9 Factors That Affect Roof Performance: Part 2

Jerry Beall on Aug 27, 2015 10:38:00 AM

FiberTite Mechanically Attached Roofing SystemAs outlined in Part 1 of this series, there are a number of factors that can affect the longevity of your roof. While some of the factors are relatively obvious, there are also factors that tend to be overlooked. These overlooked causes of roof failures can rapidly decrease the lifespan of your roof and increase overall costs to you. In order to protect your valuable assets, check out the last top four factors that affect roof performance.

6. Ponding Water

A common problem across roofing systems, ponding water can be detrimental to the life expectancy of your roof in addition to potentially nullifying your warranty. Water build up can be caused by weather, condensation from mechanical equipment, or drains/gutters that are not functioning properly. Typically, poor design, installation, and maintenance are the root cause behind ponding water. Leaking is also a result of ponding as is mold and, in extreme cases can result in a total collapse of your roof. To avoid this, proper and frequent cleaning of drains and other debris is essential. 

7. Foot Traffic

Foot traffic on roofing systems is frequently overlooked when preventing potential roofing failures. Too often, managers underestimate the amount of time people spend on their roofs. High traffic areas are susceptible to punctures which can greatly decrease the performance of your roof. Adding elevated walkways can help minimize direct foot traffic to the roof as well as limited access. Giving only maintenance personnel access to  the roof during inspections can mitigate potential issues. 

8. Temperature Extremes

Depending on geographical locations, temperature can play a significant role in the performance of your roofing system. As the outside temperature increases , your roof expands; when the temperature decreases, your roof shrinks. If you are in an environment that experiences these temperature fluctuations rapidly, even in the same day, your roof can experience thermal shock. Less dramatic temperature fluctuations can cause cracking and various separations,  compromising your roofing system. Reflective roof coatings can help combat this by decreasing the overall temperature of your roof and minimize severe fluctuations in roof temperature. 

9. Blistering & Shrinkage

Blistering and shrinkage are also factors that impact the performance of your roofing system. When liquid gets trapped between membrane plies, the vapor expands with increased temperature and pushes the membrane out into raised strips. While this is initially a minor issue with no penetration, neglected blisters can be detrimental to the performance of your roof. Shrinkage occurs from both weathering and improper installation. Stress cracks and wrinkles are common byproducts of shrinkage, allowing water leaks to impair the integrity of your roofing system. Regular inspections can help identify blistering and shrinkage issues before they dramatically harm the performance of your roof. 

Overall, there are many factors that can affect the performance of your roof. However, proper roofing selection as well as routine inspections and maintenance can help mitigate these issues and keep your roof performing to the best of its ability. Do you have any other key factors that affect the performance of your roofing system(s)? Share them in the comments!

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