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Understanding Freezing/Thawing and Your Roof

The freeze/thaw cycle is a common occurrence in colder states and is a large contributor to the premature failure of roofing systems in these areas. The freeze/thaw cycle causes roofing and building materials to undergo thermal shock and this ultimately deteriorates your roofing materials.

Thermal shock is the rapid cooling or heating process which an object or material undergoes when exposed to extreme heat or cooling temperatures. The rapid cooling and heating may cause the object to rapidly expand and contract.

This expansion and contraction is a result of water filling gaps and voids in your roofing system every time it freezes, causing materials to expand, and every time it melts, contraction occurs. Whenever this water freezes and expands it creates even more space within your roofing, which then leads to more water seeping into these voids.

This causes strain and stress on your roofing materials thus leading to its deterioration, which may look like a split or crack in your roofing. Major splits and cracks along your roofing system may thus lead to its failure. In the worst-case scenario, your roof may collapse in on itself.

All materials are made to withstand a certain degree of expansion and contraction, some materials are a lot more equipped at handling extreme conditions than others. The older your roofing materials are, the less equipped it is at handling this rapid expansion and contraction. This is as a result of dealing with the freeze/thaw cycle over the years. That’s why it’s always advisable to regularly inspect your roofing materials and repair and replace any old or worn-out materials.

Your roofing system is made up of several components, such as your roofing shingles, flashing, underlayment, ridge vents, roof deck, gutter system, etc. All of these components tend to be made up of different materials and therefore may deal with the freeze/thaw cycle a little differently. Some may deteriorate a little faster than others. That’s why when doing a roofing inspection, it’s important to inspect all the layers and components of your roof.

How to Avoid Roofing Issues With Freezing/Thawing

You may be wondering, what can you do to prevent or slow down this deterioration process? As mentioned before, it’s important to do regular roofing inspections, so that you know how well your roof is managing in extreme weather conditions.

Having a great maintenance plan usually goes right along with regular inspections. A professional roofing inspection along with a thorough maintenance plan means that your roof will always be performing at its best. And this may add some years to the lifespan of your roof, thus saving you quite a bit of money.

However, if your roofing system is a few decades old and looking a little worse for wear, you may need to consider replacing the roofing of your home or business. And you don’t want to wait until you find yourself in an emergency roofing situation.

In an area like Fords, this freeze/thaw cycle is a problem that we come across often. It is also a problem that we know exactly how to deal with. If your roof has suffered as a result of the freeze/thaw cycle, don’t hesitate to call Above & Beyond Exterior Remodelers.

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