Tag Archive for: roofing safety

Does the Sun Damage Your Roof?

roofing and how the sun effects or damages it

Most of the time, we worry about storm damage to our roofs, but hot and persistent sun on a roof can also be a big issue, especially in areas with year-round sunshine and warm weather. Besides climate, the type of roof materials and how well it is constructed and maintained also play a big role in how well your roof holds up to the heat of the sun. Knowing how your roof is holding up on sunny days will also help ensure that your roof keeps protecting your home during the winter months when roof damage can result in leaks and mold that can damage your home.


Signs of Roof Damage from the Sun

damaged roof in need of roofing repair

Ultraviolet radiation makes up about 10% of the rays we get from the sun. You can’t see UV radiation, but these rays can damage your roof. In the case of asphalt shingles, the most popular roofing material, UV radiation causes the protective coating on the shingles to break down. Asphalt shingles are a petroleum product that degrades with long-term sun exposure. The shingles dry out, fade, and warp. If not dealt with, the damage leads to the possibility of water getting into and under the roof, and then into the attic and home.

How do you know if your roof has been damaged by the sun? The best way is to have a roofer inspect your roof annually as part of routine maintenance. A roofer will recognize damage you may miss, and they’ll be able to check areas that are hard for a homeowner to access.
Here are things to look out for:

Lost Coating

Asphalt shingles are coated with granules that protect the shingles from the weather, including UV radiation, and also provide fire resistance. Over time, with exposure to UV radiation, heat, and other weather conditions, the coating breaks away, leaving the smooth surface of the shingle exposed and without protection from the weather.


Exposure to the sun causes some roof shingles or tiles to fade or bleach. The appearance of the roof degrades as the most exposed areas become lighter in color than shaded areas.


Shingles that have been dried out by the sun’s rays may warp and crack. The edges of the tiles begin to curl. When tiles can no longer lay flat on the roof, everything under them is exposed to the elements. Rain can flow into the openings. Wind may lift warped tiles and move or even blow them away, causing further damage. Warping can also create gaps around flashing, chimneys, or skylight enclosures, providing further opportunities for roof leaks.


If moisture seeps into gaps created by warping and cracking, the moisture will be heated as the sun beats down, further warping the roof and resulting in the growth of mold under the roof’s surface. The roof rafters and other areas of the home may also be damaged.

Thermal Shock

Your roof is not only bombarded by UV radiation, but it also receives UV light rays that heat up the roof. As they warm, shingles expand. Then, when night comes, the roof cools, and the tiles contract. This cycle of expansion and contraction can cause thermal shock that causes the roof materials to begin to break down. The result will be cracked and broken shingles. This effect is also seen on plastic and metal components, such as brackets and flashing. Years of exposure to these cycles without repairs will lead to leaks, mold, and potential frame damage.

Quality Construction

If your roof is not properly installed, leaving loose shingles, gaps, or poor protection under the roof tiles, damage may be quicker and more severe. A poor roofer may fail to nail materials down correctly, causing them to warp and buckle. If flashing is not secured, damage occurs around that area, making roof failure in extreme temperatures more likely.

There are a lot of unlicensed contractors who may offer to build or repair a roof for less, but they don’t have the training and experience to do the work correctly. It’s important to use a licensed and insured roofer for any roof work. Professional roofers are trained in proper techniques, have the right tools, follow manufacturer guidelines and safety protocols, help you choose materials that best fit your locale and climate, and warranty their work and are insured.

Best Roofing Materials to Reduce Sun Damage

metal roof done by professional roofing contractors

For homeowners in sunny climates, there are good choices for roofs that are well-suited to handle the heat and UV radiation. Asphalt tiles are the most popular choice in America, but they are generally less well-suited to sunny areas. As asphalt roofs age, the tiles are subject to the damage we discussed above. With recent advances in roof tile materials, many higher-end shingles have good coatings that resist UV radiation longer and will hold up better. Be sure to check with your roofer for the best choice for your area.

There are other choices for roofing materials in hot climates that handle the sun well and also offer beauty and durability. Most of these have been used in some form for centuries, and many of them last for decades or longer, even in the toughest climates. Here are a few roof materials that work well in hot climates, like here in Las Vegas:

Cement Tiles

cement tiles on a roof

Cement tiles are extremely resilient to heat. While they are a heavy roofing material, they are also tough and durable, making them resistant to most weather conditions, including sun and heat. In addition, cement tiles absorb the heat of the sun, which helps keep it from going through into the home, so the interior stays cooler. Available in many colors and styles, these tiles will not generally show damage from the sun, so they will look good for a long time. Correctly installed, they can last for many decades.

Clay Tiles

clay tiles on a roof

Clay tiles, also known as terracotta tiles, are made from natural materials and have been used for centuries to protect homes in warm climates. They may be glazed or unglazed. Similar to concrete tiles, they are very dense and resistant to moisture and heat. They help regulate temperature inside the home year-round. They generally come in traditional colors. They are not quite as durable as cement tiles but create a beautiful, traditional look for the home.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is one of the best materials to reflect back UV rays and the heat of the sun. This makes a metal roof one of the most energy-efficient roofing choices. Properly installed, metal roofs, including zinc, copper, and steel, hold up well to the sun and provide many decades of service. They are also beautiful and add value to the home.

Cool Roofing

Cool roofing includes a number of roof types that emphasize energy efficiency and hold up well in the sun. Choices include solar roofing and green roofing. Cool roofing also includes painting roofs white or lighter colors. This allows the roof to reflect back the UV rays and heat of the sun. The roof absorbs fewer damaging rays, and the home stays cooler inside. Cool roofing technology is becoming more popular and widespread for its energy efficiency qualities.

Annual Roof Inspection

Whatever kind of roof you have, being proactive in caring for it will help your roof last longer and reduce the risk of costly repairs. Having your roofer do an annual inspection of your roof will catch small issues early and keep your roof in its best condition to handle all types of weather.

If you’ve noticed any roof damage or have an aging roof, be sure your roof will be ready for summer in Las Vegas. Give Prestige Roofing a call at 702-646-7536 for a free roof inspection.

Prestige Roofing Prestige Roofing’s work ranges from service and repair work,  re-roofing  and new construction work, commercial and residential work. They have also done work for ultra-custom projects around the Las Vegas Valley.

lightning display over roofs of three houses in southwestern united states

How to Prevent Future Roofing Problems Caused by Weather

Brace yourself, El Niño is back. And with it will come some intense, often unpredictable weather. The effects of this recurring weather pattern may be felt throughout Las Vegas in the form of thunderstorms, rain, hail and flooding. Homeowners should take time this fall to prepare their homes for the possible effects of the heavy storms and fierce winds that we’ve seen before, especially in an El Niño winter like the one heading our way this year.

What Exactly is El Niño?

El Niño, along with it’s opposite, La Niña, is a condition that occurs in cycles every few years in the Pacific Ocean.  The two conditions reflect temperature fluctuations between the ocean and the atmosphere near the equator. The result of these oscillations is changed weather patterns all around the world, particularly in the Western United States.

With an El Niño event, the temperature of the ocean surface warms, rising by a few degrees (with La Niña, the surface is cooler than normal). This warming leads to warmer and wetter atmospheric conditions over a large area, and especially along the West Coast.  Since this year is expected to be a heavy El Niño year, California may be hit with many large rainstorms, and Las Vegas, not far away, could certainly see a lot of that same weather. Already Los Angeles has seen flooding and mudslides in October, and Las Vegas has experienced its own NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) flood warnings and has had localized flooding from the same storms. With winter approaching fast, it’s time to make sure your home is ready for whatever weather lies ahead.

Home Inspections You Can Do to Prepare for El Niño Weather

Fall is a great time to prepare your home for winter. A little preventive work will go a long way to saving you from trouble down the road due to water damage. Once storms hit, leaks from weak, clogged or damaged parts of your home or roofing system can be made worse by the forces of driving winds and heavy rain. This can result in costly repairs to you, and even loss of personal property inside the home or loss of use of your home while repairs are made.

Peeling paint on an interior ceiling a result of water damage dripping downSo, when you have a little time on a sunny day this fall, take a quick tour of your home inside and out.

  • Inside, check every room carefully for signs of past water leakage on ceilings and walls. These will usually be round stained areas or streaks along the walls or corners near the ceiling. Even small stains usually means water somehow is leaking either from plumbing (if there are pipes in the vicinity) or coming in through the roof.  If you do find signs of a leak, have that area checked by a professional.
  • Check around all windows and doors for signs of water or air leakage (a lighted match can catch small air currents) – with either situation, rainwater can get in. It’s a great time to add or replace weatherstripping, too, and lower your energy bill.
  • If you have an attic, take a quick look around it as well. If you can see light coming in cracks from outside, your roof may be susceptible to leaking. Look for obvious damage, mold or staining of walls, floors and insulation. Check for loose roofing materials. These are all signs water may be able to get in under the roof during a rainstorm.
  • Outside, check that you have good drainage to direct flood waters away from your home.  Clean out your rain gutters and the yard of debris that can prevent water from flowing away properly and cause it to back up around the foundation. Trim trees away from your home, and particularly around the roof to prevent trees from damaging the home (and the tree) during high wind events. Check your roof, doors, windows and gutters for anything that may be loose and could break off in heavy winds.

Getting Your Roof Ready to Handle El Niño

A close up view of shingles being blown off a roof and other roof damageYour roof is your home’s main defense against the elements.  It protects you and your belongings from summer sun, wind, rain, dust, snow and ice.  With our dry climate, we sometimes forget to think about the possibility of leaks from even minor damage that can happen over time to a roof that we may not even think about for years. But, now that what promises to be a pretty big El Niño winter is on the way, pay special attention and take time to inspect your roof carefully for the following:

    • Clean clogged rain gutters all around your house, as well as the spout where the water exits


    • Check your roof for loose, overlapping, or missing shingles or tiles


    • Check for shingles that are curling or blistering



    • Look under any standing piles of leaves or moss for signs of decay


  • Metal roof flashing around chimneys, vents and gutters should not be bent, rusty or loose

Checking the health of your roof is a bit harder to do on your own since it’s pretty inaccessible and is made up of a number of components and layers most familiar to an experienced roofer. While replacing tiles may look easy, roof repairs can be dangerous and are usually best left to the experts.  If you do find any damage, it’s a good idea to let a roofer take a look and make the repairs for you.

Roof Maintenance to Prevent Damage from Winter Storms

Regular roof maintenance is a good way to make sure your roof is ready for any weather.  A good rule of thumb is to have your roofing contractor do an annual inspection, and fall is a great time to do that so the roof is in its best shape for the winter weather.  Just like a medical checkup, your roofer will be able to spot early signs of wear and tear, or damage from trees or other impact, that, caught early, will be quick and inexpensive to repair. But if a stray loose tile or shingle, or a bent flashing is left to the high winds of an El Niño storm, the damage could be much worse and more expensive to repair. A little preventive maintenance goes a long way toward preserving the value of your home and your peace of mind as we enter the rainy season.

For help preparing your roof for what could be a rough winter ahead, give Prestige Roofing a call today. Our friendly roof maintenance staff can help you make sure your roof is in great shape for the sure-to-be interesting winter weather ahead.

How to prevent damage to your roof due to thermal shock