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How Does Heat Affect Your Roof?

The heat of summer has arrived and it’s time to think about how it affects and impacts your commercial roof. I personally enjoy summer and the heat that comes with it, but a roof can be affected by hot weather. We’ve been consistently hitting the 90’s, so how much does this affect your roof?

Most Obvious Roof Threats

The most obvious one is summer storms, of course, and although these are usually short, they can be very violent. Storms can bring things like: hail, high winds, and heavy rain which can do damage to your roof structure.

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Less Obvious Roof Threats

There are other less obvious but no less dangerous threats related to summer, and these are:

  • UV Rays.
    Your roof is constantly exposed to UV rays, even on cloudy days and this exposure increases considerably during the long summer days with all those extra hours of sunlight. These rays can make your roofing brittle and break down.
  • Heat.
    Your roof bears the brunt of the sun’s force and is exposed to a lot of heat during the summer. An unshaded roof can reach temperatures of as high as 180°F. At these temperatures, asphalt shingles can melt. This also speeds up the damaging effect of the UV rays and causes other problems. If your roof is not properly insulated, heat will build up, raising the temperature inside your commercial building and causing condensation problems and raising your cooling energy bills and carbon footprint.
  • Thermal Shock.
    Your roof can reach such high temperatures during the day and cool off rapidly as soon as the sun goes down. This causes the materials to expand and contract relatively quickly, which weakens their structural integrity over time. This is particularly true for metal, which can warp out of shape and lead to gaps appearing between metal elements of your roof and the rest of the structure.
  • High humidity
    Hot and humid air is damaging to the roof. Condensation can settle beneath the roofing and result in water damage, leaks or rotting of material and mold growth

The good news is that the damage caused by heat and other factors during summer is cumulative, meaning it builds up over time, and your roof isn’t going to crumble and turn to dust after one week of extra-warm weather. If your roof is under ten years old, you don’t have much to worry about at all, especially if you keep it well-maintained. With older roofs, knowing what to look for and keeping an eye out for any developing issues and dealing with them promptly will save you money in the long run.

If your roof is insulated, this will alleviate the worst effects of summer heat and help keep your roof serviceable for many years to come. If you have an uninsulated roof, we at Bunkum Valley Roofing can insulate and coat your roof to get it up to max efficiency.

How to prevent roof damage caused by heat

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Now that we understand how the heat can affect our roof, we need to learn how to prevent it from damaging our roof. As they say, prevention is better than cure. So why not take a few extra measures to keep your roof well-maintained?

First, you have to make sure that your roof is tidy. You have to clean your roof at least once a year to remove any random objects and debris that may have accumulated. Doing this can also help you clear out your roof gutters to help prevent the build-up of water on your roof during rains.

As you are cleaning your roof, you also have the opportunity to visually inspect it for initial and probable signs of damage. This way, you will have a first-hand understanding of what is going on with your roof. But doing it on your own may not be enough. You may need an inspection service or roofing contractor to help you with your roofing problem before it becomes a bigger issue. You will be given sound professional advice on what you should do to keep your roof in good shape.

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The Importance of Color

Darker colors absorb more light (ie. Galvanized metal roof, black rubber roof), trapping the heat in the roof, and allowing it to transfer inside your building. Lighter colors are reflective and cause the heat from light rays to bounce off it’s surface. This means that lighter color roofs hold much less heat than darker color roofs. A United States Department of Agriculture study has shown that the plywood boards found under dark colored roofs in direct sunlight are consistently ten to fifteen degrees hotter than plywood boards found under light colored roofs. Chances are if you currently have a darker colored roof, heat could be seeping into your place of business. This means that your cooling system is operating harder, using more energy, and raising your energy bills.

As we live in Indiana, it’s crucial to recognize these factors don’t change during the four seasons. Roofs that absorb more heat in the summer also absorb more heat in the winter. This is why your neighbors may have a darker colored roof. While it may be beneficial to have a darker roof when it comes to keeping your home warm in the winter and melting off snow, it really depends on how much daylight and snow we get during the week. As the daylight hours become less that means fewer sun beams beating down on the roof and less time for the roof to absorb the heat. If we happen to have a blizzard with twelve inches of snow, a darker colored roof now turns white. This means that the roof now reflects away most of the sunlight, so the darker colored roof underneath cannot absorb heat and melt the snow. Now when it comes to a light snow dusting, darker colored roofs do have a small snow melt effect.

While the color of your roof does affect the amount of your home’s heat absorption, there are other elements that can adjust your home’s internal temperature that should not shy you away from a darker roof color if that is your preference.

Conklin Technology

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The Conklin Company introduced elastomeric coatings to the roofing industry 43 years ago; (1977) this one concept changed the commercial roofing world forever. When you combine Conklin’s superior quality products and proven and trusted performance, these are results only Conklin can deliver. We at Bunkum Valley Roofing use Conklin products and are committed to quality products and systems and committed to the customers we serve. Our goal is to offer an unsurpassed value, providing a smart investment to building owners and property managers to help keep their bottom line strong. 

Imagine roofing your commercial building with a quality system that pays for itself in just a few years while protecting it for decades! Then imagine having the federal government fund part of the cost as well. It’s all possible with a Conklin roof coatings.

Conklin’s white roofs reflect the sun’s hot UV rays rather than absorbing them the way black roofs do. This keeps your commercial buildings cooler, reducing cooling costs, and putting more “green” back in the pockets of building owners like you. In fact, since Conklin introduced white acrylic roofs over 43 years ago, many customers have enjoyed a complete return on investment. You could also qualify for significant federal tax credits or rebates simply by choosing “green” building material like our white roofing and foam systems. **They meet ENERGY STAR requirements** and several can be applied over existing roofing systems saving you the cost of tear-off and keeping all that roofing material out of the landfill. Finally, Conklin roof coatings are renowned for their longevity. Many of the initial roofs we applied in the 1970’s are still on the job today.

My Conclusion

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So as you think about what things need to happen this summer, take into consideration how the heat and storms may be affecting your roof. Be prepared for whatever nature may bring. If your roof is leaking or damaged, one of the first things you’ll want to do at a basic level is gather as much information as possible about the situation. That includes taking stock of the scope and size of the roofing problem, determining what may have caused it, and deciding how emergent the situation is. The next step is, obviously, to call your commercial roofing contractor.

Once the roofing contractor arrives, you’ll want to provide all of the information you were able to gather at the initial stages, and they will then take steps to protect your business with temporary measures and apply the necessary roofing solutions. While they do that, your next step might be to ask them what commercial roofing materials they recommend, so you can then make smart decisions about your roof repair or installation. Your commercial roofing contractor can then work with you to apply lasting solutions that keep your business running smoothly without the danger of another mishap.

At Bunkum Valley Roofing, we know you need a great commercial roof, no matter what type of business you operate. Let us provide the commercial roofing solutions you need to maintain your business operations without fail.

 Give us a call and we will help you decide what needs done for your roof and we also provide a free roof inspection and free quote. Stay safe!

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