Chunks might be missing, and the shingles will look mottled and old. If there is decay, you will want to contact a roofing company to help you with replacements as soon as possible. This kind of damage will not bode well for the imminent winter months.
- Warping – another sign of sun damage is warping. You’ll notice this if your shingles are beginning to curl or bend upwards. Once again, this is common in older shingles as they have had prolonged sun exposure. As with decay, the more exposure to heat and sun, the faster the shingles will deteriorate, and this is due to UV radiation. Prolonged UV rays cause the oils in shingles to dry up, making them brittle and coarse. Because of this, shingles warp, crack, split or buckle when the rougher weather sets in.
- Cracking – cracking in shingles occurs when the intensity of the heat or sun is too much for them to bear. Similar to mud or dirt, the shingles will crack under the strain and dryness of the heat. Commonly, this is called thermal shock, which means that in the extreme heat, the shingles expand. But once nightfall approaches and the cooler temperatures come in, the shingles contract. This constant swelling and contracting of shingles puts stress on your roof, causing long-term damage, and ultimately cracking. If you notice cracking in your shingles, it is best to contact roofing contractors and have the problem dealt with immediately, as this can lead to much larger issues down the road.
You might not have any problems with the shingles on your roof, but have you made sure to check your attic? What happens when a house becomes too hot, and all the wood in the supporting beams are constantly expanding and contracting? If there isn’t enough insulation in your attic, the heat beating down on your roof, will make its way into the house. This is why sometimes your house seems hotter inside than it is outside. Poor attic insulation can lead to mould, poor indoor air quality, rot, and poor ventilation. Ensure your attic is properly insulated to prevent this type of chain reaction from occurring.
Leave it to the Pros:
Caring for your roof is important and necessary to ensure the quality of your house and lifestyle. But when it comes to routine checks and repairs, leave it to the pros. All you need is about 2 checks a year, every 6 months, to ensure that everything is in top shape. Doing these checks though can be time-consuming, confusing and dangerous. Hiring a professional will give you peace of mind that everything is being properly checked, save you from a potential fall or misstep, and it might help you spot something you would have otherwise overlooked.
What to Expect from an Inspection:
When your roofing inspector comes for a check-up, you can expect them to do a full interior roof inspection, which means a visit to the attic to check for proper insulation, ventilation, moisture and mould. The full exterior inspection will then include a trip the roof to check for wear and tear, leaks, ice dams, the condition of the shingles, proper flashing and chimney work. They will then provide you with a report, a plan of action should anything need to be repaired and a written detailed estimate of pricing and solutions.