How to Prepare Your Commercial Roof for Summer Heat

As we’re enjoying the mild temperatures of spring, summer is right on its heels. It’s getting warmer by the day, and soon enough, the extreme temperatures of summer will be here. Now is the time to consider how you will prepare your commercial roof for the summer heat and humidity—before they begin to deteriorate your roof’s materials. In this article, we’ll share how the summer heat can damage your commercial roof and what you can do to protect it.

How Summer Heat Can Damage Your Commercial Roof

Summer heat and humidity pose a significant threat to the integrity of your commercial roof. Here are a few of the issues that you must be on the lookout for throughout the summer:

Thermal Shock—Summer temperatures rise quickly during the day, and fall quickly at night. Severe temperature changes, known as thermal shock, can cause your roof to warp or create gaps over time.

Sun Damage—The sun degrades roofing materials if they aren’t properly treated, which can cause bleaching or blackening of the roof.

Drying—When roof linings or structural materials dry out from the heat, they become brittle and crack. If left untreated, those fractures can damage the structural integrity of the roof or degrade its waterproofing materials.

Moisture Retention—Where the summers tend to be humid, commercial roofs are at high risk for retaining moisture. Water patches can cause leaks and, if left unfixed, can lead to roof collapses.

Popped Seams and Loose Screws—The combination of high heat, harsh UV rays, and an expansion and contraction of the roof surface can lead to popped roof seams and loose screws.

How to Prepare Your Commercial Roof for Summer Heat

Your primary defense from the summer heat is a regular roofing inspection. Important throughout the year, inspections allow your roofer to mitigate issues before they snowball into serious, and costly, damages. An inspector will look at the interior and exterior of your building to identify signs of weather damage and normal wear and tear. 

We mentioned a few potential heat damages in the section above. Here are other signs of damage an inspector might find:

  • Water stains on the walls and ceilings
  • Cracks in the walls or roof materials
  • Loose or buckled flashing
  • Gaps in caulking around penetrations or masonry panel joints
  • Cracks or blisters in the membrane
  • Loss of UV reflective granules

Any of the damages we’ve discussed could have been caused by heat or will be made worse throughout the summer as temperatures increase. Regular inspections are crucial to catch these issues early and extend the lifespan of your commercial roof. Proactive maintenance like this allows your business to get more value out of your roofing investment, saving your budget. 

As you plan for your next building project or your next roof replacement, talk to your roofing professional to choose the best materials for your region and the typical weather conditions.

Contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today to get a quote on your next commercial roofing project. Our team of experts is here to help you choose the materials that best fit your building’s needs.

5 Ways Summer Heat Can Affect a Commercial Roof

Your roof has escaped the winter storms and spring hail, but that doesn’t mean it’s totally safe. For commercial roofs, summer can bring serious problems as extreme heat and high humidity put a strain on its structure and materials.

Unlike major cracks or leaks caused by other types of extreme weather, heat damage can be hard to identify. To prevent long-term roof problems, it’s important to perform self-inspections during the summer and to have a professional roofing company to make regular evaluations.

Here are five things to look for when the summer heat has started to bear down on your roof:

  1. Thermal Shock—Commercial roofs are constantly exposed to sunlight and can reach more than 180 degrees on hot summer days. When the sun goes down, the roof temperature rapidly decreases. This quick temperature change can cause problems as your roof materials quickly expand during the day and contract at night. This severe temperature change is known as thermal shock, and it can cause your roof to warp or create gaps over time.
  1.  Sun Damage—Just as UV rays can gradually damage your skin, they can also damage your roof. The sun degrades materials on the roof if they aren’t properly treated, bleaching or blackening the roof. Wood and shingles are particularly vulnerable to damage.
  2.  Drying—Roof heating can also dry out the oils in some roof materials. When roof linings or structural materials get dry, they become brittle and can crack. If left untreated, those fractures can damage the structural integrity of the roof or degrade its waterproofing materials and cause leaks.
  3. High Humidity—High heat combined with high humidity is one of the biggest risks to a commercial roof. When a roof has expanded, due to high heat, it can absorb additional moisture. In places like the Southeast, where the summers tend to be humid, commercial roofs are at high risk for retaining moisture. Water patches can cause leaks and, if left unfixed, can lead to roof collapses.
  4. Popped Seams and Loose Screws—The combination of high heat, harsh UV rays, and an expansion and contraction of the roof surface can lead to popped roof seams and loose screws. Penetrations like skylights and vents are hot spots for this type of damage.

The key to beating the summer heat is to schedule ongoing roof maintenance and evaluate your roof’s vulnerability. To learn more about how Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. can protect your roof, contact us today