Extreme heat's effect on commercial roofs is worse than you think.

Every building owner relies on their roof for protection. Unfortunately, roofs themselves aren’t indestructible.

Because roofs are the first line of defense for your building’s occupants, they need to be monitored and maintained. Proper attention and maintenance can ensure that your roof continues to protect the facilities (and people) inside.

However, have you ever thought about the effect of high temperatures on rooftops? Recent heat waves might make this question even more pressing to answer. Even just one 90-degree day can cause damage, let alone day after day during the summer months.

It’s important to understand the effects of extreme heat on your commercial roof. Learn why it’s important to maintain and replace your roofing materials as needed to prevent roof leaks and any other kind of potential damage!

UV Damage of Flat Roof Coatings and Materials

You don’t need to be a roofing expert to imagine the negative effects excessive heat has on building roofs. From peeling asphalt to brittle shingles, heat is brutal for roofing materials. This is due to heat’s ability to quicken roofing materials‘ chemical processes. When this occurs, these materials degrade. 

Not only are the materials affected, but UV exposure is harmful in and of itself, and not just from the heat it gives off. In particular, UV rays can bleach and discolor roofing materials, causing your roof to look worse for wear and lose durability.

Cloudy weather doesn’t adequately block out UV rays either. Most UV rays still make their way through clouds and fog, despite the day not being as sunny. So if the sun is above, even if you can’t see it, you must heed UV protection for your roof.

Thermal Shock from Temperature Changes

Cold roofs aren’t necessarily better. Roofs experience high-temperature peaks every day that cause their materials to expand. However, even when it’s many degrees cooler, roofs can still be harmed by daily temperature lows.

These temperature lows cause roofing materials to contract. Since roofs experience drastic daily temperature changes, they’re constantly expanding and contracting at quick rates depending on the current weather. The constant changing in the roof surface temperature causes roofs to lose structural integrity, which weakens their ability to protect your commercial building.

Areas with characteristically hot climates might use stronger roofing materials. However, no roofing material is completely damage-resistant, especially with unpredictable weather shifts year to year.

Humidity’s Role In Roofing Degradation

Heat’s harmful effect worsens when in combination with humidity. 

The combination of heat and humidity causes roof damage faster because moisture weakens and softens building materials. Softened materials leave commercial roofs even more vulnerable to environmental damage. Not only that, but the combination of degradation and water can facilitate water damage underneath the roofing materials.

All this threatens your property’s structural integrity at a deeper level. Water damage is also more difficult to solve and can lead to exponentially quicker degradation than without moisture (especially if the materials underneath are made of wood). Wood is more susceptible to water damage and will retain moisture more readily. So humidity often plays a major role in the lifespan of your commercial building’s roofing system.

Not only that, but water damage can spell disaster for you and your building’s health. Too much moisture can be a breeding ground for many airborne pathogens. This is terrible for everyone’s health and could be a lot more lethal to building occupants with respiratory conditions.

Rust Corrosion and Lack of Roof Repair

When rust corrosion starts, it spreads. So, not only can rust cause a lot of damage, but often, that damage is not well-contained.

This is bad news for any metal HVAC units, fasteners or panels attached to your roof, especially when heat accelerates corrosion. Roofs made out of metal are breeding grounds for degradation. If your building is located in humid weather, this threat is amplified.

There are many ways to prevent corrosion, as in using copper. Copper plating can repel rust and protect the material underneath. But while copper plating wards off moisture, this roof coating can chip off. When it does, the metal underneath is vulnerable to rust corrosion.

Corrosion from rust degrades roofs quickly even without additional outside environmental damage. But when combined with more environmental damage, metal roofs suffer immensely.

So if you’ve got a metal roof system or metal fasteners or equipment on your flat roof, you have even more incentive for diligent and routine maintenance from a trusted roofing company like TEMA Roofing Services. Combine that with humid weather, and you’ve got a guaranteed recipe for roofing damage.

Shorter Lifespan for Your Flat Roof

Most roofs have a lifespan of 10+ years. And while full roof replacements can be pricey, they are necessary expenses when your roofing system has exceeded its life expectancy. By neglecting routine and proactive maintenance, you’ll inevitably pay for these replacements prematurely.

Without preventative maintenance, you might not notice the damage that your roof accumulates without regular roof inspections. But even if the damage done daily is incremental, it’s still faster than without proper protection and maintenance.

Either way, an unprotected roof will have a shorter lifespan. But more than lost time, unprotected roofs also suffer worse damage in the long run. Once again, unmonitored roof damage can cause underlying damage to the internal structure below and negatively impact energy costs for the building over time.

Extreme heat may force you to need a new roof replacement sooner than anticipated, especially if it’s not well taken care of. Ignoring the problem isn’t only dangerous for your property — it’s also expensive.

Don’t Let Extreme Heat Ruin Your Commercial Roof

It’s true — your commercial roof can survive many summers without trouble. But without proper maintenance and roof repairs, your summer’s fun might come up short. From rust corrosion to water damage, there’s a lot of ways that extreme heat can degrade your roof.

If your commercial roof is due for professional service, check us out at TEMA Roofing Services. Not only do we understand the importance of proper roof maintenance, but we also provide exceptional services to achieve it. Anyone interested can feel free to request our services to strengthen and maintain their roofs with roofers you can trust!