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How the Freeze/Thaw Cycle Can Affect a Roof

As a property’s first line of defence against the elements, the roof will undergo a significant amount of stress throughout its lifetime. In fact, there is nothing more damaging than the freeze/thaw cycle and this natural weather occurrence can be exacerbated by a lack of maintenance. Here at Valent Roofing, we believe that taking care of your roof is incredibly important during spring as this is when the freeze/thaw cycle commonly takes place. Read on to find out how it can affect your roof…

Small Holes

When the weather is still cold, rainwater can seep into small gaps that form in a roof and freeze throughout the night as the temperature drop. The following day, these ice formations will thaw due to a spike in temperatures and the running water can affect the inside of the roofing structure. Since the weather during spring is constantly changing, this freeze/thaw cycle can lead to the gradual splitting of roofing materials as the water constantly freezes and melts.

Ice Dams

Uneven heating throughout an attic whilst the eaves remain cool can lead to the formation of ice dams. In fact, they are typically caused by snow on the roof which melts and drains towards the eaves due to warm internal temperatures, however, the cool eave’s temperatures means that the water quickly refreezes and forms a ledge. This can cause a build up of water to collect underneath the roofing materials and even lead to a devasting leak. In fact, sometimes the roofing material can actually buckle under the sheer weight of an ice dam.

Thermal Shock

Known as the number one cause of premature roofing damage, thermal shock takes places when a heat gradient causes different parts of the same piece of material to expand differently. As a result, splits and cracks can form quickly that can require attention from a professional roofer, especially since the materials that are most commonly affected include steel, wood, concrete and asphalt. This can occur during the freeze/thaw cycle when the temperatures increase rapidly throughout the day, placing a lot of stress on the materials.

Here at Valent Roofing, we have seen first hand how damaging the freeze/thaw cycle can be and that is why it is important to regularly inspect your roof as the winter season merges into spring. After all, the constantly changing temperatures that take place as the weather gets warmer are what causes the cycle in the first place. If you think that your roof may be affected by the freeze/thaw cycle, get in contact with the industrial roofing experts at Valent Roofing today to find out more information.


Valent Roofing, 500 King’s Rd, Stretford, Manchester, M32 8JT
Telephone: 0161 864 3311
Fax: 0161 864 3322

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