Atlanta homeowners are subject to dynamic weather patterns throughout the year. From tropical storms to humidity, Atlanta homes can take a beating if they aren’t prepared to battle the seasonality of the area. High heat is common in Atlanta, with temperatures averaging 90.7 degrees Fahrenheit during the hottest month of July.
Aside from the heat and subsequent humidity making it uncomfortable to even walk outside, high heat can have devastating effects on your gutters. Here are the three ways Atlanta’s hot heat is hurting your gutters, and what you can do to mitigate that damage.
1. Ultraviolet (UV) Rays
UV rays can devastate an exposed roof and gutter system, whether it’s bright and sunny outside, or cloudy and overcast. Some studies suggest that on a partly cloudy day, UV rays can be 25% stronger than on bright and sunny days. This means that barring an “extreme overcast” day, your gutters are taking on harmful UV rays more days throughout the year than not.
When UV rays hit the gutters, the potency of the rays can wear them down making them susceptible to cracking or breaking. It is something for Atlanta homeowners to keep in mind, and plan accordingly. A few ways Atlanta homeowners can protect their gutters from harmful UV rays include:
- Planting trees to protect the gutters from direct sunlight.
- Hire a professional like Ned Stevens to come and do quarterly inspections.
- Choose a time during the year when the temperature is moderate. This can also help avoid thermal expansion (more on that later).
Sunlight and heat are the same in most people’s minds, but when it comes to gutters, the rays from the sun and the heat from the sun can have different effects on Atlanta’s gutters. The internal temperature of the gutters rises exponentially as the sun bears down on them. If the temperature outside is 85 – 90 degrees, like it often is in the hot summer months of Atlanta, the temperatures of the gutters can be nearly 160 degrees Fahrenheit!
When combined with UV rays, it furthers the degradation of the gutter system making it weaker, and less flexible. In addition to the recommendations for mitigating the effects of sun listed in the section above, material selection can be a critical choice when considering this element. Getting a free quote and consultation from Ned Stevens can help you determine the best material for combatting high heat in Atlanta.
3. Thermal Expansion
By definition, thermal expansion is the increase of linear dimensions of a solid or liquid in volume because of a temperature rise. In layman terms, heat and UV rays can cause specific materials to expand, like gutters in the hot Atlanta heat.
When a gutter system experiences thermal expansion, which is sometimes referred to as thermal shock, it makes them vulnerable to cracking, buckling, and deteriorating. Thermal expansion can be thought of as a hybrid effect of UV rays and high heat, which if left untreated can lead to failure of the gutters when you need them most. Since the high heat season is often followed by tropical storm season, don’t let the rain come in with exposed and withered gutters from the season before.
One Last Thought
If after reading this article your immediate thought as an Atlanta homeowner is to plant trees and do everything under the sun (pun intended) to protect your gutters, keep one thing in mind.
If you plant trees to try and protect your gutters, keep in mind you may end up with shade in certain areas, and not others. This unequal shade can create vulnerable spots in select areas of the gutter system, which leaves you exposed to the issues described in this article.
Keeping your gutters protected from elements is an inexact science. At the end of the day, there is no replacement for experts from professional companies like Ned Stevens to audit, diagnose, and recommend a path forward for protecting your gutters from the hot Atlanta heat. Summer is here, so give Ned Stevens a call at (470) 518-5015 to protect your home!