Withstanding the Elements: How Weather Impacts Commercial Roof Longevity

Commercial Roofing Contractors
A commercial roof is a big investment for any business. As such, you’ll want your commercial roof to last as long as possible while withstanding the elements. The weather in your area can have a significant impact on how long your commercial roof lasts and how well it performs over time. Here’s an overview of how key weather factors affect your commercial roof.
 

Temperature Fluctuations 

Large swings in temperatures throughout the year can take a toll on commercial roofs. As temperatures rise, some roofing materials like asphalt can soften and become more malleable. This leads to an increased risk of damage from foot traffic, winds, or storm debris. On hot days, roofs can experience thermal shock as cool rainwater suddenly hits sun-heated roofing. In the winter, ice buildup and freeze-thaw cycles strain surfaces. The more extreme heat or cold cycles a roof goes through, the faster deterioration occurs. Proper insulation helps minimize internal temperature swings to protect roofing.
 

UV Exposure

Ultraviolet rays from the sun deliver an intense beating to roofing surfaces. Constant UV exposure weakens and degrades many roofing materials. It breaks down the chemical bonds and physical structure of the roof over time. Direct sun accelerates the aging and weathering of surfaces like asphalt, rubber, plastic and even metal. Ensure roofing materials meet UV-resistant specifications and consider recoating every few years to reinforce UV protection. Position rooftop HVAC units or other equipment to provide shaded areas. Trees around the property can also shield portions of the roof from excessive sun exposure.
 

Precipitation 

Frequent and heavy rain, storms, and snowfall accelerate wear and tear on commercial roofs. Precipitation delivers moisture that can seep into roofing materials and get trapped underneath. This moisture buildup causes leakage, mold growth, deterioration and eventually roof failure. Heavier precipitation exerts more physical stress on the roof and roof drain system. Proper slope, drainage and gutter systems allow water to run off efficiently and minimize ponding issues. Regularly clearing debris from drains and gutters prevents clogs that lead to roof damage from moisture accumulation.
 

Wind and Hail

Strong winds exert outward pressure on roofing surfaces, fasteners, seams and edging. This forces separation of materials over time. Large hailstones act like tiny wrecking balls, denting and fracturing roofing materials upon impact. In windy regions or areas prone to large hail storms, commercial roofs need sturdy built-up or membrane materials along with secure fastener systems rated for high winds. A qualified roofer can suggest appropriate wind and impact-resistant materials and proper installation techniques for your area’s conditions.
 

Seasonal Storms

In some regions, seasonal storms consistently blast roofs with a combination of high winds, hail, and very heavy precipitation. For example, areas impacted by yearly hurricanes endure a perfect storm of conditions that quickly degrades commercial roofing. From powerful winds that rip away surfaces to torrential rains that overflow drain systems, seasonal storms speed up wear from multiple factors at once. In these regions, commercial roofs need fortified materials and construction to withstand the recurring battering.
 

Climate and Location 

Your geographic climate zone and specific location have a strong influence on how weather impacts your commercial roof. Wet, humid climates promote mold and moss growth which deteriorates surfaces. Coastal regions batter roofs with salt air, moisture, and high winds. Areas with greater temperature extremes, seasonal storms, and higher precipitation face amplified weathering challenges compared to relatively mild inland climates. Elevated or exposed roof areas endure more UV and wind damage than sheltered low-lying buildings. A qualified commercial roofer can assess your climate and location-specific risks and recommend appropriate long-lasting roofing solutions.
 

Concusion

By understanding how your local weather patterns affect commercial roofs, you can take proactive measures to maximize roof performance and longevity. Partnering with an experienced commercial roofing contractor is the best way to get a roof designed for optimal durability given your unique situation. With proper maintenance and weather-resistant materials, your roof can provide lasting protection for your business.
 
Absolute Construction has locations in Texas, Kansas and Illinois and servicing clients with their commercial roofing needs. 

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