The Elements That Cause Roof Wear and Tear

You probably often hear about roofs being constantly exposed “to the elements.” In this blog, your local roofing contractors at Wortham Bros, Inc. shares a look at the elements that cause roofing wear and tear. 


The light that we perceive as sunlight is but a small portion of what the Earth receives from the sun. Invisible rays such as ultraviolet (UV) and infrared rays are two of the primary causes of roofing wear and tear. UV rays cause molecular breakdown, which has different effects, some of which are useful. Infrared rays, on the other hand, are what we perceive as heat from the sun. During the summer season, when the sun is closest to the Earth, it can cause the roof’s temperature to soar  to 160 degrees.

Both UV and infrared rays cause roofing deterioration. UV rays allow free oxygen molecules mix in with the hydrocarbons in asphalt. Ultimately, the oils that hold the asphalt shingles together break down, resulting in continued degradation. Infrared rays accelerate this process as they heat the roof. If your roof is up for replacement, ask your roof repair and replacement contractor for “cool roof” options, as it helps reduce the effect of UV and infrared rays on roofs.

Thermal Expansion and Contraction

All types of roofing materials expand and contract depending on the temperature. Asphalt shingles stretch during the day, and contract at night, when it’s cooler. Other components such as flashing and fasteners contract, but at different rates. This repeated cycle causes strain on the roofing materials and eventually leads to components pulling away from each other, which results in flashing and shingles coming loose.

Lack of Maintenance

A roof that doesn’t receive periodic maintenance can be left vulnerable to wind and rain. Deterioration caused by heat and UV rays are unavoidable, but it doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it. Sticking to a regular maintenance routine lets you spot loose flashing and shingles, which, when repaired by a capable roofing contractor, makes your roof less vulnerable to the elements. The repair costs would also be a mere fraction of what it would cost to repair a storm-damaged roof.

Searching online for an estimate a roof repair? Call Wortham Bros, Inc. at (972) 960-3135 and (972) 960-3135. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.

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