The extreme heat that comes from South Texas summers can damage your roof. Long-term exposure to direct sunlight can weaken the integrity of your roofing materials, and aging roofs are more susceptible to this type of damage. Roofing shingles can peel, buckle, or erode. This can leave the wooden surface underneath more exposed to sunlight and rain, which can eventually lead to water damage. That’s why you should think about replacing your roof if it’s more than 20 years old and you’re starting to see signs of significant balding.
Thermal shock can also occur in the summer. Roofing systems can expand when they’re exposed to the heat, and they can contract when it gets colder. This continuous cycle of contraction and expansion can cause physical strain on your roof, which may decrease its lifespan. And older roofs are more susceptible to splitting and cracking in warmer weather. Condensation can also settle under your roofing shingles, which can eventually lead to water damage and leaks.
Summertime Threats to Your Roofing System
While the winter season can be hard on your roof, summer can bring its own set of threats. The most obvious one is summer storms. And while they can be short, they can also be violent. If you went through your spring checklist and had any potential issues taken care of, you should be able to get through it without any damage. But there are other summertime treats that aren’t as obvious and not quite as dangerous. Some of them include but may not be limited to:
- Ultraviolet Rays — Your roof has to deal with exposure to ultraviolet rays, even when it’s cloudy. And it will increase significantly in the summer because the days are longer. Ultraviolet rays can dry out the oils in your roofing materials, which can cause wood to weaken and crack (especially if it’s untreated) and asphalt roofing shingles to buckle or split.
- Thermal Shock — Your roof can get to an extremely high temperature during the day and can rapidly cool off when the sun goes down. This can cause your roofing materials to expand and contract more quickly, which may weaken their structural integrity. This is especially true for metal roofing because they can warp out of shape (which can leave gaps between the metal and the rest of your roofing system).
Taking preventative measures is always better than fixing problems when they arrive, so it’s always a good idea to get your roof inspected by a professional at least once a year.
How Attic Temperature Can Affect Your Roof
If your attic has been properly ventilated, it will alleviate much of the effect that the summer heat will have on your roof. It will also make your roof more serviceable over the long term. But if your attic isn’t being ventilated (what people in the roofing industry call a “hot roof”), these kinds of problems can occur more easily. The heat and humidity that come from South Texas summers can cause mold growth on your roof, especially if it starts to leak. Without proper ventilation, moisture can build up inside your attic. And the heat can cause shingles to curl or blister. The temperature of your attic will determine how long your roof will last, so you want to keep it out of the attic through the vents on your roof.
If your roof has these vents, its temperature can be reduced by at least 20 degrees. And you’ll reduce the strain on your air conditioner, which will lower your cooling costs. While you’re in the attic, look for any leaks or damp places along the walls, seams, skylights, and chimneys. You also want to look at the color of your shingles, because it can give you a clue about their temperature. Roofing shingles with a lighter color will reflect more heat, while darker shingles tend to absorb it. This can make a difference of 20-40 degrees in temperature.