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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Gilreath

Shingle Breakdown With UV Rays


Shingle Breakdown happens with UV Rays

UV rays can have a significant impact on asphalt shingles over time. Asphalt shingles are commonly used in roofing materials because of their durability and cost-effectiveness. However, prolonged exposure to UV radiation can cause breakdown and several issues:




  • Fading: UV rays can cause the colors of asphalt shingles to fade over time. This fading is most noticeable in darker-colored shingles. The sun's ultraviolet radiation breaks down the pigments in the shingles, resulting in a lighter, washed-out appearance.

  • Brittle and Cracking: The heat and UV radiation from the sun can cause the asphalt in shingles to dry out and become brittle. This can lead to cracking, splitting, and loss of granules on the surface. Cracked shingles are more susceptible to damage from wind, hail, and other weather elements.

  • Curling and Cupping: The excessive heat generated by UV rays can cause shingles to curl or cup. Curling refers to the edges of the shingles turning upward, while cupping refers to the middle of the shingle lifting, creating a concave shape. Curling and cupping compromise the shingle's ability to provide a watertight barrier, leading to potential leaks and further damage.

  • Decreased Lifespan: The cumulative effects of UV exposure, fading, brittleness, cracking, and curling can significantly reduce the lifespan of asphalt shingles. With prolonged exposure to UV rays, the shingles may deteriorate faster than expected, requiring repairs or replacement sooner than anticipated.


Shingles exposed to sun can breakdown


How To Address Shingle Breakdown

To mitigate the impact of UV rays on asphalt shingles, manufacturers often include additives and protective coatings to enhance UV resistance. Additionally, proper installation, regular inspection, and maintenance can help identify and address UV-related issues early on,

To reduce the effect of UV rays on asphalt shingles, you can take the following measures:

  • Choose high-quality shingles: Opt for shingles that are specifically designed to resist UV rays. Look for products that have UV-resistant properties or are labeled as "cool" or "reflective" shingles. These types of shingles have special coatings or pigments that help minimize the impact of UV radiation.

  • Install proper ventilation: Good attic ventilation is essential to minimize heat buildup, which can accelerate the deterioration of asphalt shingles. Proper ventilation allows hot air to escape, reducing the overall temperature in the attic and protecting the shingles from excessive heat exposure.

  • Apply a reflective coating: Consider applying a reflective coating on the surface of the shingles. Reflective coatings can help to reduce the absorption of UV rays and heat, thereby extending the lifespan of the shingles. These coatings are usually white or light-colored and can be applied by a professional roofer.

  • Provide shade: If possible, create shade over the roof to shield the shingles from direct sunlight. This can be achieved by strategically planting trees or installing awnings or other types of shading devices. However, be cautious not to obstruct the natural flow of air or trap moisture, as this can lead to other issues.

  • Regular maintenance: Proper maintenance can go a long way in preserving the life of asphalt shingles. Inspect the roof regularly for any signs of damage or deterioration, such as cracks, curling, or missing shingles. Promptly repair or replace any damaged shingles to prevent further UV exposure and potential leaks.

  • Limit sun exposure during peak hours: Avoid walking on the roof or conducting roof-related activities during the hottest part of the day when the sun's rays are the strongest. This can help minimize the stress on the shingles and reduce the potential for damage.

  • Consider professional advice: Consult with a roofing professional to assess your specific situation and discuss any additional measures that can be taken to reduce the impact of UV rays on your asphalt shingles. They may provide tailored recommendations based on your climate, roof design, and other factors.


More on “Cool” Roofs

A cool roof is a roofing system designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat compared to traditional roofs. It is typically constructed using materials that have high solar reflectance (the ability to reflect solar energy) and high thermal emittance (the ability to radiate absorbed heat).


The main purpose of a cool roof is to reduce the amount of heat transferred into a building, thus lowering the need for air conditioning and reducing energy consumption. By reflecting sunlight away from the roof, cool roofs help to mitigate the urban heat island effect, which refers to the tendency of cities to be significantly warmer than surrounding rural areas due to the absorption and re-emission of heat by buildings and paved surfaces.


Cool roofs can be made of various materials, including specially designed reflective shingles, tiles, coatings, or membranes. These materials are often available in lighter colors, such as white or light gray, as they have higher reflectivity and lower thermal emittance. However, it's worth noting that cool roofs can also be dark-colored, as advancements in technology have allowed for darker materials with enhanced reflectance.


In addition to reducing energy consumption and combating heat island effects, cool roofs can contribute to lower greenhouse gas emissions and improve the overall comfort of buildings. They are particularly beneficial in hot climates or regions with high cooling demands, but they can also provide advantages in moderate and colder climates by reducing heat gain during the summer months.


Due Diligence

Remember, while these measures can help minimize the effect of UV rays, no solution can completely eliminate shingle breakdown. Over time, even with protective measures, asphalt shingles will naturally degrade due to exposure to the elements. Regular inspections and maintenance will help you identify and address any issues promptly, ensuring the longevity of your roof and preserving the lifespan of the shingles. Along with educating our customers, we also pride ourselves in building lasting relationships with them so that when the time comes for a replacement or a needed repair, we are always their go-to. If you are concerned that the elements have degraded your shingles, reach out to our team for a free roof inspection.




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