Potential Roof Damage From Summer Heat And Sunshine


While you can avoid the sun and apply skin-protecting sun-block, your home cannot. Summer heat and exposure to the sun causes roof damage throughout Madison WI. Modern roofing materials are engineered to withstand weather extremes but the constant blast of heat and the sun’s rays have lasting effects. Traditional shingled roofs are most vulnerable.

The threat to your roof comes in two forms:  sunlight and heat.

Evaluate Roof Damage Threats

Roof Damage | Madison WI | Sims Exteriors and Remodeling
Light-colored shingles stand up best to the heat and rays of the sun, but modern technology has come a long way in creating long-lasting products in many colors.

Sunlight:  Over time the ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun break down the elements in even the highest quality shingles. It can cause untreated wood surfaces to come apart, turn black or fade to white. Shingles damaged by wind or storms can begin to buckle and under layers become ineffective – opening the roof to further damage.

Even on cloudy days the roof is exposed to UV light. UV rays dry out the natural oils in roofing materials and wood.

Heat:  The sun’s intensity beats down on your roof every day. Its impact is greatest during longer summer daylight hours. A roof without any shade can register surface temperatures of more than 150° on a day when the air is only around 90°. Daily exposure to such extreme heat makes UV rays even more destructive. Combined they open up your home to both physical damage and poor performance. As an example, if your attic isn’t well ventilated heat will build causing condensation problems and increasing the temperature inside the house.

The combination of extreme heat during the day and cooler nights causes a thermal shock to the roof and its components. Materials expand and contract more quickly than if temperature differences were not as great. After years of this stress the materials lose structural integrity – particularly metal pieces that will bend out of shape leaving gaps. These gaps between metal pieces and roofing are prime areas for leaks.

Inspect Your Roof – What To Look For

Roof Damage | Madison WI | Sims Exteriors and Remodeling
Light-colored shingles stand up best to the heat and rays of the sun, but modern technology has come a long way in creating long-lasting products in many colors.

A ground-level inspection of your roof gives you an early warning of potential harm. If you note any changes, call in a professional for a detailed inspection. The combination of sun and heat leads to several serious concerns including:

  • Decaying materials – older singles are very susceptible to decay. They will look deformed. Pieces might be missing. They will be discolored and look soft or “rotted.” The decaying process is slow however once it is visible it is time to take action. Repairs or a new roof prevent further, more extensive damage.
  • Warped materials – shingles begin to bend and curl upward. Once warping begins it rapidly gets worse with prolonged heat and exposure to intense sunlight. Metal parts – vents around chimney and vents, flashing, etc. – warp as well. The combination of bent metal and curled shingles opens the roof to leaks and pests.
  • Cracked materials – repeated daytime heating plus nighttime cooling cause expansion and contraction. Weakened shingles split and crack. Pieces break off and cracks open up ways for moisture to reach the roofing materials below.

All three of these situations, left undetected and untreated, open up your house to more serious damage to your roof. A roof weakened by a lifetime of exposure to UV rays and heat is a prime target for summer and winter storms.

Elements Gang Up To Damage Roofs

Driving rain, hail and high winds are a mainstay of Wisconsin summertime storms. They all represent potential sources of damage on the roof. Shingles weakened by exposure increase the chances. Wind-driven rain is easily forced beneath weak shingles. So is debris from trees.

Water under shingles represents a serious mold and rot issue. In addition, if there’s enough the added weight stresses the structure itself. In winter, weakened shingles are prime targets for ice forcing its way underneath. Not only as a recognizable ice dam but also entering around metal fixtures and vents.

Stress caused by sunshine and heat this summer continues to threaten your roof all year long.

Head off Roof Damage

It takes a seasoned professional to provide the right solution for every roofing challenge. Few roofing companies have the experience and expertise that Sims has. Coupled with industry-leading products from GAF, Sims is known for its service and problem-solving ability.

When you have concerns for your home’s roof, call Sims Exteriors and Remodeling at 608-825-4500 or email us. We are ready to recommend a cure for roof damage from the sun on your Madison WI home.

Sims Roofing

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