Asphalt shingles are a popular roofing material. They’re cheap, lightweight, easy to replace, and have a reasonable lifespan.
Heat impact is something that homeowners and property managers should be aware of during the summer. How much damage can the sun and the frequently high temperatures of the Pacific West Coast do to the shingles?
The shingles will deteriorate over time due to exposure to the elements. Extreme heat and sun exposure can accelerate this process, requiring you to replace shingles or the entire roof before the estimated roof life expectancy.
What are some of the warning signs that your shingles are suffering from heat damage?
When shingles become dry and rigid, they are more prone to cracking. Cracked shingles raise the possibility of moisture getting beneath the shingles and into the roof structure.
Heat can cause shingles to shrink as well. When this happens, the nails that hold the shingles to the roof can come loose. Blisters form in the shingles, and when they pop, they expose the asphalt, making it vulnerable to further deterioration. They can cause leaks, just like any other type of roofing damage.
Damage to flashing
Metal flashing is more durable, but if your flashing is plastic flashing can pull away, stretch, and break as the roof joists expand in the heat. When the flashing on the roof is damaged, water can penetrate the roof, causing leaks and mould or mildew growth on the roof or the roof structure.
How can you protect your roof from heat damage?
The first step in preventing extreme heat damage to your shingles is to ensure that your roof is properly installed.
Another option is to install shingles in a lighter colour. Black shingles absorb more heat and are more susceptible to damage. Installing lighter-colored shingles reduces heat absorption and can extend the life of your shingles.
Proper ventilation in your attic is also essential. Ventilation allows heat to escape from the roof rather than accumulating and causing damage from the inside.
Regular roof inspections ensure that minor issues do not escalate into major problems. When damage is discovered early on, it is often simple to replace single or small blocks of shingles. If the situation worsens, the entire roof may need to be replaced, which can be an unexpectedly high cost.
Summer heat, followed by heavy fall rains, can wreak havoc on asphalt shingles if not properly maintained. Roof inspections once a year help to extend the life of your roof and can help you budget for any necessary repairs. They can also assist you in learning to identify potential problems and gain a better understanding of some of the issues to watch for in the future.