The summer of 2020 was the hottest ever recorded in Arizona with the Phoenix area experiencing a total of 53 days of temperatures at 110 degrees or higher. The high temperatures can cause serious roof issues if not maintained correctly and with no recent relevant rainfall you may not even know if you have any problems. Meteorologists are expecting an active monsoon season this year so now is the time to have your roof inspected and fix any damage you may have. Having worked in the Phoenix area roofing industry for many years here are a few tips to ensure your roof is ready for the summer weather ahead.
When preparing for the monsoon season you want to examine your roof for debris and leaves in the valleys of your roof. This debris needs to be blown or swept out and your gutters must also be swept out in order to prevent damage to the roof.
Cleaning your roof from debris will ensure it drains properly during a monsoon storm. Check around the drains and clear any buildup around them. I would also recommend checking shingle protrusions and having them sealed properly. You can do this yourself, but I would recommend calling a licensed roofing contractor to get these problems fixed as soon as possible.
If you choose to get on a roof yourself, it is important that you follow a few safety rules. Never work on your roof alone, your ladder should be on a solid, level surface, avoid working on a wet roof or working in bad windy weather and wear safety boots. Don’t go on your roof if you have a fear of heights.
Be proactive about repairing your roof and fix issues before they become serious. Waiting for a monsoon to damage your roof before calling a professional can cause a delay in getting your roof repaired. Everyone calls for roof repairs after a storm so you and 200 other people could be competing for a roofer’s time.
Check your tile, shingle Roofs
A tile roof usually last 40 to 50 years but not in Arizona where the heat in the Valley significantly decreases a roofs longevity. The Arizona heat will shorten your tile roof’s lifespan to 20-25 years. High temperatures dry out the felt tar paper under the tiles of the roof like it is an easy bake oven.
Shingle roofs have an even shorter life span in the heat. This is because the sealant around the tar and the plastic flashings will wear out a lot quicker in the Arizona sun. Flashings are a thin material used to direct water away from critical areas of the roof. The plastic flashings will only last about 5 years before they become so brittle a bird could step on it and break it.
Never use rubberized flashings in Arizona. They are prone to crack in the heat.
I personally recommend using galvanized metal flashings. They hold up to the heat and have a much longer lifespan.
When inspecting your roof, it is important to be on the lookout for sliding tiles. If you notice any tiles that are out of position they will need to be reinstalled and fastened down. Improperly fastened tiles can blow off during the monsoon winds and cause serious damage.
Other areas to examine closely are around air conditioners, solar installations and sky lights. Sky lights are typically made out of plastic and the plastic wears out after about 10 to 15 years. Cracks in your skylights and solar vents are a surefire sign they need to be replaced.
Inspecting your roof once a year is preferable but once every two years would be sufficient for most homes.
The frequency of inspections depends on the age of the roof. Any roof older than 15 years needs to be inspected annually. A newer roof should be inspected once every few years.
The key is to be prepared beforehand so you don’t have any issues when the high heat and the strong monsoon storms arrive. If you take these precautions it can help you save money in the long run and avoid headaches that will come if you aren’t prepared for the extreme weather.
Mike Smyth is the General Manager at Overson Roofing located in Mesa, Arizona. Overson roofing has served its clientele with respect and professionalism for over 30 years. The company won the Better Business Bureau Blue Torch Award for ethics in 2016