With each season comes largely unpredictable weather conditions that have the power to wreak havoc on commercial roofing. Hazardous weather conditions, such as heavy snow and windstorms, pose the biggest threat to the condition and performance of your roof year-round. Light snow, rain and other mild weather conditions, however, can also degrade the condition of your roof and result in extensive damage over time.
Understanding how weather elements can affect your commercial roof can help you make the best possible preventative maintenance and repair decisions. So, here’s what you need to know.
Seasonal Weather Conditions and Their Effects
Each season brings its own weather challenges to consider as you focus on preserving the condition of your roof. Use the following information to create your seasonal roofing care schedule.
At the beginning of each year, winter weather brings frigid, moist conditions that put your commercial roof to the ultimate test. As water freezes on top of your roof, up to 60 extra pounds rest upon every cubic foot. If ice dams develop, the weight of the ice could rip the gutters and roofing materials right off your building. Even a small amount of thawing water can leak into the gaps, refreeze, and then open up the roof to serious leaks. In addition, the constantly fluctuating temperatures common in this season can cause thermal shock, leading to the rapid deterioration of your roofing materials.
The spring typically offers a reprieve from the harsh weather conditions, as temperatures warm up and stormfronts become less frequent. The mild spring weather offers an opportunity to inspect the roof and perform repairs before the summer heat arrives. All is not completely safe, however, as spring does come with the chance of heavy rains that have the potential to cause or worsen leaks in your roof.
Summer weather comes with many challenges in the maintenance of your commercial roof. As intense heat bears down on commercial roofing materials, it potentially harms the sealant materials on your roof. When high temperatures combine with equally high humidity levels, your commercial roofing materials may start to swell and weaken over time. Also, if you have air conditioning units on top of your commercial building, trips up to check the equipment on the roof could result in damage to your roofing materials.
Lovely fall weather encourages evening walks and relaxation on the porch, but it also comes with the constant threat of a barrage from above. Although the gentle fall of leaves makes little impact at first, the decomposing plant material can trigger the growth of mold, fungus and other unsightly substances on your commercial roof. These leaves can also block gutters, causing the water to flow onto the roof and potentially cause leaks. To top it all off, trees lose their branches and other debris falls that could puncture or otherwise damage the shingles and other roofing materials.
Considerations for Hazardous Weather
One thing is clear: Every season comes with the risk of hazardous inclement weather forming near your commercial building. The adverse conditions amplify the risk of damage to your roofing materials by magnitudes due to the strength of the weather forces. High wind speeds, for example, can send debris flying into your roof or even rip through the roofing membrane, flashing and other materials. Add rain or snow into the mix and the weather could loosen your shingles and displace other roofing components. If the damage allows water to leak inside the building, mold, mildew and other signs of water damage will quickly appear.
Importance of Regular Commercial Roof Inspections
Since winter typically brings the harshest inclement weather conditions, spring offers the best time to inspect the condition of your commercial roof. Furthermore, the relatively mild spring weather will not impede any preventative maintenance and repair activities needed for the upkeep of your roofing materials. And, as a rule of thumb, late fall is a good time to remove debris from the roof. Twice a year maintenance can prevent costly repairs.
You can have a skilled commercial roofing expert perform the inspection and repairs to rest assured that your building can withstand any weather conditions that come its way. Regardless of the weather, beware that traffic on your existing commercial roof can be of concern. In the event that you have work done to equipment, such as HVAC, on the roof- be sure to consult your trusted roofing consultant to ensure potential damage to the roofing membrane does not occur.
At Pickard Rooﬁng, we think Design. Craft. Renew. We are experienced in all types of roofing systems- and provide the right roofing design and selective craftsmanship for renewing our customer’s assets. We invite sustainable building customers to give us a call for your free evaluation. For over 90 years Pickard Rooﬁng Company has installed countless metal, tile, slate, TPO, EPDM, and all types of shingle rooﬁng in the Triangle. Our services include residential, commercial, custom architectural metal fabrication, and historical renovation.