Our roofs are the very first line of defense against the natural elements. We all know that rain, wind, hail, and snow can severely damage your roof, but did you know that even the sun, and the UV radiation it emits, can wreak havoc on your roof? Here are some ways that UV radiation is bad for your roof, and what you can do to prevent having to replace it too soon.
UV radiation can harm your asphalt shingles by getting right down to the chemical compounds and altering them. The oxygen mixes with the hydrocarbons, which causes the coating of the shingles to break down. As the material breaks down, the oily substance covering the shingles evaporate, which leaves the shingles unprotected. They then becoming dry and start cracking. Heat can also play a part, as it encourages expansion, followed by contraction when it cools at night, which causes even more cracking. This is called thermal shock, and as it continues throughout the years, the very structure of the roof can degrade. Since gutters and downspouts are connected to the roof, and are also susceptible to this same issue, they can separate from the roof, leaving you open for water damage.
That all sounds pretty scary. However, there are ways to save your roof and avoid any annoying replacement or repair bills. One of the main ways is to install an unconditional metal roof. A metal roof may seem like a strange idea in the 21st century, but it certainly has a purpose. While metal is still susceptible to expansion and contraction from the heat, it does not get changed on a microscopic and molecular level. You can also get roofing systems with rubber membranes, which are impervious to the UV rays.
You have probably seen that shingles have those tiny granules on their outer coating. The reason for this is to protect against UV radiation. However, over time, These pebbles will fall off, and the roof will get worse and worse., so make sure to do a roof inspection every year, and replace any shingles that need replacing, to keep your roof solid the best it can be.