Summer Roof Care Guide: Top 5 Threats & Solutions

Summer Roof Care Guide: Top 5 Threats & Solutions

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Summer Roof Care Guide: Top 5 Threats and Solutions

In summer, everyone needs a way to cool down from the scorching heat from time to time. As a property owner or manager, it is necessary to offer a protective area for tenants, equipment, and assets. Your commercial property’s roof system is your property’s first line of defense and plays a critical role in preserving safety and comfort for those within.

Top 5 Summer Threats to Your Commercial Roof

  1. High Temperatures

Commonly, high temperatures hasten the aging of roofing materials and can affect the overall performance of roofing systems, leading to diminished endurance. Extreme heat can result in thermal expansion and contraction of roofing materials, causing cracks and material deterioration. Additionally, heat can induce blistering, where roofing materials separate due to poor adhesion caused by high temperatures, potentially causing leaks and accelerated aging of the roof system. Prolonged exposure to extreme heat may cause the roofing material to soften or warp, resulting in deformation and sagging of the roof surface. Excessive heat can also impact the underlying insulation and decking, leading to deterioration and eventual failure.

  1. Thermal Shock

Temperature fluctuations throughout the day and night can subject roofing materials to stress and structural strain. This repetitive cycle of expansion and contraction caused by thermal shock can deteriorate roofing components, making materials more vulnerable to cracking, especially along seams and edges. Significant temperature variations can hasten the breakdown of sealants and adhesives used in commercial roofing, potentially compromising their effectiveness, and leading to water infiltration. The continuous expansion and contraction of roofing materials due to temperature fluctuations can also contribute to overall wear and tear, causing roofing components like sealants and adhesives to deteriorate and heightening the risk of leaks and water seepage.

  1. High Humidity

Summer humidity can impact commercial roofs in various ways. Elevated humidity levels often cause the accumulation of condensation beneath the roof system that can trigger water damage and mold growth, posing risks to the structure and occupants’ health. Moreover, heightened moisture absorption caused by humidity can gradually weaken roofing materials, potentially compromising their longevity and effectiveness. Additionally, combining high humidity levels and extreme heat can deteriorate sealant materials on commercial roofs. The expansion and weakening of roofing components due to the relationship between high temperatures and humidity can increase vulnerability to harm and decay.

For more information on the effects of humidity, read our Blog Back Issue: “Protecting Commercial Roofing from Mold and Algae.”

  1. Ultraviolet Radiation

UV rays can harm commercial roofing systems by causing materials to deteriorate over time, resulting in issues like cracking, fading, and surface degradation. The heat produced by UV radiation can also accelerate material degradation, leading to peeling, blistering, and wear and tear. Additionally, UV damage can compromise the structural strength of commercial roofs, potentially causing leaks and thermal shock.

  1. Summer Storm Damage

Summer is known for severe weather, including heavy rain, strong winds, and sometimes hailstorms. These violent weather events can cause significant damage to your commercial roofing, including loose or missing shingles, leaks, and structural issues. Heavy rains can still pose a threat by causing or worsening leaks in commercial roofs. Storms, accompanied by high winds, pose a risk of lifting or damaging roof materials.

For more information on the effects of wind, read our Blog Back Issue: “Wind Effect on Commercial Roofs.”

Top 5 Ways to Beat the Heat

Now that we’ve discussed summer’s top 5 threats to your commercial roofing, let’s look at the top 5 ways to reduce the impact of the summer heat on your commercial roof.

  1. Apply Reflective Coatings on the Roof

To counter ultraviolet effects, it is recommended to apply commercial roof coatings with reflective properties to shield against UV damage, prevent water damage, and reinforce the roof’s structure. Protective measures are crucial for preserving the durability and integrity of commercial roofing systems in the face of UV exposure.

  1. Improve Ventilation

Installing enough ventilation systems helps to keep the high summer temperature and humidity at bay. With enough vents, there will be enough air in circulation to reduce the effect of the heat on your roofing system. It provides additional benefits including electricity cost reduction, increased air comfort, and longevity of your insulation.

  1. Plant Trees Nearby

Planting trees at a reasonable distance from where you have a commercial structure is another way to reduce the summer heat’s impact on your commercial roof. Other benefits are that deep tree roots can filter pollutants from a property’s soil, prevent soil erosion, protect a building’s foundational integrity, help prevent severe flooding or water runoff, and work to keep more moisture on your lawns.

  1. Proper Insulation

Insulating your commercial roof with high thermal resistance materials, such as polyurethane foam, fiberglass, and cellulose, can help maintain a consistent internal temperature, thus mitigating the heat strain on the roof. Besides making a commercial roof more durable and fire resistant, insulation can add more slope to your roof, which improves drainage. Also, some insulations can even reduce noise transmission.

  1. Cool Roof Systems

A cool roof reflects more sunlight than a conventional roof, absorbing less solar energy. This lowers the temperature of the building just as wearing light-colored clothing keeps you cool on a sunny day and can significantly reduce the impact of heat on commercial buildings. A cool roof lowers the heat transferred to the building, allowing it to stay cooler and use less energy for air conditioning. In air-conditioned residential buildings, solar reflectance from a cool roof can reduce peak cooling demand by 11–27%.

For more information, visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Using Cool Roofs to Reduce Heat Islands.”

Secure your Commercial Roofing Asset Investment with PB Roofing’s THREATCheck

Discover. Identify. Resolve

A THREATCheck Assessment is an enhanced visual inspection to identify deficiencies and provide recommendations for repairs or replacement.

As a full-service commercial roofing company, we help our clients navigate our manufacturer’s warranties and provide honest guidance on their building’s best option. We have Emergency Response, Repair, and Replacement services available.

Read on with more relevant articles in our Blog Back Issues:

“Preventing and Responding to Rainy Season Threats”

“Commercial Roofs under the Summer Sun”

“The Dangers Above: How to Fight Common Commercial Roof Damage”

PB Roofing Co.