Effects of heat and light on buildings

Summer temperatures continue to climb. Just as the heat takes its toll on people, buildings and structures are impacted by heat as well. Keeping an eye out for effects of sun and heat can help you provide the proper maintenance for your building.


Perhaps no system is more taxed in the summer than the HVAC system. Depending on the outside temperature and where the inside temperature is set, it’s possible that the unit runs continually during the day.

Because of this high demand, regular maintenance of the unit is essential. This should include a visual inspection of all parts, refrigerant check, and thorough cleaning of the unit. Also, be sure to change any filters monthly to avoid putting extra stress on the unit.

Keep an eye out for frost buildup on the lines running from the building to the unit. This indicates the unit is not cooling properly. Also, any rattling or knocking noise coming from the unit should be addressed immediately.


Depending on the type and style of roof, heat can create maintenance challenges. Extreme temperatures can cause old shingles to become brittle and prone to breaking through decay. As you visually inspect your roof, look for warped or cracked shingles.

In cases of undetected water leaks, you might even see mold or mildew growth in an area of the roof. This occurs when the roof leaks and the area doesn’t dry completely, often due to lack of ventilation.

Exterior walls

The impact of the heat on exterior walls depends on the type of material that comprises the wall.

Brick walls, for example, may show cracking along the mortar line from years of heating and cooling with outside temperatures. Look for spalling, cracking, and receding grout lines. If you see any of these, it’s important to have a masonry professional repair them.

For siding, be sure to visually inspect the corners and the siding itself to look for warping or cracking. If you’re dealing with extreme heat over multiple weeks, you may see paint bubbles and flaking, especially on sides that get west-facing sun.

This summer, heat and sunlight will impact your building, but you can stay ahead of it with regular maintenance and quick repairs.

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