- Heat contributes to the breakdown of the composition of many roofing systems, those with tar and bitumen components and those with glue and tar applications. When the weather is hot, the typical roof reaches 160º on a 90º day. Over the "life" of the roof, the material looses its resilience and weakens.
- UV Radiation breaks down the roof from day one. In traditional roofing systems, the sun dries the oils in the materials as heat releases the hydrocarbons. It becomes brittle and flaky and looses its water-resistant characteristics.
- Thermal shock results from the change in temperatures from season to season and day through night. The heat makes it stretch, and the cold makes it contract. As it does, it pulls away from the adhesive holding it in place and pulls away from drains, gutters, and flashings. The movement causes tears, wrinkles, and separation in the seams.
Seams are the problem.
- They seal bitumen and Built-Up roofs (BUR) with hot asphalt or cold adhesive.
- They fix EPDM rubber with adhesives or sealant tape.
- They weld seals in some membranes with a torch until the asphalt melts into the seams at risk
If you want to install a roof that will last and return your investment, you need to do three things:
- Plan and design the roof correctly from the start. Think about its exposure to the elements and foot traffic. Design and plan a system that anticipates the intrusion of vents, angles, skylights, and entrance hatches. Choose installation and materials to forestall those problems.
- Oversee proper installation according to manufacturers specs. Joints, folds, seams, and flashings musts meet roofing where movement is likely to create pressure.
- Maintain the roof as part of maintenance routine. Keep foot traffic to a minimum, and prohibit smokers and anyone without reason to be on roof. Watch the work of sign installation and HVAC workers.