Texas temperature can get hot - really hot! A common roofing problem experienced by homeowners in Texas with sweltering temperatures throughout the summer season is heat damage. Heat and the sun’s rays are some of those invisible concerns that cause the deterioration of many different home features, including roofing material. Many homeowners find themselves calling a roofing contractor because they develop leaks or need some other roof repair, even when their roof has seemingly not suffered any specific damage.
How Extreme Heat Affects Roofs
Heat damage and deterioration are common problems seen in climates that receive extreme heat. Although the sun shines everywhere, when the sun’s rays are strong and constant, there is greater penetration of ultraviolet light into the roofing material, causing it to suffer damage and requiring a roof repair. Shingled roofs are especially prone to this kind of damage, as the effects of constant, extreme heat and UV light cause shingles to warp and buckle, or prematurely dry out and become brittle. Once this happens, the shingles begin to break and fall off, leaving roofs unsealed and exposed to the elements. While there are other factors that can cause shingle damage, it is very common in hot climates with extreme heat, one of the more common causes of roof leaks. It often becomes necessary to call a roofer to make repairs on the roof; the lifespan of the roof decreases as heat deterioration increases.
Understanding Radiant Heat
Radiant heat from the sun that is absorbed by roofing material is convective heat. The roof absorbs the sun’s heat energy, roofing material gets hot, and the air beneath the roof gets hot as well. This causes two problems for homeowners: cooling costs and roof deterioration. It makes keeping a home cool more difficult and costly and eventually causes roofing material deterioration as it absorbs the sun’s heat energy. The answer to preventing both problems is in preventing the roof from absorbing that heat as much as possible.
Reflective Radiant Barriers and Protecting Roofs
Radiant heat barriers prevent roofing material from absorbing ultraviolet light that is responsible for heating a roof. Elevated roof temperatures result in thermal radiation of that heat into the building, which in turn causes increased roof deterioration. Although there are a number of ways to block radiant heat and heat transfer to prevent heat damage, reflection is the best option. Through reflection, the roof won't transfer any heat that it absorbs, and the amount of heat that is absorbed is greatly reduced. This reduces slow deterioration and prevents roof repairs.
Roofing material that is both reflective and has low emissivity needed to release heat is most efficient in climates that experience extreme heat. With these two ideas in mind, roofing contractors advise that many roofing products are available to both reflect and release ultraviolet light such as heat efficient, reflective shingles and reflective roof coatings for metal and other types of roofs.
It is important for homeowners in climates with the extreme heat of Texas to understand how heat affects their roof and home. Radiant heat makes it more costly to keep a home cooled and physically affects the roof, causing heat deterioration. When the time comes to replace a roof, or if roof repairs are necessary, this is the best time to discuss options in reflective and radiant barrier roofing with a good roofing contractor. By preventing the absorption of damaging UV light, roofs last longer and homes stay more efficiently cooled!