Protect Your Flat Roof From UV Rays This Summer

Sunlight comes in different types, including infrared and UV rays. Both UV rays and infrared light waves can be damaging to roofing materials. Long term exposure to UV rays can cause rooftops to become dry, cracked and brittle, while exposure to infrared rays can heat the roofing material, causing the tar to melt and lose integrity. Given time, this relentless attack of light from the sun can cause roofing surfaces to deteriorate, which can lead to roof leaks and structural damage. Protecting your flat roof from UV and infrared rays starts with proper construction of the roof. Once the roof has been built, proper maintenance and regular inspections can help keep your flat roof protected and safe. 

Choose a Light Colored Roofing Material

Light colored roofing materials reflect sunlight while dark colors absorb sunlight. Using light colored roofing materials during the construction of your flat roof allows the roof to reflect sunlight (including harmful UV and infrared rays) back into the atmosphere without sustaining serious damage. 

Protect Your Roof with Special Coatings

On structures that have already been constructed, it's too late to build the roof with light colored roofing material. However, roofs that are made from a naturally dark material can still be painted white with specially formulated white roof coatings. These coatings can be just as effective as light colored roofing material. However, light colored roof coatings require maintenance and monitoring to ensure that the coating remains intact and its protective qualities are preserved.  

Inspect Your Roof Regularly

All roofing material--even light colored roofing material--is susceptible to damage from the sun over time. Plan to perform regular inspections of your roof and look for evidence of sun damage. Do this on an annual basis at the end of every summer. Check the caulk around the roof's seams and edges. Look for cracks and caulk deterioration. Caulk that's beginning to fall apart must be removed and reapplied. To do this, use a 5 in 1 tool to scrape out the old caulk, then reapply caulk on all previously caulked surfaces. 

While you're on your roof, look for cracks in the roofing material itself. Smaller cracks can be tarred or caulked, then resealed with white roof coating. Larger cracks will require roofing services conducted by a certified roofing contractor. To find out information about protecting your flat roof from UV and infrared light waves this summer, contact an experienced roofing contractor, like Whitaker Construction Group Inc.