Chinook Roofing Blog

How is Hot Weather Affecting Your Membrane Roof?

Posted on: June 17, 2015

Membrane roof with HVAC


HVACs and Membrane Roofing

Cooling, heating, and ventilating units need roof penetrations that require a careful attention to sealing and leak-guards. It’s extremely common for commercial and industrial buildings to house their HVACs on the roof, but using an HVAC unit without consideration for your membrane roof can cost in the end. You might think that ponding is over now that the spring rains are gone. But heating and cooling systems also produce moisture that can pool on the rooftop without correct redirection. Find out where the humidity from your HVAC is traveling to.

Damaging UV Rays and Temperature Changes

If you guessed that sunlight can directly result in membrane roof damage, you would be right. UV rays weaken low-slope roofing, creating fine cracks called “alligatoring.” As temperatures rise and fall throughout summer days and nights, the membrane, along with other roof elements such as metal penetrations, contracts and expands before eventually separating. How can you help prevent alligatoring? The first step is to check your low-slope coating. The proper coating will help guard against UV rays.

While checking if your roof’s coating is adequate, consider this cool roof tip from the U.S. Department of Energy: deflect and combat heat with a coating that decreases reflectivity.

Blistering from Poor Installation or Insulation

Blistering or bubbling on membrane roofing is an important problem to catch early on. Causes include poor insulation that allows air or moisture to move into the roofing material. Heat then makes these moisture pockets swell, pushing up on the membrane to form bubbles or blisters. Blisters not only can rupture, resulting in further damage and leaks, but they also stretch the membrane out of shape.

Because blistering can be caused by poor insulation, it’s important to ensure your membrane roof is installed properly.  The value of maintenance also cannot be underestimated with singly-ply roofing. Monitoring roof bubbles and blistering in their early stages gives you the opportunity to reroof before extensive damage occurs. Membrane roofing will age, and as it does, you want to stay aware of how well functions on top of your building.

Make sure your roofing is ready for the season’s temperatures so you can stop any blistering or bubbling before it becomes an expensive problem. Prepare for both UV rays and increased heating and cooling usage by first checking on the roof’s surface condition. Learn more about Chinook Roofing’s commercial repair and maintenance programs.


About Chinook Roofing

Chinook Roofing & Gutters is a Tacoma roofing company that provides installation and maintenance of roofs and gutters in Puget Sound area cities, including our home base of Fife, as well as Gig Harbor, Puyallup, Milton and more. We are experienced with a wide variety of roofing types, including composition roofscedar shake roofingmetal roofing and more. Contact us today for a free estimate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have Questions?
Call 855-424-4666


The only thing better than our new roof is the company who installed it. Kind and capable people from the inspection and estimate to impeccable clean up. Thank you so much!