Low-Slope Roofing Systems in Hot Summers – When to Call Your Roofer

low slope roof summer maintenance

Prevent sweltering summer heat from damaging your low-slope (flat) roofing system. Understanding how summer heat adversely affects low-slope roofing will help you take steps to prevent cracking, peeling, leaks, and structural water damage.

Low slope roof summer protection includes annual inspections and repairs

New Image Roofing Atlanta gathered information about how extreme summer temperatures can damage your low-slope roofing system and what you can do to protect and preserve it.

Low-Slope Roofing System Vulnerabilities in Hot Summers

Low-slope roofing systems (TPO, EPDM, PVC, BUR, Duro Last) are inherently more vulnerable to issues during hot summers. The intense heat, prolonged exposure to UV radiation, and thermal expansion and contraction can contribute to multiple challenges, including the following:

1. Thermal Expansion and Contraction – High temperatures can cause roofing materials to expand, and during the cooler evenings, they contract. This constant thermal cycling can lead to stress on the roofing materials, potentially resulting in cracking, warping, and other structural issues.

2. UV Radiation Damage – Prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV radiation can accelerate the aging of roofing materials. UV rays can cause shingles, membranes, and other components to deteriorate, lose flexibility, and become more susceptible to damage.

3. Heat Absorption – Low-slope roofs, especially those with dark-colored surfaces, can absorb and retain heat. Excessive heat absorption can lead to elevated indoor temperatures, increased energy costs, and potential damage to roofing materials over time.

dark roofing material in hot summer weather

4. Membrane Degradation – Membrane roofing systems, commonly used in low-slope roofs, may experience degradation due to high temperatures. This can result in reduced waterproofing effectiveness and an increased risk of leaks.

5. Flashing and Sealant Issues – Extreme heat can cause flashing and sealants to soften and lose their effectiveness. This compromises the waterproofing capabilities of the roof, leading to potential leaks and water infiltration.

Tip: A roof maintenance program with annual inspections allows for early issue detection and repair.

Low-Slope Roofing System Protection in Hot Summers

Protecting low-slope roofing systems in hot summers requires a proactive approach. By understanding your roof’s vulnerabilities and implementing preventive measures, you can safeguard your property from potential severe damage. Consider the following measures:

1. Reflective Roofing Materials – Choose reflective roofing materials with a high solar reflectance index (SRI). Light-colored or reflective surfaces can help minimize heat absorption, reducing the impact of high temperatures on the roof.

Reflective roof material is recommended for hot summers

2. Cool Roof Coatings – Apply cool roof coatings to existing low-slope roofing systems. These coatings have reflective properties that can deflect sunlight and reduce heat absorption. Cool roof coatings also provide additional protection against UV radiation.

3. Proper Insulation – Adequate insulation beneath the roof can help regulate indoor temperatures and reduce heat transfer to the building’s interior. Proper insulation contributes to energy efficiency and minimizes the strain on cooling systems.

4. Enhanced Ventilation – Improve roof ventilation to facilitate air circulation and reduce heat buildup. Adequate ventilation helps dissipate trapped heat and minimizes the risk of thermal stress on roofing materials.

5. Regular Roof Inspections – Schedule regular inspections to identify and address potential issues before they escalate. Look for signs of wear, damage, or deterioration in roofing materials, flashings, and sealants.

6. Shade Structures – Consider installing shade structures, like awnings or pergolas, to shield your low-slope roof from direct sunlight. These structures relieve extreme heat and offer additional protection against UV radiation.

7. Roof Coatings for Membranes – For membrane roofing systems, apply coatings designed to protect against UV radiation and enhance durability. These coatings create a barrier that shields the membrane from the harmful effects of the sun.

8. Solar Reflective Shingles – If your low-slope roof is shingled, opt for solar reflective shingles with reflective granules. These shingles are designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat, helping to maintain a cool roof.

Tip: Severe summer storms can cause extreme temperature fluctuations. When such a storm passes, schedule a roof inspection to identify and repair any damages.

When to Call Your Roofer

Low slope roofing repairs and maintenance in hot summer weather

1. Visible Signs of Damage – If you notice visible signs of damage like cracked or warped shingles, blistering membranes, or deteriorating flashings, it’s time to call your roofer. Prompt attention to visible damage can prevent further issues.

2. Leakage and Water Infiltration – Water leaks inside the building during hot weather are urgent issues that require immediate attention. If you observe water stains on ceilings or walls, contact your roofer promptly to identify and address the source of the leaks.

3. Flashing and Sealant Concerns – If you have concerns about the condition of flashings and sealants on your low-slope roof, consult with your roofer. These components are critical in maintaining a watertight seal, and any issues should be addressed promptly.

4. Structural Integrity Issues – Call your roofer when you suspect structural integrity issues (sagging, bowing, or ponding). Structural concerns pose significant risks and should be addressed promptly to prevent further damage.

5. Regular Maintenance and Repairs – Schedule regular maintenance with your roofer, especially after periods of extreme weather. Professionals can identify potential issues early on and recommend preventive measures to protect your low-slope roof.

For more information about commercial and residential roof maintenance, visit newimageroofingatlanta.com/roofing-services/roof-maintenance

Heat Stress on Low-Slope Roofs

In this article, you discovered how low-slope roofs are vulnerable and can be damaged by brutal summer heat, measures to protect them, and when to call your roofer.

Understanding how low-slope roof membranes react to summer heat and extreme temperature variations allows you to install preventive measures to ensure your roof’s integrity.

Neglecting your low-slope roof through the summer months can lead to leaks and severe structural damage from cracks and fissures in your roof membrane.


  New Image Roofing Atlanta

    2020 Howell Mill Rd NW Suite 232
    Atlanta, GA 30318
    (404) 680-0041