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Summer Roof Maintenance

by Posted on May 6, 2021

summer roof maintenance is vital for the longevity of your residential roof

Summer is an ideal time to schedule summer roof maintenance for your home or business for a few reasons. First, the weather tends to be warm and dry, with plenty of sunlight and long days. This creates excellent conditions for roofing work.

 Second, after winter snow and ice and spring rains, your roof will likely be due for repairs. Additionally, roofers can get your roof ready to handle the stress of summer weather and take preventive steps to prepare the roof to withstand the heat.

 Finally, investing in a summer roof inspection and maintenance will help preserve your roof’s aesthetic appearance and functionality. In the big picture, summer roofing maintenance and inspection can maintain the roof’s lifespan and save you money.

Replacing a roof can run anywhere from $5,436 to $11,147 on average, depending on your location and the roof’s size. Investing in summer roof maintenance is a far more cost-efficient option.

 Find out what summer roof maintenance entails below.

Preparing a Roof for the Summer Heat

Summer heat and sun can harm your roof, causing costly damage. The roof is a broad, elevated surface. Unless you have trees over your house, it likely faces direct sunlight for the majority of the day. As a result, the temperature on the roof can heat up significantly throughout the day.

Darker-colored roofs are especially susceptible to this problem (because dark colors like black absorb the heat). You can expect temperatures as high as 160 degrees Fahrenheit on a black roof in direct sun on a 90-degree day.

This hot temperature causes chemical processes that can take a harmful toll. The resulting damage will depend in part on the type of roof—but no material is immune to some harm. For example, wood can crack, while metal may warp.

Luckily, there are summer roofing maintenance steps you can take to protect against heat.

First, you should schedule a professional roof inspection to identify and address any damage before the summer heat comes. If there are gaps or cracks in the roof already, the high temperatures will make them worse. 

Then, a roofer can make professional recommendations regarding summer heat protection. Possible steps include: 

  • Painting the roof white or a similarly light color to help reduce Ultraviolet (UV) ray absorption. This will minimize the temperatures on the roof.
  • Sealing the roof and applying a UV-resistant coating that helps to reflect heat and protect the roof.
  • Changing roofing materials. Some materials, like asphalt, are more prone to heat absorption. Replacing them with reflective materials like PVC or tile can be helpful.

Common Roof Problems During Summer

Heat isn’t the only issue that your roof faces in summer. Many seasonal factors can contribute to damage and degrade roofing materials, threatening your roof’s appearance and structural integrity. 

Here are some of the more common problems a roof may experience in summer:

  • Sun damage: UV rays can break down roofing materials. Depending on the roofing materials used, they may become blackened or bleached.
  • Drying: The heat from the sun can also cause roofing materials and linings to get dry and become brittle. Dried-out roofing materials may crumble or crack. The fractures this leaves in the roofing materials can make the roof more susceptible to water damage and degrade its overall structural integrity.
  • Moisture retention: Conversely, if you live in an area that’s particularly humid or gets many summer showers, moisture can also be a threat. Humid weather can cause the roof to retain moisture, resulting in wet patches. Such damp areas can attract mold and mildew growth. In the worst-case scenario, they may lead to roof collapse.
  • Thermal shock: This refers to a unique phenomenon that results from the rapid and drastic temperature changes accompanying the sun’s rising and setting in summer. Thermal shock occurs when temperatures spike during the day and then fall rapidly at night. It can cause the roof to become warped and create gaps in roofing materials.

 

The precise types of roof damage may depend in part on the roofing materials used. The type and extent of damage will also depend on whether you’ve undertaken summer roofing maintenance to protect against such factors. Most of these issues are avoidable.

Roof Protection and Maintenance Tips for the Summer

Some of the heat protection steps described above can help safeguard your roof against summer weather. However, there are additional measures you can take to protect and maintain your roof before the hot season arrives.

Following a general inspection, have a roofer fix any damage to prevent it from worsening over the summer. This could include replacing shingles, sealing cracks, and more. In particular, any missing shingles or tiles should be replaced promptly.

If you live in a damp or humid climate, you might also talk to your roofer about waterproofing protection for your roof. This can help prevent moisture buildup, protecting against mildew, mold, and roof collapse.

Additionally, make sure to get your gutters cleaned before the summer arrives. Birds’ nests, leaves, sticks, and other debris can clog gutters, causing water to accumulate. If the gutters don’t drain properly, water won’t drain and pool on the roof, causing damage. Alternatively, it can run down the sides of the house and cause your paint to peel.

Further, if you have an attic, get the attic ventilation inspected. Uneven heating and cooling from within the house can exacerbate the effects of thermal shock described above. Proper ventilation will help avoid this issue.

Finally, if you have a skylight, inspect this for any signs of damage. A skylight is often a prime source of leaks in roofs if it’s not properly sealed at the sides.

The Final Word on Summer Roof Maintenance

Comprehensive summertime roof maintenance can help repair damage from spring and winter weather. It can also involve preventative measures to prepare your roof to withstand the summer heat. These measures can help keep your roof looking its best.

Summer roof maintenance is also essential to preserving the roof’s optimal function and preserving its lifespan. Investing a bit of money in roof inspection and maintenance now can save you more costly repairs in the future.

Get in touch with the team at Mitchell Roofing to schedule an appointment to inspect your roof and discuss our maintenance plans.