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Can Hawaii’s Excessive Sun Exposure Damage Your Roof?

The short answer is “Yes” and that’s due to two primary effects of the sun’s rays on your roof:

  1. Heat 
  2. Radiation

Heat is the increase in temperature caused by sun exposure. High temperatures for long periods of time makes roofing materials stretch, expand, and warp. This leads to damage over the years

Radiation (commonly referred to as Ultraviolet or UV) can cause molecular and structural changes in roofing materials, leading to breakage and decay.

Both heat and radiation are important factors to consider for roofing in Hawaii. Because Hawaii is the most southern state, it is closest to the equator. Although it makes for beautiful weather, it also means year-round sun exposure for your roof. 

Common Damage from Heat

Although Hawaii’s climate is mostly warm, temperature changes do occur. Daytime heat can cause plastic or metal shingles to expand and push against each other over time. Once the sun sets and the temperature drops these materials contract, leading to gaps and irregular spots. 

Over time, the constant contraction and expansion will make your roof vulnerable to problems like rain, moss, and brittleness.

Heat Exposure Causing Mold and Leaks

Unfortunately, Hawaii homeowners are all too familiar with the effects of mold. Did you know that the sun greatly impacts your roof’s ability to stay protected against mold? 

That’s because over the years those small gaps become bigger. These gaps allow rain and moisture to creep in, causing leaky and moldy roofs over time. 

Protective Roof Coating Damage

Its common sense to wear sunscreen when we are outside for periods of time. We know it’s important to protect our skin from excessive UV radiation, and the same goes for roofing materials. 

Although a protective coating is added to protect your roof, it will degrade over time. Just as we re-apply sunscreen, the coating of your roof must be reapplied for continued protection to last for decades. Our experts can make recommendations based on your region’s sun exposure and roof material type.

Proper Materials for the Climate

Different materials are better suited to different climates. For example, terra cotta shingles are common in the Mediterranean where heat is high all year. Slate roofing is known for withstanding major temperature changes, especially cold, and is common in colder regions. Check out this overview from HGTV highlighting different roofing materials.

Protect Your Roof from Sun Damage

Material Choice

Our team of experts at SKYTA will help you choose the best materials for your unique climate. We know the materials best suited to your home whether you’re in colder, high-altitude regions or along the shoreline, where salty air makes an impact.

Routine Maintenance

SKYTA Roofers can perform routine maintenance to protect your roof and increase its longevity. We can also perform routine checks of your roof to catch damage before it gets too drastic.

Adding Solar Panels

Adding solar panels to your roof is also a great solution. Because panels are designed to absorb heat and UV to generate energy, they will take in most of the damaging rays. Our experts can give you information on how solar panels can help.

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