The sun is both a giver of life and destroyer of just about everything. Without it, we would have no light, no energy, and our planet would be an uninhabitable ball of ice hurling through space. However, it also is a force of unparalleled destruction, eating away at virtually anything left outside and exposed to its harsh rays for too long. Yes, this includes your roof. It may seem surprising, but the sun’s radiation is one of the harshest and most devastating forces acting on your roof, especially when combined with scorching triple-digit heat that’s all too common during an Arizona summer.
What makes the sun so harsh? In order to understand as well as know how to protect your roof better, here are just a few of the reason why sun exposure is just as powerful at damaging your roof as the worst rainstorm could be.
Sunlight is extremely harsh in terms of the type of radiation it is constantly pelting the earth with. In addition to visible light, there are also things like x-rays, gamma rays, and a special type of radiation known as ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet light is light that’s just beyond our visible spectrum, but contains particularly abrasive qualities. If you’ve ever suffered a sunburn, odds are the majority of it was caused by ultraviolet radiation.
UV radiation wears out and breaks down just about everything in its path, eventually contributing to things like fading colors cracking, splintering, and much more. If you’ve ever left something like a bicycle out in the sun for a particularly long time, you’ve probably noticed that after just a short while, the handgrips have started to wear out and crack, the seat has started to become hard and splintered, and much more. The same damage is happening to your roof, only the tiles on your roof are better at withstanding the barrage of radiation.
Heating & Cooling Cycles
Then there’s the heat. Phoenix is known for usually being in the running for the hottest point in the country on just about any given day, so temperatures in excess of 110 or even 120 degrees aren’t unheard of. When temperatures are so high, most things will expand and grow in size as the amount of energy in the molecules increases. When the temperatures drop, these things will then contract and return to a more normal size.
It’s important to note nearly everything does this to some degree. This is the reason why bridges have to be built with significant gaps in them or why your house makes strange creaking noises all through the day and night. Your roof is no exception. When your roof gets hot, the materials expand. When it cools off, they contract. This cycle repeated over and over again leads to material warping and wear, even potentially causing drying, splintering, and cracking that creates leaks. There’s a reason why so many leaks are discovered or the first time immediately after summer ends—it’s the first time the cracks that have turned into leaks have been tested against water, and thus the first opportunity they’ve had to fail.
Now’s the time to schedule your roofing inspection! Call the Phoenix roofers at Lyons Roofing at (520) 447-2522 and let us check your roof for signs of damage caused by the sun!