- Published: 27 Nov 2018
The sun itself can cause damages to both commercial and residential roof systems. The sun emits ultraviolet (UV) light that degrades roofing materials over time. As the chemicals in your modified bitumen, shingle, metal or single-ply roofing membrane are constantly exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, the materials will begin to break-down and degrade. The sun plays a major role in the performance of every roof system.
The effects of the sun
There is no such thing as sunscreen for a roof. The sun heats up roofing materials and causes them to expand, and as they cool they start to contract. The roofing materials can experience slow, long-term damage as this cycle is repeated. It’s important to understand how different roofing materials and designs hold up against the power of the sun – by choosing the right roof system, you may avoid replacing a roof much sooner than necessary.
Other damage your roof may also experience from the sun:
Blisters – Bubbles of hot and expanding air
Bleaching – Discoloration of roofing material, resulting from long-term sun exposure
Warping – Structural problem to your roof that needs immediate attention
Cracks – Formed by the sun and heat, and may cause roof leaks if not properly addressed
The effects of the sun on a black roof
Typically, black roofing materials absorb the sun’s rays and heat up faster, they also stay hot for longer periods. This may shorten the lifespan of the roofing material and as the materials break down, other damages such as cracking or blistering may start to occur. Darker roofs may also increase your building’s energy costs, especially if the proper amount of insulation is not installed.
Reducing sunlight degradation with a Cool Roof
Typically cool roofs are white or light in color and have been designed to reflect sunlight and absorb less heat. Because cool roofs reflect ultraviolet rays, they typically resist sun damage better than dark roofing materials, particularly in Florida’s intense sun. Cool roofing materials also help control energy costs by absorbing less of the sun’s rays, they stay naturally cool. Long-term, white colored, cool roofs have proven to be beneficial by helping to decrease sunlight degradation and cooling costs in buildings that are located in hotter regions where air conditioners run all year long.
What is double reflectivity?
There are instances when white colored roofing materials may not always be the best roofing solution. If a roof has high walls, glass or other reflective surfaces, a white roofing surface may reflect sunlight directly onto those – causing double reflectivity. This causes the sun to reflect back onto those surfaces with twice the intensity. As a result, your roof may become hotter, causing your roofing materials to start to break down more quickly.
Planning for your new roof
It is important to work with a roofing contractor who understands how the sun affects roofing materials. During the planning phase of your roofing project, you should consider your building type, climate and roof system options. As your local, Central Florida roofing company, Perry Roofing Contractors has over 40 years of experience with helping commercial and residential building owners choose the right roof system for their building. Contact us today to learn more about your roof solutions.