Summer Sizzle: How Heat Affects an Asphalt Roof

Living in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, we all know about scorching summers. But did you know your asphalt roof feels the heat even more dramatically? While asphalt shingles are a popular and affordable roofing choice, they can be vulnerable to the sun’s rays. Understanding how heat affects an asphalt roof can help you avoid problems down the road.

This blog will explore the negative impacts of heat on asphalt shingles and provide steps to minimize heat damage. In addition, we’ll tell you how to extend the lifespan of your roof. You can lower your roof’s temperature by following these tips — and keep your cool all summer!

Do Asphalt Roofs Heat Up Fast?

Absolutely! Asphalt is a dark material; as experts can tell you, these colors absorb heat faster than light colors. Your asphalt roof can reach scorching temperatures during the summer months, significantly exceeding the outside air temperature!

Heat’s Impact on Asphalt Shingles

The intense heat can have several negative effects on your asphalt roof:

  • Brittleness: Prolonged sun exposure can make your asphalt shingles dry out and become brittle. This stiffness makes the shingles more likely to crack and break, especially when they contract during colder weather.
  • Reduced Lifespan: Cracked and broken shingles expose your roof to leaks and water damage. The high temperatures can also accelerate the natural aging process of the asphalt, shortening your roofing system’s lifespan.
  • Melting and Blistering: Asphalt shingles can soften and even melt in extreme heat. As a result, shingles can develop blisters, which appear as raised bumps on the shingle surface. These blisters can eventually pop, exposing the underlying asphalt to further damage.
  • Increased Energy Costs: A hot residential roof means your attic space will be hotter, too. Hot weather makes your air conditioning work harder and increases energy bills.

How to Prevent Heat Damage

Mitigate asphalt roof heat impact

Here are some steps you can take to minimize the heat effect on your asphalt roof and extend its lifespan:

  • Proper Roof Ventilation: Ventilating the attic is crucial if you live in a hot climate and have an asphalt roof. Adequate ventilation allows hot air to escape from your attic, reducing the overall temperature under the roof deck. A properly ventilated attic can help your asphalt shingles stay cooler.
  • Reflective Roof Coatings Reflect Sunlight: Consider applying a reflective roof coating to your asphalt shingles. These coatings come in white or light colors and reflect sunlight away from the roof, reducing UV rays and heat absorption.
  • Ridge Vents and Soffit Vents: Encourage circulation with ridge vents along the peak and soffit vents under the eaves. This creates a natural airflow that helps remove hot air from your attic.
  • Regular Inspections Catch Problems Early: Ask a qualified professional to inspect your roof regularly, especially after severe weather events. Early detection of heat-related damage allows for repairs before they become major problems.
  • Tree Trimming Improves Airflow: Overhanging branches can trap heat and moisture around your roof, speeding up shingle decay. Keep tree branches away from your roof to allow for proper airflow and exposure to sunlight.

FAQs: Your Asphalt Roof and the Summer Heat

Are there different types of shingles that handle asphalt roof heat impact better?

Yes! Asphalt shingles come in various thicknesses and granule compositions. Thicker shingles offer better insulation against heat. By contrast, shingles with larger, lighter-colored granules reflect sunlight more effectively, reducing heat absorption. 

These features can significantly lessen the asphalt roof heat impact. When considering a new roof, discuss these options with a roofing contractor to find the best fit for your climate.

Can I inspect my roof myself for heat damage?

You can inspect the roof for minor damage, but trust a qualified professional to address heat-related damage. Safety is paramount when working on a roof. Professionals have the experience and equipment to assess your roof’s condition safely. They can also identify potential problems not readily apparent to the untrained eye.

How often should I have my asphalt roof inspected for heat damage?

Experts recommend you schedule a roof inspection at least once a year, preferably in early spring. This allows you to spot roofing damage and address it before the next hot season arrives. 

You should schedule an additional inspection following severe weather events like hailstorms or strong winds. This allows you to identify potential problems from the storm.

Besides heat, what other factors can shorten the lifespan of an asphalt roof?

Several factors can affect your asphalt roof’s lifespan besides heat. For instance, improper ventilation can trap moisture, which damages shingles. Falling leaves and debris buildup can also attract moisture, which provides a breeding ground for mold and mildew. 

Regularly scheduled maintenance can extend your roof’s lifespan and provide peace of mind.

What are the warning signs that my asphalt roof may be suffering from heat damage?

Look out for these warning signs

  • Curled or cracked shingles
  • Missing granules exposing the asphalt beneath
  • Blistering on the shingle surface 

If you notice any of these issues, contact a qualified roofing contractor for an inspection. They can make the necessary repairs to prevent further damage and leaks.

Union Roofing Has Been Serving People Like You for Over 30 Years

By understanding the heat effect on asphalt roofs and taking preventive measures, you can ensure your roof stays cool. If you’re concerned about the summer heat or want to install a new asphalt roof, call a trusted roofing contractor.

Union Roofing has served homeowners throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey for over three decades. Our team can assess your roof’s condition and recommend solutions to mitigate heat damage. We guarantee high-quality roof installation and repairs. Contact us today for a free consultation and keep your home cool and protected all summer long!


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An attractive roof enhances curb appeal and boosts property value. Let the experts at Union Roofing meet your roofing needs with superior products and unparalleled service. Find out why we are the best roofing company in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, earning top ratings with Angie’s List, Google Reviews, and Home Advisor. Contact Union Roofing today for a free, no-obligation consultation!

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