How UV Rays Affect Asphalt Roof Shingles


Sadly, high levels of exposure to the sun’s UV rays will cause asphalt shingles to break down much faster.  In Florida, we are known for our warm weather and sunny beaches.  This is great for the tourist revenue and our local economy, but not so well for the health of your roof.  Although we don’t experience snow or too much damaging hail, we do get some wind and a lot of sunny days. 

Understanding Ultraviolet Radiation and its Effects on Asphalt Roof Shingles

Generally, heat expands the asphalt roofing material and at night, the cooling causes it to contract.  This wears on the shingles to begin with.  But ultraviolet radiation affects the asphalt material from its chemical aspect. Even on cloudy days, there may be enough UV radiation to do this.  What ends up happening is the moisture is evaporated from the roofing shingles and they become brittle and break easily.  The reason you see granules on the surface of asphalt shingles, is mainly to protect the material underneath by limiting the UV ray exposure.  However, wind, heavy rain, wear from low hanging trees, and other such abrasive conditions will eventually break the roofing material down and replacement will become necessary.

A Better Alternative Roofing Option In Florida


Many people still choose asphalt shingles, and there are higher quality materials with some UV protection.  However, the best option for Florida’s brutal heat is a metal roof.  Metal isn’t immune to thermal shock (expansion and contractions from heat and cold exposure).  But the UV doesn’t affect the metal’s chemical makeup.  In other words, you won’t see metal become brittle and crack like the asphalt under the same conditions.  If you are interested in finding out more about metal roofing, contact us today for a free estimate.