Summer is almost here in the Niagara Region and it always is a good time to consider how it will affect your roof to stay ahead of any issues.
Ontario has been experiencing increased summer temperatures for more extended periods year after year, with some extreme storms that follow them. Your residential home or commercial building’s roof is one of the most important factors in protecting your property. When planning to build a new roof or to repair a current issue knowing how high temperatures affect your roof is critical in making the right choice in design, materials, and application methods.
How High Summer Temperatures Affect Your Roof
The most significant factor in the longevity of your roof is thermal shock. During the day, your roof can reach very high temperatures. For example, a standard asphalt shingle can be as hot as 60 – 75 °C. Couple that with the extreme cold we can get, and you will have roofs that need to survive temperatures spanning 100°C or even more.
How does thermal shock affect your roof?
The damage happens because of this changing temperature. Most materials used in roofing, from flashing to shingles to any roof component, experience expansion in the hot heat and contraction when it gets cooler. As this process happens repeatedly, the materials used will break down and form cracks or other properties that negate their effectiveness. All roofing materials will fail over time, but increase the occurrence of these extreme contractions and expansion events can cause the roof to fail sooner.
Rocks and pebbles applied directly on top of roofs or part of the roofing material like shingles are designed for UV exposure. However, when these wear away or roofing material underneath has more direct contact, the chemical compound of the material alters through oxygen mixing with other hydrocarbons, releasing the oily substance to be able to evaporate and leave your roof unprotected eventually.
Summer Storms and Weather
When high heats last for days on end, this is often due to a heat dome effect. After this effect passes, you will usually have extreme weather from downpouring rain, hail and thunderstorms. These storms can be a side product of the high heat of summer and contribute to how warm weather can affect your roof.
How to Keep Your Roof & Home Cool
As with all parts of your home, proper insulation helps keep the appropriate temperature so that you don’t lose warmth in the winter or cool air in the summer (compounded with homes with AC). Having proper insulation in your roof as well as the rest of your home will help you regulate temperatures more effectively and reduce energy usage, thus saving you money and helping the environment.
Having a home that “breaths is crucial for your home in summer and winter”. Proper ventilation is critical for reducing outside temperatures’ effect on your home and moisture buildup. Having cool air come from underneath (soffits) and exhausting at the top of your roof through vents creates a natural flow to keep the air circulating.
Roofing Material’s Colour
Having a roof colour that is not too dark helps deter heat. The key is to find the sweet spot in colour in the grey zone that helps not to absorb all sunlight in summer, but can also absorb some in the winter for warmth.
Maintenance and Protection
After the summer, makes sure to take a look at your roof. Are there spots where roofing material has melted? Is there cracking on some shingles? The best protection you can have is regular inspections yearly to stay ahead of problems.
Extreme heat is a good test for the overall roof’s health and often highlights roofing problems and incorrect applications. If you need assistance with your current roof our team at Class EH! Roofing would be pleased to offer a free inspection and offer solid professional advice to make sure you get the most out of your roofing system no matter what the season.
Wayne Jeffreys is a native of Niagara-On-The-Lake and owner of Niagara based roofing company Class Eh Roofing!