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How the weather can affect your roof

A building’s roof is its first line of defence against the elements, which is why it is so important to regularly check for wear and damage to keep everything functioning properly. Failure to do so could lead to a building not being able to adequately protect everyone and everything inside.

But just how can the weather affect a roof, and why will all roofs inevitably start to degrade over time?

Wet weather

A roof is obviously designed to keep the rain on the outside of a building, so most of the time the wet UK weather should not pose an issue to any properly fitted roof for decades or more.

However, over time, constant exposure to harsh elements can start to show lasting signs of damage and deterioration. The more porous a material, the better a breeding ground it is for moss, and for tiled roofs made of clay or concrete, this can especially be an issue. Moss can grow and start to loosen tiles, creating weak points that can allow water and debris in that will further accelerate a roof’s demise, leading to needing roofing services.

For roofs with wooden components, any leftover moisture will eventually lead to structural problems such as wood rot, which can be dangerous if left untreated. There is also the increased risk of build-ups of mould and mildew which can deteriorate the quality of the air and lead to health issues for any occupants.

Cold weather

The cold weather can be some of the worst for our roofs, especially when temperatures approach or surpass freezing. The main reason for this is because of a process known as the freeze-thaw cycle.

The freeze-thaw cycle does not just affect a building’s roof, but can also damage other parts of a property, such as pipes and walls. However, due to being directly exposed to a mixture of both wet and cold weather, it can be one of the worst-hit parts of a building – especially over winter when it may be hit over and over.

The freeze-thaw cycle begins when rainwater finds its way into minuscule cracks and cavities in the roof material. Once trapped, as temperatures lower and the water freezes, it expands, which opens the cracks further. Then, as temperatures rise again, the water thaws and collects again in the gaps.

This process, especially in the coldest, wettest months, can occur as often as daily, with the water freezing overnight and thawing during the day. This is difficult to prevent and even harder to stop once it begins, which is why it is so damaging to our buildings.

Hot weather

Even during periods of hot weather, a roof does not get to rest. It is still protecting your house from powerful UV rays and reflecting most of the heat that would otherwise quickly build up to an unbearable level inside.

Dry, hot weather may seem peaceful and calm, however, all of that heat excites the molecules inside the roof material, causing them to expand. Roofing materials like tiles are fitted with the expectation that they will expand a little but the repeated process will start to break down the structure of the material.

Hot weather during the day followed by very cold nights, not uncommon in the UK, can further amplify this problem, as the rapid expansion and contraction will start to weaken and physically pull apart the material.

Contact the professionals

As the weather becomes more and more extreme, the roofs of our buildings will be subjected to even more battering by outside conditions. This is why it is important to consult a specialist roofing contractor like Randles Roofing Services to check, maintain, or replace your roof if you think that it may have become damaged or deteriorated.

If you think you may require roofing, guttering or building services, or just want some friendly, professional advice, contact us today.

Get in touch

If you have any further queries about our roofing and building services, why not give us a call or drop as an email. Alternatively, you could fill out the enquiry form.

Whatever way you choose, we look forward to hearing from you.


12 Lumbutts Rd,
OL14 6PQ