Can The Sun Cause Any Damage to Metal Roofs?

Metal roofs are one of the most exciting new roofing materials we have here in Sacramento. Metal roofs are renowned for their durability, energy efficiency, and aesthetic appeal. They offer outstanding longevity and they reflect light in a way that no other roofing material is capable of – perfect for our extremely hot weather here California.

But sun is also damaging – to any material. If you leave your car in the sun for a long time, you’ll start to notice that the paint starts to fade and peel and the metal itself can experience signs of decay. Are metal roofs at risk for sun damage? Can the sun cause any issues with a metal roof?

Sun Exposure and Metal Roofing

Metal itself is highly resistant to sun exposure, and metal roofing is not only similar – it is better. Metal roofing has additives that make it reflect even more heat and reduce the amount of heat that it absorbs, and it has layers of protection to ensure that the sun cannot pass through.

The sun can be damaging to any material, and it can theoretically still affect metal roofing, but the effects are typically decades away and much less than you would experience with traditional composite shingles and other roofing materials.

That said, over the long term, it will still be useful to pay attention to some of the effects that the sun can have on roofing. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Thermal Expansion and Contraction – Metal roofing materials expand and contract with temperature changes. It is always a good idea to periodically have someone that is an expert in metal roofing take a look at your roof and make sure that it is in good condition.
  • Fading and Discoloration – UV rays can cause the paint or coating on metal roofs to fade or discolor, affecting the roof’s aesthetic appeal. This is particularly noticeable in darker-colored roofs and usually takes decades before it occurs. Many roofing colors will not fade, and we can discuss what these colors are to help you make the best long term decision.
  • Oxidation and Corrosion – Prolonged exposure to the sun can exacerbate oxidation, especially if the roof is not properly coated or maintained. This can lead to rust and corrosion, compromising the integrity of the roof. Make sure you’re getting your roof cleaned and maintained regularly.
  • Reduced Energy Efficiency – If the reflective coating on a metal roof deteriorates due to sun exposure, the roof may become less effective at reflecting heat, leading to increased cooling costs.

Even though these issues can occur, the good news is that they are also preventable. Metal roofing, more than shingles and many other materials, has very simple maintenance requirements that can all dramatically decrease the risks of sun exposure.

Mitigating Sun Damage to Metal Roofs

To protect your metal roof from sun damage, consider the following measures:

  • Regular Inspections and Maintenance – Conduct regular inspections to check for signs of thermal expansion, loose fasteners, and coating wear. Timely maintenance can prevent minor issues from becoming major problems.
  • High-Quality Coatings – Use high-quality, UV-resistant coatings or paints designed for metal roofs. These coatings can help prevent fading, discoloration, and oxidation.
  • Proper Installation – Ensure that your metal roof is installed correctly by a professional. Proper installation can mitigate the effects of thermal expansion and contraction.
  • Reflective Coatings – Metal roofing already comes with reflective coatings, and so you typically do not need to think about this for years at a time. But eventually, make sure you have someone apply reflective coatings to enhance the roof’s energy efficiency and reduce heat absorption. This can also prolong the life of the roof by minimizing temperature fluctuations.

While metal roofs are durable and long-lasting, they are not immune to the effects of prolonged sun exposure. By understanding the potential damage and implementing preventative measures, you can ensure that your metal roof remains in optimal condition for many years.

If you’ve been considering a metal roof in Sacramento and want to learn more about prices and options, please contact Cal Energy, today.

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