Roofs are like people: they get sun spots. Just like skin, shingles age and are impacted by the sun’s UV rays. Discolorations, dryness, and brittle shingles are just some of the signs your roof is being battered by the sun. While there is no foolproof way to shield your roof from the sun, unless your home is in a highly wooded area completely surrounded by shade, there are some things you can do to prevent the severe effects of direct sunlight—and they start with knowing what to look for.
Signs of sun damage
Most things left out in the sun for too long change color over time. Our skin gets darker while our roofs get lighter, which is just one way to tell if yours is overexposed. While shingles are designed to be fade resistant, as they age, their strength fades and with it, their color. If you start to see light patches on your roof, it may be time to call in an inspector to determine the state of your shingles.
Another sign is dry, cracking shingles. We get to use lotion to keep our exteriors moisturized, but there isn’t much you can do to your roof to keep the sun from drying it out. The more exposure your roof has to direct sunlight, the faster your shingles will begin to dry out, causing them to crumble, break, and deteriorate. This leaves your roof susceptible to other elemental damage, such as heavy rains and snow.
If you look up and see curled edges and wavy ridges on your shingles, it’s possible the sun is warping your roof. While water damage can also cause warping, sunlight and overheating is a common cause for shingles to begin to lose their shape and shrivel up. To ensure you know the true cause of warping, call in an inspector to determine what happened with your roof and what you can do to fix it.
Shingles are made up of small granules that deter light in different directions, which helps protect your roof. Over time, these granules erode from wind, sun, and rain, which causes the shingles to become stripped of their protective layers. This inherently leads to sun damage and other negative effects from exposure, like leaks and erosion. If your shingles are smooth in some places, this could be a sign that your roof is at a higher risk of sun damage.
While there isn’t a sure fire way to block the sun from aging your roof, there are preventative measures you can take to extend its lifespan. Applying a summer coating is one way to help keep your roof looking good and staying strong. The coating provides a layer of protection that redirects the sun’s UV rays so help relieve some of the heat absorption your roof takes on in summer months.
If you find that your roof is warped or your shingles are getting dry and brittle, don’t delay on getting it repaired. The longer you hold off, the more problematic the existing damage will become and the more likely more damage will occur. If your roof has a few spots that seem bleached or dry, get those repaired right away. If a majority of it has aged and is cracking or seems insecure, it may be best to invest in a new roof with stronger, more durable materials.
The safest bet to know if the sun is damaging your roof is to have a professional come out for an inspection. This will eliminate any questions you may have, provide solutions to damages, and give you peace of mind about the rest of your home’s protection.