Heat and humidity are two of the main causes of roofing wear, which affects different types of roofing systems in different ways. In today’s post, local custom metal roofing contractor Arrowhead Roofing discusses how hot weather affects flat roofs.
Flat Roof Structure
A typical flat roof consists of the following layers from the bottom up: decking (which may be made of concrete or OSB), a vapor barrier or underlayment, insulation, plywood or OSB substrate and the outer roofing material. Most of today’s flat roofs have membranous outer material like TPO or EPDM, which can be installed on top of the substrate in different ways: fully-adhered, fastened at the seams or loose-laid and ballasted. Older types of flat roofing systems like built-up (i.e. gravel-topped) and modified bitumen outer layers are still very much in use, particularly on roofs that receive moderate to high foot traffic.
How Hot Weather Affects Flat Roofs
You need to keep an eye out for the following during hot weather. For problems that involve water infiltration, you need to call your local storm damage roof repair contractor as soon as possible to mitigate further damage.
Blistering — Moisture may penetrate the outer roofing layer through punctures or cracks and expand when heated by the sun, resulting in blisters or bubbles. If caught early, your roof may require no more than a few spot repairs.
Thermal movement — Changes in temperature cause materials to expand and contract. On materials like modified bitumen roofs, this can result in cracks on the surface. Fully-adhered or fastened membranous roofing may pull at the fasteners as the material expands, which can result in tears. Thermal expansion and contraction may also result in flashing getting torn off the roof.
Standing water — Standing water on the roof is caused by installation errors, dents on the substrate and/or improper roofing slope. Standing water on the roof can cause many problems. It weakens the adhesive used on the roof seams, which can later lead to water infiltration. It can also lead to the growth of moss and algae on the roofing surface, which can result in rot and bacterial growth. If water on the roof doesn’t drain after 72 hours, you’ll have to call your roofing contractor.
Ultimately, the key to preventing seasonal damage to your roof is regular inspections and calling for roof repairs in a timely manner.
Arrowhead Roofing is your leading provider of residential and commercial roofing services. Give us a call at (918) 509-3624. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment for a roof replacement estimate.