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May 29, 2018

How Sun Affects a Commercial Roof

As the summer and warm weather approach, there are some key issues to keep in mind pertaining to maintenance and condition of your commercial roof. In particular, it is important to know how the sun shining down on the roof can affect it. Here are some key problems to know about.

Swelling of the roofing materials: Heating and cooling cycles – like between the hot midday and the cooler nighttime – can cause all building components – not just roof materials – to swell and contract. If the roof system isn’t engineered to accommodate these shifts, seams can separate at critical points or the membrane itself can split. Clearly, over long periods of time, expansion and contraction can take a toll.


Shrinking of materials: Some roof materials can actually shrink over time because chemicals migrate out of the material, due to intense and prolonged sun exposure. The shrinking membrane can pull away from the perimeter of the roof and other terminations, leaving areas exposed. The hotter and more intense the sun, the greater the risk that this issue can occur.

Insulation issues: If a roof is black, it naturally becomes hotter when exposed to the sun than other roofing colors do. This, in turn, can contribute to deterioration of the underlying insulation. Conversely, a white roof on a commercial building reflects the sun and helps preserve the effectiveness of the insulation.

Breakdown of the materials: Over time as roofing materials are exposed to the sun's heat, they can begin to decay. As a roof gets older, this issue becomes more of a concern. But it is still important to be on the lookout for this problem with a newer roof too. Thus, routine inspections to check for problems like this are a necessity.

Weakening of bonds and seals: As the hot sun shines on a commercial roof, the adhesives for seaming some roofing systems can weaken and lead to further problems.

It is difficult to assess and notice these effects of the sun if you are not a roofing professional. Therefore, it is especially important to let the pros handle such an important task. If you need a roof inspection, maintenance or repairs as a result of the effects of the sun, feel free to contact us.

Royalty Roofing specializes in roofing projects for commercial, industrial and institutional facilities, and as a full-service company, we offer various sheet metal capabilities, gutters and gutter guard systems, and rooftop management and maintenance programs.

Article by Royalty /


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