You wouldn't be the only homeowner who assumes that summer storms and Las Vegas's infamous monsoons pose the biggest threat to your roof.
And it's true: roof damage can be caused from torrential rains, flash flooding and frequent lightning strikes. But when it comes to Enemy No. 1, make sure you have your shades on. The scorching Las Vegas sun poses the most serious threat to your roof in three ways – and First Quality Roofing & Insulation wants to ensure you know how to protect it in the first of this two-part series.
Sun and heat put Las Vegas on the map
The climate is what draws many transients to Las Vegas in the first place, and the city doesn't disappoint. The sun shines in Las Vegas nearly 300 days of the year, making it one of the top 20 sunniest cities in the United States. This is almost three more months than the U.S. average, which is 205 sunny days.
Along with all this sun comes a good share of heat. Even last summer's lowest temperature was a comfortable 73 degrees. The average temperature was 95 degrees while the city hit a high of 113 degrees on July 25. As you might guess, heat buildup is one consequence of sunlight. The other two are ultraviolet rays and thermal shock.
Size up the threat of heat
When it's 90 degrees outside and the sun is out in force, the temperature on your roof can reach a scorching 160 degrees. Over time, this heat can cause:
- Shingles to crack and warp
- Nails to pop
- Damage to plastic flashing, which can set off a chain reaction. In other words, since flashing provides waterproofing protection, damaged flashing can allow water to seep into your home, which can lead to mold and mildew problems.
Size up the threat of UV rays
UV rays from the sun are omnipresent in Las Vegas, even on those unusually cloudy days. And the rays conspire with the heat to accelerate damage to your roof's shingles, nails and plastic flashing.
UV rays also dry out the natural oils in your roofing materials, causing them to weaken, degrade and lose their flexibility over time.
Size up the threat of thermal shock
You may breathe a little easier when the sun goes down for the day, but as outdoor temperatures rise and fall, the temperature on your roof does, too. This state of flux causes your roof to expand and contract, which is called thermal shock. And again, over time, thermal shock can cause roofing materials to crack, splinter and warp, necessitating costly repairs.
While it's true that roofs are durable and built to last, it's equally true that they need to be maintained. Like the National Roofing Contractors Association, First Quality recommends getting your roof inspected at least once a year, and twice a year – in the spring and in the fall – would be better.
There is one more hugely important step you can take to prevent roof damage from the scorching Las Vegas sun. And since you're not the kind of person who enjoys being in the dark, we'll shine a light on the solution in part two.