How Unreasonably Cold Weather Affects Commercial Roofs

Ohio’s winter weather is known for its unpredictability, with temperatures often fluctuating between cold and unreasonably cold. Commercial roofs are designed to withstand a variety of weather conditions, but these temperature swings can have a significant impact on commercial roofs. In a recent article, we discussed how to prepare your roof for winter. But, considering the fluctuating temperatures we’ve been experiencing, here are some things for you to consider.

1. The Freeze/Thaw Cycle

When the thermometer rises and falls in a short period, ice and snow accumulate, melt, and freeze again. When snow and ice melts on a flat roof, ponding can occur. While some of that water will drain and evaporate, some can remain to refreeze overnight. This repeated freezing and thawing (or contraction and expansion) can damage the roof’s membrane over time. Small cracks, leaks, and holes in the membrane enlarge and need prompt repair. Split seams and open flashings also present major issues and need to be addressed immediately.

2. Snow and Ice Weight

Fluffy snow in cold temperatures poses less of a risk than heavy melted snow and ice. When temperatures get to within normal/average range, this can cause snow to melt and can add weight to your flat roof, forcing water underneath the roof deck. Leaks can result, causing interior damage.

3. Condensation

When warm air from inside your building meets a cold roof, condensation can begin to build up. While this isn’t a leak, condensation buildup causes drips and damages the inside of the building, as well as making a favorable environment for mold. Unfortunately, drastic temperature fluctuations exacerbate this problem. Keeping an eye on ventilation and insulation can prevent this situation.

When Ohio experiences colder-than-average winter weather, your commercial roof can pay the price. Regular maintenance is crucial to avoid damage and the resulting cost of repairs. ASI is the expert on keeping an eye on the effects weather can have on your roof and your bottom line.

Contact ASI today or call 614-873-2057 to schedule your commercial roof inspection and/or maintenance program. Protect your roof, protect your investment.