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How to Tell If Your Commercial Roof Is Sun Damaged

[fa icon="calendar"] Mar 15, 2018 11:22:00 AM / by Krystal Coddington

Krystal Coddington

how to tell if your commercial roof is sun damaged

When you purchased a commercial property in Las Vegas, you thought property ownership out here would be smooth sailing. After all, rain is infrequent at best; we are not plagued by earthquakes, tornadoes, severe hail storms, or tsunamis; and the winters don't get cold enough that you need to worry about the weight of the snow collecting on your roof. There's just one thing... that big fiery ball up in the sky. The sun is not a building's friend.

On a summer day, temperatures can reach well into the triple digits, and sometimes it feels like you are not just standing underneath the sun but on it. Now imagine how your roof feels.

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Signs of Sun Damage on a Commercial Roof

Thankfully, many builders will install metal roofing, which stands up fairly well to the sun's abuse and withstands heat damage much better than some other commonly used roofing materials. However, if you weren't lucky enough to purchase a property with metal roofing, it's important to keep an eye out for the signs of sun damage. The sooner you recognize this damage, the faster (and more economical) the fix. When a roof becomes severely damaged, it costs a great deal of money to repair and even more to replace. You definitely don't want to see the bill on that.

The signs of heat damage to your roof will differ depending on what type of commercial roofing materials your builder has used. Your commercial roof may be sun damaged if you notice:

1. Discoloration

Occasionally, some areas of your roof will be protected by trees or the shadows from nearby buildings. This will make it easier to notice discoloration when it occurs as those areas that are not shaded will change color and become more obvious.

2. Cracking

Cracks may appear in the roofing materials. This will allow rain to leak into the building, causing costly repairs.

3. Decay

Most often found in older shingled roofs, tiny cracks and dents will occur, causing moisture to build up and create a rotting appearance.

4. Warping

The heat from the sun can cause some roofing materials to shrink, changing their shape and the way that they protect the building.

5. Leaks

It seems fairly obvious, but if you are noticing water inside your building (that shouldn't be there), you probably have a damaged roof that needs to be dealt with. Ideally, you'll notice the other symptoms first, and it won't get to this point or have the opportunity to damage any of your tenants' property.

Related: How to Fix a Leaky Flat Roof

Can Heat Alone Damage a Commercial Roof?

Not only can the heat from the sun cause damage to your roof, but so can the repeated expansion and contraction of the roofing materials. This constant change in size as they expand (with heat) and then contract (with cooler temperatures) causes cracks and loosening of the roofing materials and provides an optimal environment for the elements to enter into your building. This can include water, insects, and debris. The high winds that we often experience can also damage roofs that have been affected by sun damage. If your roof was not installed properly in the first place, there could be gaps in the materials that will contribute to expansion and contraction damage.

While roof damage can occur in any climate, the heat of the sun in Las Vegas can cause serious problems for your commercial property and your wallet. These damages often take a great deal of time to fix, inconveniencing your tenants and making it difficult for them to thrive (not to mention expensive for you, costing thousands of dollars to repair).

The best way to avoid these problems is to adopt a habit of preventative maintenance, having regular roof inspections by a professional roofing company that you trust. This will ensure that if there is any damage due to the sun or heat, it will be caught quickly and dealt with before it become a serious issue.

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Krystal Coddington

Written by Krystal Coddington