The roof covering a commercial building is there to protect that building, right? Its primary purpose is to stand steadfast against the elements, environmental challenges and tantrums Mother Nature occasionally throws our way.
With such a stalwart protector over our head, why should we be concerned about a little heat? The answer may surprise you if you haven’t checked the status of your commercial roof for a while.
Heat and Your Commercial Roof
The sun, with its heat, can really do a number on your commercial roof.
Chemical breakdown. Depending on the roofing system installed, outdoor temperatures of a comfortable 90°F can quickly become a blistering 160° on the roofing surface! Some roofing system materials absorb and retain that heat, rather than reflecting it away from the building. With surface temperatures that extreme, the chemical compounds within the materials can begin to break down. Over time, this leads to roofing system failure. Unfortunately, this breakdown is almost impossible to see to the naked eye and you are only aware it has occurred when the next rainstorm advises you.
Thermal fluctuation. The fluctuation in temperature between the heat of the day and the cool of the evening can cause your roof and roofing system to expand and contract in response. Over time, that constant movement in the roof will cause damage within the structure itself. Depending on the type of roofing system installed, it can also cause fault lines to develop within the protective system, leading directly to future system failure.
UV Radiation. Though not specific to heat, UV levels do increase as the heat increases, so it seems appropriate to mention here. Just like your skin, the chemical bonds within your roofing material are susceptible to UV radiation. That radiation causes the bonds to weaken and eventually begin to break. As these microscopic breaks multiply, the overall system becomes weakened and the potential for failure increases.
How to Save that Commercial Roof
Now that the problem is better understood, the next step is addressing it. Of course, there is the option to simply wait and hope, but that is potentially a pretty expensive “solution”. A better idea is to be proactive.
Inspection. Have the roof inspected twice a year. Once in spring, in preparation for the upcoming heat and again in the autumn, to prepare for those upcoming frigid temperatures. A scheduled inspection program with a reputable commercial roofing contractor is worth its weight in gold.
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Ventilation. Ensure attic or crawl spaces are well ventilated. This can help improve airflow throughout the area and reduce the ability of the roofing materials to absorb and “hold on” to the heat. Additionally, it does offer some minor levels of insulating properties to keep the building itself more comfortable.
If you’re ready to protect the roof that protects your business and livelihood, make an appointment today with a commercial roofing contractor. Don’t have one yet? Call the Choice Roof Contractor Group at (800) 670-5583 and we will put you in touch with a contractor in your area.