roof with a skylight and solar panel in Detroit

After a long cold winter, summer is just around the corner. And while winter is definitely the hardest season on your roof, summer brings its own threats with it.

The most obvious one is summer storms, of course, and although these are usually short, they can be very violent. But if you’ve gone through our spring checklist for your roof and had any potential problems dealt with, you should be in pretty good shape to weather these without damage. Barring a direct hit from a falling tree, of course.

Less obvious roof threats

There are other less obvious but not less dangerous threats related to summer, and these are:

  • UV Rays.
    Your roof is constantly exposed to UV rays, even on cloudy days and this exposure increases considerably during the long summer days with all those extra hours of sunlight. These rays dry out the oils in the materials your roof is made of, causing wood to become bleached, weaken and crack, especially if it is untreated, and asphalt shingles to buckle and possibly split.
  • Heat.
    Your roof bears the brunt of the sun’s force and is exposed to a lot of heat during the summer. An unshaded roof can reach temperatures of up 160 degrees on a day when the air temperature is 90. This speeds up the damaging effect of the UV rays and causes other problems. If your attic is not properly ventilated, heat will build up in it, raising the temperature inside your home and causing condensation problems.
  • Thermal Shock.
    Your roof can reach such high temperatures during the day and cool off rapidly as soon as the sun goes down. This causes the materials to expand and contract relatively quickly, which weakens their structural integrity over time. This is particularly true for metal, which can warp out of shape and lead to gaps appearing between metal elements of your roof and the rest of the structure.

Fragment of the tile roof lit with the sun

The good news is that the damage caused by heat and other factors during summer is cumulative, meaning it builds up over time, and your roof isn’t going to crumble and turn to dust after one week of extra-warm weather. In fact, if your roof is under ten years old, you don’t have much to worry about at all, especially if you keep it well-maintained. With older roofs, knowing what to look for and keeping an eye out for any developing issues and dealing with them promptly will save you money in the long run.

If your attic is well-ventilated, this will alleviate the worst effects of summer heat and help keep your roof serviceable for many years to come. If you have an unventilated attic, or what is known in the roofing trade as a Hot Roof, problems will occur in the summer much more easily so it’s important to make sure it has adequate insulation installed.

Prevention is always better than cure so be sure to either inspect your roof yourself or have it done by professionals at least once a year. Give us a call here at Detroit Roofing Contractors and we’ll be happy to come and inspect your roof for problems or weak spots, recommend any improvements or repairs necessary and generally give you and your family peace-of-mind to enjoy the balmy summer weather.