Summer Heat and Roof Damage

Commercial rooftops can be damaged by heatWhen your commercial property is in North Texas, there is nothing you can do to escape the summer heat. For commercial property roofs, summer heat can be blistering and harmful to the structure and material that lives on top of your property. The unique damages caused by high humidity and summer heat is not as noticeable as cracks and other types of damage caused during the winter and spring seasons. That said, we’re here to share the types of commercial roofs and typical damage that is caused by our high heat to help you prevent long-term damage to your property, and ultimately from costly repairs.

Common Rooftop Materials That Suffer Heat Damage

  • BUR or Built-Up Roofing is one of the most common types that consist of tar and gravel materials with multiple layers. Although cost-effective and tough, any hot tar roofs that are left uncovered or unevenly covered by gravel have a high probability of damage to the roof’s membrane.
  • Modified Bitumen Roofing is very common on rooftops that anticipate regular foot traffic and absorb most of the sun’s UV rays, causing excessive heat on the surface of the roof. This excessive heat can prematurely age, crack, blister and cause roof leaks.
  • If you have a Thermoset or Thermoplastic roof membrane, you’re already benefiting from great flexibility and high-temperature tolerance that help lower cooling costs.

Types of Damage

Thermal Shock

As the North Texas sun beats down on your roof, it can reach high temperatures up to 180°! When the sun sets, the temperature rapidly drops with no direct sunlight to heat it up. We call this thermal shock, and it causes your roof to expand and contract. Over time, it will cause warping and cracks.

Sun Damage

Sun does more than cause sunburns on your skin, it can also degrade your roofing materials. Bleaching, burning, and causing the shingles or other materials to become brittle. Luckily, a lot of roofing materials are made to take the heat, but wood and shingles can be prone to damage and overtime, all materials will degrade.


Direct sun can cause dry rot of roofing materials. Over time, the heat will cause the oils in the materials that keep them supple to evaporate, leaving them dry and brittle. This may cause leaks, energy loss as cool or warm air moves through the cracks, and overtime, cause collapse.

High Humidity

Humidity is a problem all Texans are aware of, and the closer to the coast you are, the worse the humidity is. As your roof expands and contracts and materials dry out, they can begin to absorb moisture from humid conditions (and even the occasional rainy day!). From there, mold can move in, water can begin to pool, and materials may start to rot!

Popped Seams and Loose Screws

The combination of high heat, harsh UV rays, and an expansion and contraction of the roof surface can lead to popped roof seams and loose screws. Penetrations like skylights and vents are hot spots for this type of damage.

HVAC Problems & Other Rooftop Equipment

When it comes to equipment installed on your commercial building roof a common worry is damage that can occur from the equipment and to it. Most commonly pooling water around an improperly installed HVAC system is the biggest cause of roof damage. However the equipment its self can also be damaged from excessive heat. When temperatures rise in North Texas most HVAC units tend to work overtime to keep your commercial space cool. This can often cause them to prematurely breakdown and need repair or replacement. When planning for your HVAC system or other rooftop equipment be sure to discuss the pros and cons with your construction team to ensure that you’re picking the right installation for your building. When it does come time for installation make sure that a company like Classic Construction & Restoration Inc. is on site to oversee the process. To not only protect your equipment but also your roof!


Texas heat is no joke! The signs of heat damage to your property may be subtle and not as easily spotted, so a routine check from Classic Construction is highly recommended. Don’t sweat it, contact us today and we’ll come out and give you a free estimate for roof repair or restoration!

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