Fall is coming and after a hot summer, we could all use a break from the heat. Your roof, however, may not be as accepting of the change as you are. As temperatures begin to dip when winter rolls around, your roof can suffer from thermal shock, the process in which sudden changing temperatures cause a material to expand or contrast. This can lead to cracks and leaks and other roof damage that if not properly identified, can end up costing you a significant amount of money. The small cracks that form as a result of the changing temperatures can be made worse by high winds and freezing rain that can wreak havoc on your roof.
What Exactly Is Thermal Shock?
Thermal Shock is a physical process that occurs when some substance experiences changing thermal stresses, causing a significant strain on the material. An example of this would be when you place an ice cube in water and it cracks as the surface of the ice cube heats up at a faster rate than the interior, creating stress. This same process can occur in your roof during rapidly changing weather. As colder air hits your roof after a long, hot summer, your roof is exposed to this process and can leave you with leaks or cold air entering your home.
Who Is at Risk for Thermal Shock Damage?
No roof is immune to the effects of thermal shock but there are some that have a greater chance of sustaining damage. Typically, older roofing systems composed of multiple materials, commercial roofs, and roofs with multiple flashing points are at a greater risk:
-Roofing made up of multiple materials is at risk because each material will have a different rate at which it is affected by changing temperatures.
-Commercial and metal roofs are especially at risk as expanding and contracting seams can give way to gaps.
-Areas where the roofing material and other parts of your home are sealed together by flashing, such as at the base of a chimney, can experience gaps as materials shift, causing leaks and other roof damage.
How to Prevent Thermal Shock In Your Roof.
While preventing thermal shock indefinitely may be impossible, there are several steps that you can take to prolong the life of your roof and prevent thermal shock related damage.
Newer roofs are able to withstand thermal shock much better than older roofs as roofing material has become more flexible and has not been exposed to the elements for years. So, replacing your old roof is the best defense against the rapidly changing weather. It is also important to get your roof regularly inspected by a professional who can identify any signs of thermal shock damage such as hairline fractures or roof warping. Other solutions include covering the roof in a reflective substance to reduce dramatic temperature shifts.
First Out Roofing Can Help!
Here at First Out Roofing we can help prevent thermal shock roof damage from ruining your winter. Get in touch with us to see if this may be a problem for your roof or if you are experiencing any other roofing issues.