Summer heat and roof damage

Wisconsin summers are heating up and so 2021 has been hotter than usual.  This is not a good sign for the shingles on your roof.  Roof’s become very hot during the summer and the damage that a worn roof can cause has a domino effect on the rest of your home therefore, it’s very important to understand how this heat affects your roof and if you know what to look for you can save time and money in roofing expenses.

In warm climate states they have different degrees of heat during the year which can range from hot to really hot.  In Wisconsin we have cold winters which lead to ice dams and then we have heat and humidity in the summer months that can wear down the life of your roof.


Extended exposure of your roof to direct sunlight greatly affects your roofing material and damage can occur after 3-4 years of direct exposure.  Add in winter and your 25 year shingles are now lasting about 20 years.  Add in wind and hail and pretty soon you will need a new roof.


This may seem odd but the color of your roof also matters when it comes to roof wear and tear. Darker roofs absorb sunlight and over time the UV rays from the sun will wear the roof sooner than lighter color roofs.  I completely understand that lighter color roofs are not always an option and personally, I don’t like how they look, but that’s a personal preference.  

What most people fail to understand is that a great deal of wear on roofing shingles comes from a lack of insulation in the attic and I have talked about this problem in many past articles.

The purpose of a roof is to provide shelter from the elements as well as protect the rest of the home from weather related occurrences.  Roofs are sadly neglected or at least pushed to the lower end of importance when it comes to your home’s appearance and your roof only gets attention when there’s a problem that needs attention immediately.

Some of the problems we see in Wisconsin when looking for roof neglect is when moss or algae grow between the shingles. Moss and algae is a sign of damp moist areas underneath the roof and the more it rains or even the high humidity in Wisconsin over the summer months can cause moss to grow quickly, especially on older roofs.  Moss will eventually damage the shingles to the point where the underlayment will have to be replaced.

Poor roof ventilation is another big cause of roofing problems in older homes.  When replacing your old roof with a new one make sure the ventilation is properly installed based on the size of the roof.  Older homes used an old and outdated formula for calculating how many vents are required for the size of the roof.  Today’s roofing will use a cnet ridge vent which are amazingly efficient and they keep out pests and rodents that can chew holes in plastic roof vents.  

The best protection for your roof is being proactive.  Every homeowner should check the condition of their roof yearly to identify and fix minor problems so they don’t become big problems.

If you need a new roof contact us as we would be happy to come out and provide an estimate or offer advice on how to improve the longevity of your roof.