UV Ray Exposure to Roof Membrane: Protecting Your Investment

Our roofs are the very first line of defense against the natural elements, shielding us from rain, wind, hail, and snow. However, many people may not realize that even the sun, and the UV radiation it emits, can wreak havoc on their roofs. UV radiation can cause significant damage to various roofing materials, leading to costly repairs or premature replacements. In this article, we will explore the impact of UV rays on different roofing materials and how to prevent and fix issues caused by sun exposure.


UV radiation can harm asphalt shingles by getting right down to the chemical compounds and altering them. The oxygen mixes with the hydrocarbons, which causes the coating of the shingles to break down. As the material breaks down, the oily substance covering the shingles evaporates, which leaves the shingles unprotected. They then become dry and start cracking. Heat can also play a part, as it encourages expansion, followed by contraction when it cools at night, which causes even more cracking. This is called thermal shock, and as it continues throughout the years, the very structure of the roof can degrade.


Granule loss in a roof membrane can occur due to various factors, and it can lead to significant issues if left unaddressed. Most commonly seen in asphalt shingle roofs, granules are the small, coarse, and colored particles that provide protection and weather resistance to the roofing material. Over time, exposure to the elements, weathering, foot traffic, and natural aging can cause these granules to become dislodged and accumulate in gutters and downspouts, or simply wear away.


Granule loss is a concern because these granules play a vital role in protecting the underlying roofing material from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays and extreme weather conditions. Without the granules, the roof’s surface becomes vulnerable to rapid deterioration, increased UV exposure, and accelerated aging, leading to potential leaks, cracks, and reduced overall lifespan of the roof.

When granule loss is noticed on a roof, it is crucial to act promptly. Roof renewal or restoration is a viable solution to address this issue. This process involves hiring a qualified roofing professional to apply a protective coating and new granule layer to the affected roof surface.


UV ray exposure can also cause blistering. Blisters form when there are pockets of air or moisture trapped between layers of the roof’s membrane or between the membrane and the roof deck. As the sun heats the roof, those pockets expand and stretch the membrane. In severe cases, the membrane will crack when the pressure becomes too great. Even if the roof membrane doesn’t crack, blisters are usually a cyclical problem. That is, once they form, the membrane stretches permanently, which allows for even more air or moisture to infiltrate the membrane layers. This causes even more expansion. Each time the sun heats your roof, there is the potential for the blisters to grow a little larger.


Blistering can still occur on a well-installed roof system. If blisters do not indicate severe damage, it is generally advised to leave them undisturbed. However, it is crucial to routinely inspect observed blisters, as there are situations where repairing them becomes necessary to prevent potential complications like bursting.


To repair a blister, technicians cut away the membrane until they reach an area where the membrane still adheres to the roof tightly. They then apply new compatible membrane materials over the blistered area, making sure the new membrane extends at least six inches around the edges of the blister to ensure that your patch remains leak-proof despite the expansion and contraction caused by temperature shifts. Alternatively, on a bitumen roof, the technician may be able to cut an “X” into the blister and then peel back the loose membrane layers, fill the void underneath the membrane with bitumen and pressing the membrane back into place.


Regardless of the repair method chosen, it is crucial to have a qualified roofing technician handle the blister repair work. The repair process involves cutting into the roof membrane, which can be invasive. If this is not done correctly, it may compromise the integrity of the roof system at those areas, leading to potential openings for water to seep in and causing even more problems than it solves. Even though a blister on the roof might cause concern, it’s crucial to wait for a qualified professional following industry and manufacture standards to handle the repair, ensuring the problem is addressed properly and effectively.


Alligatoring is a sign that your roof is aging. The sun’s UV rays dry and damage the roof’s surface, and after three to five years, the coating may develop small cracks. If left untended, the problem will get worse. Ice, sunlight, and the heating and cooling shifts between day and night will all cause new cracks to appear while widening the existing cracks. Repairs for alligatoring on the roof membrane can vary depending on the severity of damages.


Roof sealants are essential to the overall lifespan of a roof. These coatings provide extra protection against damaging elements such as snow, ice, or rain. However, powerful UV radiation can compromise the integrity of your roof sealants over time. Whether it be caulking or sealant at penetrations, heat energy from the sun breaks down the chemicals in seam sealants and prevents them from doing their job effectively. Annual renewal or review of these sealants is important to ensure that no openings have formed allowing for potential water ingress.


Darker rooftops are vulnerable to a type of bleaching. This bleaching effect can affect the color of the material, either fading it out or turning it completely white. While bleaching is a cosmetic problem and not a structural problem, it can leave your roof looking unsightly. Wood shake roofing and architectural shingles are the most vulnerable to bleaching however, this occurs at varying levels on all roof systems.


Metal roofing suffers in extreme heat. Concentrated UV rays create a drastic change in the metal’s temperature – an effect known as thermal shock. This type of sun damage causes the metal to destabilize, thinning out the metal and resulting in cracks. These cracks create the perfect entryway for moisture, which can lead to moss growth, a roof leak, or the support underneath the metal roof to rot.


Amidst our focus on protecting our buildings from rain, wind, and snow, we often overlook the silent culprit that can wreak havoc on our roofs – the sun’s UV rays during hot weather. UV radiation causes substantial damage to various roofing materials, leading to issues such as granule loss, alligatoring, blistering, and bleaching. To prevent costly repairs and premature replacements, it is crucial to take proactive measures, such as applying new coatings, renewing sealants, and conducting regular roof maintenance. By safeguarding our roofs from the damaging effects of UV rays, we can ensure their longevity and optimal performance, ultimately protecting our homes and buildings from the elements and preserving their value for years to come.

Protecting Your Roof: Understanding the Value of Bird Deterrents




Protecting Your Roof: Understanding the Value of Bird Deterrents



Bird deterrent measures are commonly employed to protect roofs from the potential damage caused by birds. Roofs, with their accessible nooks and crannies, often serve as attractive sites for birds to build their nests. This could lead to issues like blocked gutters, damaged shingles, and corrosion from droppings. To address this problem, various bird deterrent methods can be utilized. These include installing bird spikes, which create an uncomfortable landing surface, or using bird netting to physically block access to vulnerable areas. Additionally, visual deterrents like reflective devices or predator decoys can be effective in deterring birds. By implementing these bird deterrent strategies, property owners can safeguard their roofs from bird-related problems, preserving the structural integrity and cleanliness of their buildings.


The Negative Effects of Birds on Roof Systems

In addition to physical damage, birds nesting on or near roofs can create noise and disturbance, affecting the peace and tranquility of occupants. Bird deterrents can help address this issue by deterring birds from nesting in the first place, minimizing the disruptive presence and allowing residents to enjoy a more peaceful environment.

It is important to note that while bird deterrents significantly reduce nesting activities, determined birds may still attempt to nest despite the obstacles. Factors like bird species, population density, and availability of alternative nesting sites can influence their persistence. Consequently, regular monitoring and maintenance of bird deterrent systems are essential to ensure their continued effectiveness.

Bird droppings contain corrosive elements that can deteriorate roofing materials over time. The acidity in these droppings can eat away at shingles, tiles, membrane, and other roofing components, compromising their integrity and aesthetic appeal. By implementing bird deterrent measures, the presence of bird droppings on roofs can be reduced or eliminated which improves overall cleanliness and prevents the corrosive effects. On a flat exposed roof membrane or shingles, bird dropping can cause granule deterioration at expedited rates creating weak points in the roof system which are then more susceptible to water ingress.


The Role of Different Bird Deterrent Methods

Birds are naturally attracted to the sheltered and elevated spaces that roofs provide, making them ideal nesting sites. As they build their nests, they often use twigs, leaves, and debris, which can accumulate in gutters and drains, leading to blockages and water backup. Birds can also cause damage by pecking and scratching at the roof’s surface. This behavior can lead to holes, cracks, and weakened areas, making it easier for water to penetrate and cause leaks. By installing bird deterrents, such as spikes and netting, birds are discouraged from nesting on roofs, thereby minimizing the risk of blockages and damages. Deterrents should be strategically installed at locations where bird activity has been observed or preventatively at covered areas where birds or pests are likely to occupy. Bird deterrents, while effective in reducing the likelihood of nesting, do not provide an absolute prevention. Instead, they create difficulties for birds and encourage them to seek alternative nesting locations. It is important to understand that bird deterrents function by introducing physical or visual obstacles that make potential nesting areas less attractive and more challenging for birds.

Bird Spikes 

Bird spikes are designed to create an uncomfortable and unstable landing surface, discouraging birds from perching or nesting on rooftops, ledges, or other vulnerable areas. The presence of spikes poses difficulties for birds to find stable footing, making those areas less desirable for nesting.


Bird Netting

Bird netting forms a physical barrier that denies birds access to specific locations. By covering openings or vulnerable areas with netting, birds are unable to build nests, thus encouraging them to seek alternative nesting sites.


Visual Deterrents

Visual deterrents, such as reflective devices or predator decoys, exploit birds’ natural instincts and create the perception of danger. These visual stimuli introduce uncertainty and risk, discouraging birds from choosing a particular area for nesting. By employing a combination of these visual deterrents, the overall attractiveness of the nesting site is reduced.


Sonic Deterrents

Our team receives many inquiries about sonic bird deterrents, which emit sound or ultrasonic frequencies to repel birds. When it comes to sonic bird deterrents, we caution that they may not be effective in all contexts. The sonic mechanisms which make an environment unpleasant for birds can also impact pets in the area, as certain frequencies humans do not hear can affect birds and pets alike. Depending on the bird occupant, different sonic levels may be required before you see effects of the sonic deterrent. As the sound level of these devices is adjusted and increased to deter birds, there is a chance that humans in the vicinity may start to hear the sounds as well, leading to annoyance or inconvenience. Considering the potential adverse effects on pets and human occupants, it is important to explore alternative bird deterrent methods when the install location is near residential units. Sonic bird deterrents can be extremely effective in certain contexts where the above noted issues are not present, such as commercial or industrial buildings where occupants are not within proximity of the install location.


The Importance of Non-Interference with Bird Nests During Nesting Season

During nesting season, once birds have already occupied a nest on your roof, it is important to avoid disturbing them. Disturbing nesting birds can cause stress, disrupt their reproductive cycle, and potentially harm the birds or their offspring. It is essential to respect the laws and regulations that protect nesting birds as many countries have legal protections in place to safeguard their well-being. The area where the nest is located should be avoided while occupied to allow the birds to complete their nesting cycle without unnecessary interference. It is crucial to remember that disturbing nesting birds can lead to nest abandonment, leaving the eggs or chicks vulnerable and reducing the overall success of the bird population.


Importance of Using a Certified Roofing Contractor

Using a certified and safe roofing contractor to complete the installation of bird deterrents is of paramount importance. The installation process requires expertise in both roofing and bird control techniques to ensure the effectiveness of the deterrent system and safety during installation. A certified roofing contractor prioritizes safety, has working at heights certification, completes a proper fall protection plan, and ensures proper ladder safety and/or equipment staging and tie off where required. This not only protects the contractor and their team but protects the property and its occupants from accidents or injuries as well as liability. By engaging a certified roofing contractor, property owners can have confidence that the bird deterrents will be installed correctly, without compromising the roof’s integrity.



Deterrents not only prevent nesting and blockages but also safeguard roofing materials from pecking, scratching, and corrosive droppings. By investing in bird spikes, netting, or visual repellents, clients can preserve the integrity of their roofs, extend the roof lifespan, and reduce costly repairs. Every situation is unique, and the pros and cons of each deterrent method should be carefully considered before implementation. There is no ‘sure thing’ in bird deterrent installation and effectiveness can depend upon the pervasiveness of the bird species, population, or availability of alternative nesting sites. In some cases, multiple methods must be used in conjunction to create an adequate solution for complex or pervasive nesting issues.