The front range is no stranger to severe and rapid weather changes. While noted for its 270 days of sunshine, it isn’t uncommon to see weather from all four seasons in the same day, which comes with its consequences for commercial roofs.
While commercial roofs are built to withstand the elements, the rapid overnight change from hot to cold or vice versa can cause damages related to thermal shock. Today we examine the Effects of Thermal Shock On Your Commercial Roof. Thermal shock is the rapidly expanding and contracting of your commercial roof’s materials due to quick and drastic changes in temperatures. The bigger the swing in temperature, the more rapid expansion and contraction will occur, resulting in various damages.
Here are some of the damages your commercial roof might endure when experiencing thermal shock:
Depending on the mailability of the materials used in your commercial roof, thermal shock can often cause cracking in its membrane. Expansion caused by constant exposure to direct heat can accelerate a material’s decline due to the loss of integrity. If there is a rapid shift to colder temperatures, the sudden contraction of these materials may cause them to crack or deteriorate to the point where they will break upon expanding again. If left untreated, this problem can spread throughout your entire commercial roof and result in a total roof replacement.
Often seen in older roofing systems, buckling is a common problem caused by thermal shock that can be harder to identify but can still cause serious issues. As a commercial roof ages, portions of it become stronger or denser than others. In an instance of thermal shock causing rapid contraction and expansion, the weaker parts of the roof, which are more susceptible to these conditions, can begin to swell up into and over the sturdier areas. The overlapping and grinding of these materials can cause the stronger portions to deteriorate even quicker, resulting in a loss of integrity throughout the entire commercial roof.
When thermal shock causes the materials in your commercial roof to expand and contract, it affects more than just the surface layer. The sudden contraction and expansion can cause the sealing of your roof to be pushed out of position or even crack. Additionally, the fastenings of your commercial roof may also expand and contract, creating gaps at its base layer, leaving space for moisture to seep in underneath it. If heavy rain suddenly rolls in on a hot and sunny day, the roof can rapidly cool off, causing thermal shock and creating the conditions for significant damages to your commercial property.
Thermal shock is an issue commercial roofing systems in the front range often face, so it is important to consider measures to mitigate it. Application of reflective roof coatings can keep your commercial roof protected by reflecting UV light from the sun to prevent heat build-up and give it a tight malleable seal to prevent leaks. One of the most significant risks of thermal shock is that when left unchecked, its effects can compound and result in needing a total roof replacement.
Thermal shock-causing conditions in the forecast? Contact us today to schedule an inspection to ensure your commercial roof can handle them! We’ll help you understand “The Effects of Thermal Shock On Your Commercial Roof.”