The Science Behind Asphalt Roof Wear and Tear: Causes, Prevention, and Solution

Your home’s roof is one of the most critical components of its structure. It protects the interior from outside elements such as rain, snow, hail, and the sun’s harsh rays. Asphalt roofs are known for their durability and longevity. However, they will begin to show signs of wear and tear over time. In this blog post, we’ll examine the primary causes of asphalt roof wear and tear and how you can prevent it from happening. We’ll also discuss the different solutions available to address the issue.

What is an Asphalt Roof?

An asphalt roof is a roofing system that utilizes asphalt shingles as its main component. Asphalt shingles are made of a base material, such as fiberglass or organic felt, coated with asphalt and then covered with granules. These granules come in a variety of colors and help to protect the shingles from UV radiation. Asphalt roofing systems are popular because they are durable, affordable, and easy to install. They are also widely available, making them a common choice for residential and commercial roofing applications.

Causes of Asphalt Roof Wear and Tear

One of the key advantages of asphalt roofing is its ability to withstand a wide range of weather conditions. However, as mentioned above, asphalt roofs can experience wear and tear over time, like any roofing system. So what are these causes? Let’s take a look at each one. UV Radiation The sun’s harsh UV rays can cause asphalt shingles to dry out and become brittle over time. This process can cause the shingles to crack and curl, leading to leaks and other roofing issues. Ponding Water When water accumulates on the roof’s surface, it can cause damage to the shingles and underlying structure. Ponding water can lead to rotting wood, weakening the roof’s overall structure. Thermal Movement Temperature changes are a common problem with asphalt roofs as they are more susceptible to expanding and contracting due to temperature changes. When the temperature rises, the roof can expand, causing the shingles to push against each other, leading to cracks and other damage. On the other hand, when the temperature drops, the roof can contract, causing gaps between the shingles, which can also damage. Poor Maintenance Failure to maintain your roof regularly can cause minor problems to become major issues over time. Your roof is indestructible and requires little to no maintenance. However, this is not the case. Regular maintenance is essential to the longevity and performance of your roof. Neglecting maintenance can cause damage to the roofing materials, leading to leaks and other problems.

Signs and Solutions for Asphalt Roof Wear and Tear

Before we get into listing some solutions for your deteriorated asphalt roof, let us first discuss the signs and symptoms of an aging asphalt roof. Identifying these signs early on can help you prevent further damage and save you money in the long run.
  1. Cracks and splits– These are the most visible signs of an aging roof. Cracks can be found in the shingles, and splits can be seen in the underlying structure.
  2. Missing shingles – This is an obvious sign of wear and tear. Missing shingles can expose the underlying structure to the elements, leading to more damage.
  3. Curling and buckling – This happens when the shingles curl or buckle. It can be caused by heat or moisture, leading to water damage if not addressed immediately.
  4. Algae and moss growth – Algae and moss can grow on the surface of the shingles, causing them to deteriorate faster.
  5. Granule loss – Asphalt shingles are covered with granules that help protect them from UV rays. Loss of these granules can lead to faster deterioration of the shingles.
Now that you know the signs of an aging asphalt roof, here are some roofing solutions to help you prevent further wear and tear:
  1. Regular maintenance – Regular maintenance can help identify and fix minor problems before they become major. It includes cleaning the roof, removing debris, and fixing visible damage.
  2. Roof coatings – Applying a roof coating system can help protect your roof from the elements and extend its lifespan. Applying a roof coating system can help protect the roof from UV radiation, ponding water, and other elements that cause wear and tear. It can provide a seamless and durable membrane that can protect your roof from further wear and tear.
  3. Roof replacement – In severe cases, a roof replacement may be necessary. This can be costly, but it can also provide an opportunity to upgrade to more energy-efficient roofing materials. This involves removing and replacing the existing roof with new roofing materials, such as modified bitumen or single-ply membranes.
By identifying the signs of an aging asphalt roof and taking the necessary steps to prevent further wear and tear, you can save money in the long run and ensure the longevity of your roof.

Prevention of Asphalt Roof Wear and Tear

While roof coating is an effective solution to restore and protect your asphalt roof, prevention is always better than cure. Here are some preventative measures that you can take to minimize wear and tear on your asphalt roof:
  1. Conduct Regular Inspections: Inspect your roof regularly to detect signs of wear and tear before they become major problems. Hire a professional to conduct a comprehensive inspection, or you can do it yourself if you have the necessary skills and experience.
  2. Keep Your Gutters Clean: Clogged gutters can lead to water backup and eventually cause damage to your roof. Therefore, cleaning your gutters regularly and ensuring they are free of debris is essential.
  3. Trim Overhanging Trees: Trees that overhang your roof can cause damage during strong winds or storms. Make sure to trim these branches regularly to prevent them from breaking and causing damage to your roof.
  4. Install Proper Ventilation: Proper ventilation helps to regulate temperature and moisture levels in your attic, which can help to prevent the roof from deteriorating. Make sure to install the right ventilation system for your roofing type and structure.
  5. Use High-Quality Roofing Materials: High-quality roofing materials can increase the lifespan of your roof and prevent premature wear and tear. Consult a roofing professional to determine the best materials for your home or business.
  6. Address Any Problems Immediately: If you notice any signs of wear and tear on your roof, address them immediately. Delaying repairs can cause the damage to become worse and lead to more extensive and costly repairs in the future.

Coating Solutions For Your Asphalt Roof

There are different types of elastomeric roof coating systems available. Let’s discuss each of these coating solutions for your asphalt roof in more detail: Acrylic Coatings Acrylic coatings are water-based and easy to apply. They can be applied to the entire roof surface. It is suitable for various roofing materials and is available in different colors. They provide excellent reflectivity and are resistant to UV radiation. Acrylic coatings are suitable for sloped roofs and can help prevent leaks. Silicone Roof Coating Systems Silicone roof coatings are known for their durability and longevity. They are UV stable and can withstand extreme weather conditions. Silicone coatings are suitable for flat roofs and can be applied to different roofing materials, including metal roofs. They also provide excellent reflectivity and are resistant to ponding water. Spray Polyurethane Foam Spray polyurethane foam is a popular choice for flat roofs. It provides excellent insulation and can help reduce energy costs. It is also resistant to UV radiation and can withstand harsh weather conditions. Spray polyurethane foam is applied as a liquid and expands to form a seamless membrane. Urethane Coatings Urethane coatings are known for their abrasion resistance and are suitable for roofs that experience foot traffic. They provide excellent reflectivity and are resistant to UV radiation. Urethane coatings are available in different colors and can be applied to roofing materials. At Tucson Rubberized Coatings, we have all the best, high-quality roof coatings mentioned above. We understand that no two roofs are the same and offer custom solutions to meet your specific needs. Our team of experts will help you choose the right coating system based on your roof type, climate, and budget. We offer:
  • Perma-Coat Roof Coating
  • Pro-Coat Roof Coating
  • Dura-Coat Roof Coating
  • Enviro-Coat Roof Coating
  • Flex-Coat Roof Coating
  • Quick-dry Roof Coating

Protect And Restore Your Asphalt Roof Today!

If you want to protect your roof from the elements and other potential hazards, now is the time to act. Our coatings can help prevent water damage, improve energy efficiency, and extend the life of your roof. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Protect your investment and restore your roof today with Tucson Rubberized Coatings. Contact us now to schedule a consultation or to learn more about our products and services. We look forward to hearing from you soon. If you enjoyed this article, you might also like: Identifying the 6 Most Urgent Roofing Issues