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Thermal Shock and the Impact on Roofing Systems

Roof System Being Exposed to Extreme Temperatures

Weather and daily temperature variations are a challenge to your building and its roof. Concerns for your roof specific to temperature extremes exist if you are located in sunny South Florida, frigid Alberta, Canada or anywhere in between. As daily cooling and warming cycles occur, your building and its various components expand and contract.

Roof temperatures can change from over 150 degrees on a hot summer day to 80 degrees after a thunderstorm. Temperatures can easily rise or drop dramatically over a 24 hour period during each of the four seasons. In the roofing industry wide temperature variations are referred to as Thermal Shock which places substantial stress on your roof.

Why does the expansion and contraction of materials matter? Simply put, all materials expand and contract at different rates. The roof deck, structural walls, nailers, metal edges, roof vents, pipes, drains, curbs for HVAC units, electrical lines, roof insulation and other materials are exposed to the temperature changes to different extents. Because these components are made of different materials they expand and contract at different rates. The function of the roof membrane is to be able to react to these factors and provide a watertight barrier. Large temperature changes make that a complicated and difficult task.

As winter turns to spring, you need to pay attention to the condition of your roof. Think about the thermal shock that the roof is exposed to daily. Consider the fact that for every dollar invested on roof-related preventative maintenance, it is estimated that you can save five dollars in re-roofing costs. With Spring, there is no better time to request a free roof evaluation to determine how Winter weather affected your roof and how you can extend the life of your roofing asset.

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