When it comes to our homes, one of the structures we take for granted is the roof. How often do you sit in your living room, listening to the rain, wondering how the weather is affecting your house’s covering?
Unless you know there���s already a leak, the answer is probably hardly ever. We trust that our roof will last through all but the most vicious of storms.
How the environment affects your roof helps you know what to be aware of and how to watch for problems.
In reality, your roof is only as stable as the environment it’s in and the material used to put it together. Over the years, weathering, erosion, and pollution slowly break down most surfaces. Since your roof is the protection, it is always exposed to the elements.
How the environment affects your roof helps you know what to be aware of and how to watch for problems. Use these tips to make your home’s shelter last as long as possible.
The Sun is Great, But Not for Your Roof
Spending too much time out in the sun causes damage to your skin. Did you know it also “wrinkles” your roof?
Think about the temperature in your car when you’ve left it parked outside in the sun for a few hours. When you open the door, it’s hot inside. The sun has warmed up the surfaces, just as it does to your roof.
In fact, it’s possible for a roof to be up to 75 degrees higher than the air around it. In the summer, or in hot climates, the most solid roofing materials can crack or warp. This causes roof leaks that, if not fixed early, can lead to a necessary roof replacement.
On top of the cracks and leaks, the sun’s UV rays cause asphalt shingles and other materials to degrade. Today, we use protective layers of granules to slow down the rate of shingle deterioration, yet it still occurs.
Fast Temperature Changes Speed Up Aging
If you live in a climate with a lot of extreme temperature changes or weather, your roof is going to age faster than it should.
The temperature changes quickly when a storm comes through. A hot day followed by a cooling thunderstorm means your roof’s temperature changes suddenly. Sometimes, it can drop as significantly as 60 degrees.
As the decking underneath the top layer of shingles heats up, it expands. This layer is supposed to gradually cool and contract. However, with the rain, it contracts almost instantly, stressing the material.
Add in climate changes like snow, sleet, ice, and hail, and your roof is being shifted, loosened, and worn away.
To make the problem worse, when pollution in the air mixes with the precipitation, it darkens the shingles and deteriorates them. Pollution comes from smoke, car exhausts, and many other causes, often resulting inacid rain. You can’t prevent the problem, although you can maintain your roof as best as possible.
Taking Care of Your Roof
Caring for your roof doesn’t have to be a daily thing, but it should be regular.
After major storms, be sure to clean the gutters and have your roof inspected at least once a year. Expert roof installers suggest an inspection before and after storm seasons to fix any damage before it becomes worse.
With regular upkeep and maintenance, you can get the most out of your roof, so you don’t have to worry that it won’t take care of you!