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.
Critters, like raccoons, squirrels, and birds, become unwanted tenants in the Spring. They look for a place to nest and then they build a home for their families. This can happen on the roof of any building – unless it’s protected. This is where Spring Roof Maintenance comes in. Not only does maintenance protect buildings from pests, it prevents clogged drains and gutters, vegetation on the roof, general roof degradation and as a result: roof leaks.
Birds are a major nuisance to roofs. Their nests cause damage and their droppings even more damage. Check this article about birds.
Last year on a routine Spring maintenance job we cleaned up bird droppings. But that wasn’t the end of that job. We noticed some rust and an opening in the soffit above.
Guess what was hiding behind the soffit? A bird nest. Luckily there weren’t any eggs in the nest and we were able to remove it. This could have been prevented.
The good news is there are ethical bird deterrents that can be set up to prevent all of this.
Debris has built up over the Fall and Winter. As water heads to drains and gutters it carries that debris with it. What happens next is obvious, the debris begins to clog the drainage and the water backs up. This clump of mud never dries and it becomes a great place for weeds to grow. If left unchecked, the weeds grow and their roots puncture the roof membrane.
Now is the time to have roofs maintenance done. Roofs are checked for weaknesses and damage as well as maintenance that should be done like renewing caulking, removing debris, covering rust, replacing damaged shingles and more.
We have had a few leak calls in the past week because of rain. But that’s nothing compared to what’s around the corner…
Stratas often under-estimate the damage the sun has done to their roof. Summer time is dry so roof vulnerabilities go unnoticed. We are bracing ourselves because we know from over 30 years of experience that when the first storm of fall hits our phones ring all day and night. Roof leaks are always bad after a dry, hot summer. The first fall storm is when all the roof vulnerabilities show.
Day after day of sun is hard on a roof. They have layers of protection, but those layers break down over time. Roofs that may already have issues get worse. Roof cracks form, caulking dries and wears down, granules dry out and don’t stick as well, making them easier to get displaced.
Get an assessment before the storms come. We recommend roof maintenance at this particular time of year to strengthen and protect roofs from the harsh weather that’s coming. Getting the roof repair done after the storm will cost more than the maintenance that prevents it. For example, renewing caulking on a vent is much easier and quicker to do than making a repair after a leak, which would also cause water damage to both the building and its contents.
Design Roofing has sponsored a team to participate in The Heroes Challenge to grant a wish with Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada.
Children’s Wish is an amazing Canadian non-profit that grants the heartfelt wishes of children living with life-threatening illness. Each wish is a transformational experience that brings families hope, courage, and joy, and allows them to share special moments and create lasting memories together.
The Heroes Challenge event brings together two types of Children’s Wish heroes: supporters and wish children. We are fundraising to grant a wish to an adventurous 7 year old boy, who’s wish is to go to Disney World to be at the happiest place on earth.
In support of his love for animals, twelve of Design Roofing’s employees have created the team “Design Woofing’s Super Heroes”.
The actual Heroes Challenge event takes place at the Richmond Olympic Oval on Friday, September 28, 2018
UPDATE: Today is Heroes Challenge and we are excited to get started.
Finn and Rose already have their capes and masks on. We can’t wait!
The team is ready to go!
Our goal as a team is to raise $10,000. Design Roofing will match all donations up to $5,000.
Let’s come together and grant this wish– click here to donate.
We have been fundraising in a few different ways: We received generous donations from some of our clients, vendors and staff. We had a fundraising event and we’re selling mini plush doggies, gift cards and drink mixes as well.
These four-inch beanie plush bulldogs are all a bit different. Each one has it’s own personality
We held a carnival event at our shop to raise funds. We had food, drinks, a dunk tank and a car smashing! Thank you to everyone who participated.
There is an easy way that anyone can help raise money along with us buy simply purchasing gift cards. You can order gift cards here, you pay and get the gift card at face value. The retailer then donates a percentage to Design Roofing Children’s Wish team – Design Woofing’s Super Heroes.
The sunny days are finally here!
Enjoy it but don’t be wreckless.
UV rays are harmful to more than just your skin. Did you know they damage roof membranes?
Like sunscreen, roofs have a protective layer on the membrane that sometimes needs to be reapplied.
Leaving an unprotected roof exposed to the sun causes cracking and blistering – this is a major weakness that will lead to roof leaks.
Get roofs assessed now and protect them this summer.
Bird deterrents are an excellent, humane way to prevent the many pitfalls associated with birds on roofs.
We watch from our windows as birds fly free in the air. They might look innocent and peaceful from afar but when they settle on a roof that impression becomes an illusion. Don’t be fooled. Keep them away or they’ll cage you in. Here’s how:
Birds migrate north in Spring looking for a place to nest.
They find a perfect spot on your property’s roof and set up home. You don’t see it happening. There are a lot of good spots on a roof, in vents, chimneys, gutters, soffits, etc. Their nests cause damage related to where they are. For example, if they’re nesting in a gutter, water won’t drain properly and the back up could cause damage.
They get loud, smelly and destructive and your hands are tied.
Birds carry over 60 known transmittable diseases. Anyone can contract disease through physical contamination or inhalation. Their droppings are corrosive and can can melt through metal vents and roof membranes. They accumulate around the building setting you up for more than just work orders and complaints; Droppings cause slips and falls as well as vehicle damage.
They are protected by law so you can’t remove them. Read more here.
It makes you wonder why we even need birds in our lives. Well, we do because they pollinate by spreading seeds, relocate fish eggs, eat mosquitos and other annoying insects and control weeds. They even clean up animal carcasses our break down our garbage and waste. We need them but we have to keep things friendly.
The only way to protect roofs from birds is with deterrents. There are several types including netting, bird spikes, and bird spiders and bird shock electrical tracks, which condition birds to stay away from the buildings by giving a mild shock when they land.
Design Roofing now makes custom bird deterrents designed to fit perfectly on any roof and without having to wait on a supplier.
Don’t wait to schedule a roof replacement. Demand is high, timing is important and residents appreciate advanced notice.
In this neck of the woods, we make every sunny day count. The best time to get a replacement done is when days are long and relatively dry.
Giving residents as much notice as possible reduces stress and complaints.
This building’s strata hired the low bidding contractor to replace their roof. This contractor installed the roof incorrectly and the roof rotted within seven years.
Read more details here.
We got a call from the Property Manager about a leak. We investigated and found serious issues including several leaks, incorrect vent installations and a failing roof membrane.
Cut tests revealed the fiberboard was completely saturated.
We replaced TPO roof with a 2-ply SBS Bitumen. This roof is built in layers and designed to protect the building in a way that most roofs can’t. With vents properly installed, the roof is well-sealed and the building can still breath. SBS properties give the roof flexibility to expand and contract with changing weather and temperatures without splitting and puncturing.
Here are a few before-and-after shots:
Delaying a Roof Replacement has costly consequences. Putting it off seems like a way to save money but the costs of keeping a roof that has reached the end of its life come from roof rot, loss of insurance, multiple leak repairs, electrical damage and the value of the building.
This is roof rot and it can have catastrophic consequences. Roof rot happens when the wood timbers have been broken down by mould and will bend like wet paper. This is what happens when roof rot spreads:
Insurance is important but it only works if you take care of the assets that are insured. If the roof is past the end of its life, insurance won’t cover any damage that occurs. This damage would be more than just the cost to replace the roof. Contents of the building, lost production time or costs to house residents, even injuries won’t be covered.
When several leaks occur on different areas of the roof it is time for a replacement. Multiple leaks mean the roof is no longer functioning: it’s not protecting the building anymore. There is no point in paying for multiple repairs because the roof replacement needs to be done anyway. Delaying the replacement will just cost more in temporary roof repairs and interior damage.
Everyone knows water and electricity don’t mix. Contaminants and corrosion on electrical equipment causes shorted wires, electrical shocks and fires. When this happens, electricians get involved and the building is in need of more repairs.
Structural damage is silent at first. Building owners think they can get away with a few more years before replacing the old roof because everything is working fine. Due to the above mentioned roof rot, the building structure is already being damaged. Structural beams, ceilings and walls.
A new roof adds value to a building. Not replacing the roof adds additional future repair costs and risk. Informed buyers and investors look at depreciation reports and consider the risks associated with an old roof. They also understand that replacing the roof results in increased energy efficiency.
Design Roofing offers Roof Replacement Financing.