Ambient cured epoxy adhesive is widely used for bonding fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) plates to metallic structures. The present paper examines a typical strengthening adhesive to investigate the effect of adhesive thermo-viscoelasticity. The response of the adhesive was determined using a series of tests using the multi-frequency scanning mode of a dynamic mechanical analyser (DMA). The thermo-mechanical properties of the adhesive were then characterised using time–temperature superposition parameters and a Prony series representation for generalised Maxwell creep. The adhesive response was in turn used within two finite element (FE) models to examine the effect of creep in the adhesive at warm temperatures (<100 °C) on the performance of a lab-scale carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) plate strengthened steel beam and a real-scale CFRP plate strengthened cast-iron beam respectively. The study found that thermo-viscoelastic creep of the adhesive bonding layer causes an increase in the slip between the FRP and the structure, which could induce damage in the bonded joint and make the CFRP becomes less effective, potentially resulting in failure of the strengthening system during the long-term service. Differential thermal expansion effects can enhance the joint bonding stress and allow the plate to maintain its contribution to the moment capacity of the beam; however, this benefit could be lost when temperature decrease, and the additional irreversible damage caused by the increased joint stress could reduce the effectiveness of strengthening further..