Singapore is a country that is synonymous with its warm temperatures and harsh sunrays. For many of us, we routinely make the effort to stay in shade and if possible in air conditioned environments. Yet few of us consider how heat affects the buildings around us. For example, while you may be enjoying the comforts of a cool environment, the building that you are in is absorbing the full blunt of the sun. The big question in the room is then how does this heat affect building structures and if it poses any indirect danger to us. In this article, we aim to answer this question while also stressing the importance of roof maintenance.
A simple answer to the question posed is that heat actually has the capability of damaging a building’s roof. Just like any organism or material in the world, heat from the sun transfers energy to molecules which in turn buzz around, causing a natural expansion. Depending on how a building’s roof is structured, the expansion of materials may result in both brittleness and cracks. While not immediately obvious to the naked eye, these cracks expose the building’s structure to the various weather elements. In addition to heat from the sun, sun rays also contain ultraviolet rays which break down all materials that they come in contact with.
Once a roof sustains damage from heat and ultraviolet rays, it leaves your building vulnerable to water leakages during the rainy season. Even if the gap or hole is not exceptionally big, water trickling into your building over time will lead to a build up in obscured parts of the infrastructure. The spike in moisture in turn will create a conducive environment for mould and decay. As such, your entire building structure is placed at risk.
How then can building owners prevent reduce water leakages that arise from heat damage? As inevitable as it sounds, water leakages in this scenario can be contained by owners who firstly keep their roofs tidy. Routinely cleaning the roof of debris and removing clutter from your roof gutters will help to prevent a build up of water on your roof. This is particularly important for flat roofs as they are more prone to accumulation of water.
A second action that owners can take is to conduct routine visual inspections for probable signs of damage. This allows for early detection of leaks and allow you to quickly engage waterproofing professionals to conduct roof leakage repairs. Once they are engaged, a proper inspection can be conducted before roof maintenance and application of new coats of the waterproofing membrane. Lastly, it is important to stress that immediate action should be taken once probably leaks are suspected. Long term damage from water leakages is a real and threatening issue that should not be underestimated.