Many Americans associate Florida with summertime sun and fun. Unfortunately, summer weather also threatens roof damage that homeowners find anything but enjoyable. From intense heat and stifling humidity to violent storms, your roof (and therefore your home) could face some significant challenges this summer.
The more you understand how summer conditions can impact the structural integrity of your roof, the more effectively you can respond through maintenance inspections, timely repairs, or even a total roof replacement. Here are three potential threats to your roof to watch for and defend against this summer.
1. Heat and UV
Even with some relief from a cooling ocean breeze, coastal Florida residents can experience brutal heat in the summer. To make matters worse, this heat can create problems for your roofing materials, while the wrong choice of roofing materials can make your indoor time both uncomfortable and expensive.
Shingled roofs sustain sun-related damage more readily than other roofing materials. An intense onslaught of thermal energy and ultraviolet rays can accelerate the end of asphalt shingles’ useful lifespan. The shingles commonly dry out and develop cracks. These cracks may then enlarge until bits of the shingles break away from the rest of the roof, leaving the underlayment exposed.
Asphalt roofing also offers less thermal resistance than some other materials. Dark shingles in particular absorb more light and heat energy than lighter-colored shingles. As a result, you may have trouble keeping your home’s interior cool, forcing you to run your air conditioner non-stop and drastically raising your electric bills.
If you want to break away from both of these seasonal problems and your shingled roof has already grown worn, consider switching to a different roofing material instead of simply replacing the shingles with more of the same. Clay tile and metal roofing both stand up well to the sun’s effects while reflecting lots of thermal energy away from the home, giving you a longer-lasting roof and a cooler home.
2. Mold and Rot
Heat and humidity work together to damage roofs during a typical Florida summer. Water vapor that makes its way past the outer roof covering to the wood underneath can encourage the growth of molds and other fungi. These fungi may eventually cause the wooden beam and decking that support your roof to rot, leaving the roof structurally unsound and paving the way for additional damage.
Pests that thrive on warmth and moisture may also thrive on wood. For example, drywood termites may flock to the moisture trapped within your roof, burrowing through the wooden roof and attic frame components. Once extensive damage has occurred, you may have no choice but to replace the roof.
Regular inspections can help you keep on top of both mold and pest infestations, not just in the summer but all year round. If you have a problem with moisture infiltrating your roof, your roofing technicians can pinpoint and fix any leaks or upgrade your roof’s moisture barriers. Pest inspections can help you control termites before they can invade your roof.
3. Heavy Storms
Summertime often means summer storms for coastal parts of the nation. Eastern Florida sees an average of about 100 thunderstorms a year, more than any other area of the U.S. Hurricanes, tornadoes, and tropical storms also hit the Sunshine State on a regular basis. These storms can damage roofs in any of several devastating ways.
Although Florida thunderstorms don’t often produce hail (mainly because any frozen precipitation melts at a relatively high altitude), hailstones three inches in diameter have pelted area roofs on occasion. Hailstones can make bruises, cracks, or holes in shingles, leaving the underlying roof structures vulnerable to water damage.
High winds pose a more common threat to Florida roofs. The wind speeds generated by a thunderstorm or tornado can rip entire roofs away from residences. Even if your roof appears to have escaped serious damage, loose or missing shingles can allow rain to penetrate the roof and promote wood damage.
Winds can also hurl various kinds of debris at high speeds into your roof. Items such as tree branches or stones may do immediate, severe damage. Other forms of debris such as leaves and twigs may appear harmless, but the longer they lie atop your roof, the more trouble they may invite by trapping water, providing food for pests, and encouraging the growth of fungi.
Have your roof’s structural integrity carefully checked out before the worst of the summer storms make their appearance, and in the immediate aftermath of heavy winds or rainstorms. If a recent storm has left a pile of leaves or other debris on your roof or in your gutters, get that debris cleared away before it can do any harm.
You can make certain that your roof has what it takes to combat summer’s challenges by contacting Acoma Roofing, Inc. We can evaluate your roof, fix any problems we may find, and recommend improvements to make your roof tougher and/or more energy efficient.