How Does Heat Affect Your Roof

Hot and humid conditions can take their toll on your roof. Constant exposure to high temperatures and moisture can lead to roof wear and damage.

Understanding how heat affects your roof can help you protect your home and prevent problems before they cause significant damage.

How Heat Affects the Roof

Your asphalt roof sits under the sun daily, protecting your home from its rays. However, this constant sun exposure can lead to roof wear over time.

  • Thermal expansion and contraction: Hot summers can cause your asphalt roof to undergo constant thermal expansion and contraction. As temperatures rise, roofing materials expand — as they cool down at night, they contract. This repeated process stresses your roof’s structure, potentially leading to shingle cracks, warping or curling. Over time, the process can compromise your roof’s integrity, making it more susceptible to leaks.
  • Accelerated aging: The relentless heat can accelerate the shingle aging process. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can cause roofing materials to break down rapidly. Rapid breakdown means your shingles have a reduced life span — you’ll have to replace them sooner than expected. Signs of premature wear, like fading color, granule loss and brittleness with cracks, become apparent. Your roof will look more worn and older than it is.
  • Reduced energy efficiency: The more heat your roof absorbs, the more your home’s energy efficiency may be affected. When your asphalt roof absorbs heat, it raises the indoor temperature, making your cooling system work harder. As a result, you’ll experience higher energy use and cooling costs during the summer.

How Humidity Affects Your Roof

High humidity levels can pose a unique challenge for your asphalt roof. While asphalt shingles are durable, affordable roofing options, excessive humidity may get trapped, encouraging moisture accumulation in your roof. Too much moisture can lead to damage and structural issues.

  • Moisture absorption: High humidity means there’s lots of water in the air. Asphalt shingles can absorb moisture from the air, particularly in high-humidity climates. This absorption can lead to moisture retention in the shingles, making them more susceptible to damage and deterioration.
  • Algae and mold growth: High humidity levels provide ideal conditions for algae and mold growth on your roof. These organisms affect your roof’s look and can compromise its structural integrity. Algae and mold growth can lead to discoloration, staining and even rot if left unchecked. Additionally, growth underneath the shingles can push them up from the roof, compromising the waterproof barrier or leading to broken and damaged shingles. 
  • Rot and decay: Prolonged moisture exposure can result in rot and decay. These issues are especially problematic if your roof needs to be adequately ventilated. Signs of rot and decay include water damage, wood deterioration and weakened structural support.

How to Protect Your Roof From Heat

With the high heat and humidity wearing your roof down faster than you’d like, it’s essential to invest in proper protective measures. Proactive maintenance and protection can help keep the heat and humidity from accelerating your roof’s wear and tear.

  1. Choose reflective roofing materials: Choosing the right roofing material can make a significant difference. Consider installing asphalt shingles with a high solar reflectance and thermal emittance rating. These materials reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat, keeping your roof and home cooler.
  2. Apply roof coatings: Roof coatings, particularly cool ones, provide extra heat protection. These coatings reflect more sunlight and heat away from your roof’s surface, reducing the heat that gets into your home. They can also extend the life span of your roofing materials.
  3. Ensure proper ventilation: Proper roof ventilation is crucial in hot climates. Good ventilation helps regulate attic temperatures and prevents heat from building up beneath your roof. Consider installing ridge vents, soffit vents or powered attic fans to maintain a balanced airflow.
  4. Add insulation: Quality insulation in your attic can act as a barrier against heat. It helps keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in winter, reducing your heating and cooling system’s workload. Insulation can also prevent heat from radiating through your roof and into your living spaces. You’ll minimize system strain, cut energy costs and keep the heat out with good home insulation.
  5. Schedule regular roof inspections: Regular professional inspections can help you identify early signs of heat-related damage. Timely detection of issues like cracked or curling shingles can prevent more extensive and costly repairs down the line.
  6. Plant shade trees: Strategically planting shade trees around your home can give you natural sun protection. As the trees grow, they provide roof shade, reducing your roof’s exposure to direct sunlight. Planting trees takes time — it will take several years to see any roof protection. However, it’s a good strategy for anyone planning for long-term, natural sun protection for their roof. Just remember to trim back limbs regularly to protect your roof from damage. 
  7. Schedule roof maintenance: Regular roof maintenance is key to preserving its integrity. Maintenance includes cleaning debris, ensuring proper drainage and promptly addressing minor issues. Keeping your roof in top condition helps it withstand the heat. Remember to perform your own roof maintenance regularly and schedule professional services once a year to catch problems early before they become expensive issues.
  8. Invest in roof underlayment: If you’re getting a new roof installation, always invest in quality roof underlayment. The underlayment plays a critical role in heat protection. Choose a high-quality underlayment that provides an additional insulation layer and helps prevent moisture penetration.
  9. Seek professional advice: Consult with roofing professionals who have experience in dealing with the unique challenges of warmer climate. They can offer tailored solutions and recommendations based on your specific roofing needs.

Invest in Quality Roofing With Coldstream Exteriors

At Coldstream Exteriors, we understand your roof’s heat and humidity challenges. With our commitment to quality and care, you can enjoy solutions tailored to protect your investment. Our experienced professionals are dedicated to delivering top-notch roofing services that shield your home from heat and humidity while enhancing its overall energy efficiency and comfort.

We take pride in our A+ Better Business Bureau ranking, a testament to our unwavering dedication to customer satisfaction and quality workmanship. When you choose Coldstream Exteriors, you’re choosing a roofing partner that prioritizes your needs, ensuring your roof remains in excellent condition for years. 

Don’t wait until the sun takes its toll on your roof — contact Coldstream Exteriors today for roofing services you can trust.