How Roofs Age

You build your business on a sound foundation and the roof over your head seems indestructible, but your roof, and
your building, are finite resources subject to time and the ravages of sun, rain, hail, wind and time.

In Colorado, where we are close to a mile above sea level, buildings are exposed to significantly higher levels of UV rays than buildings at lower elevation. These rays break down and age building materials, including your roof. At our elevation we face a freeze/thaw cycle unseen in other environments. As water freezes it expands, and as it melts it shrinks. Some roofs can see daily freeze and melt cycles due to temperature changes as the harsh sun beats down. Water can work itself into crevices and cracks in your roof, resulting in separation of even the most secure seal. Patching, caulking and resealing areas catches the work of nature in the act and helps to prevent larger problems down the road.

Thermal Shock occurs when your roof heats and cools suddenly, as in a rain burst on a hot sunny day. Colorado can see thermal shock in every season. Due to our elevation, snow can fall and then melt as clouds dissipate and bright sunlight hits our buildings. The same is true during spring, summer and fall rains. Metal flashing, downspouts, skylights and ventilation will all expand and shrink at different rates. Metal roofs will expand and contract against their fasteners. Under extreme temperature changes this shock can crack and separate materials, leading to leaks, water damage and mold. The only cure for thermal shock is a plan for regular inspection and maintenance.

Gale force winds measure in the 62-65 mile per hour range, yet within our high pressure mountain region, winds sweeping from Boulder and Golden down to Denver can top 80 miles per hour. This is enough to blow old roofs or poorly secured new roofs off a building and into the parking lot next door. Roofs are rated for “uplift,” a measure of winds a roof is intended to withstand.

Age itself is a factor. All commercial, institutional and industrial buildings have HVAC and other penetrations through the roof membrane. The weight of these structures, plus the nature of roofing materials can cause deflection and deformation of the roof structure, resulting in water pooling and the collection of dirt and debris, all which add to the natural aging of the material increasing the risks of leakage into your building.


What can building owners and
managers do to positively impact
the life of your existing roof?

First, inspect regularly.

We know your maintenance schedule across parking, sidewalks, lobbies, HVAC systems, plumbing, security systems, flooring, paint, server systems, systems furniture, lighting and electrical are extensive. When we partner with you, Western Roofing provides documented, third party inspections and maintenance that you can utilize in the case of a warranty or insurance claim.

Because your roof is fundamental to protecting the resources inside your building, and your building itself, working with a maintenance partner such as Western Roofing supports your overall maintenance plan. Our inspection and maintenance schedule can keep you informed so you add the proper line items to your maintenance schedule and budget during your annual financial planning.


Stay on top of your maintenance plan.

By inspecting and identifying risks early, and by developing a long-term actionable plan, you can manage roof life expectancy and maintain the insurability of your roof. When emergencies arise such as wind damage, hail or heavy rains, a service plan can aid in securing the full value of your plan. Over time, caulking and patching are unable to keep up with the forces at play, and repair becomes a factor in maintaining a roof. As the material ages, cracks can form across the surface. This may mean replacing sections of your roof’s outer membrane, flashing, and gutters, or sealing part or all of your roof. A seal must be applied at the right time, because, to extend the life of a roof, there is a point at which the material has deteriorated too far to effectively extend roof life.

When a roof has reached the outer limits of its life expectancy, repair and sealing the roof will have little impact. Warping and cracking will simply break through efforts to patch and seal. At this point, replacement is necessary. A roof may require replacement before its estimated life due to poor or improper maintenance, storm damage, thermal shock, or other causes. At this point an inspection will help to assess how many layers of material need to be replaced. Core samples of your roof help us determine if insulation and other layers have been effected to the point they need replacement.

Upon replacement, your roof will need to come up to current codes. Western Roofing has worked with municipalities along the Front Range, including Golden, Wheat Ridge, Boulder, Lakewood, Arvada, Westminster and Denver. We stay on top of codes to assure your replacement roof meets or exceeds mandatory minimum standards.


When a roof has been replaced, the cycle of inspection,
maintenance and repair begin again.

Manufacturers and insurers often require documented inspections and maintenance

to qualify for warranty. A number of factors impact this cycle, including materials, manufacturing, installation, and ongoing service.

You deserve a partner in maintaining your structure. Contact Western Roofing for a free evaluation. We will meet with you to review existing leaks and questions you have about your roof. We will get on your roof, identify its age, inspect the surface, membrane, flashing, channels, downspouts and penetrations. We will take a core sample of your roof to examine the underlying materials for age and damage. We will examine past repairs for materials used and quality. We will document, review findings and provide you a report. In the case of insurance claims, we will work with your adjuster to provide accurate and timely documentation to realize the full value of your plan.