A Guide for Facility Managers & Building Owners
Commercial roofing systems require specialized installation, maintenance, and care. Because commercial roofs are often flat, they require features that many residential structures do not. For example, a flat roof needs a detailed drainage system to ensure water does not lay dormant on the surface and later penetrate through the roofing materials. This consideration, among others, is important for any roofer working on a commercial roof.
Furthermore, there are many concepts that are useful for any commercial building owner or property manager to understand. In this article, we will explain the most common commercial roofing problems, what often causes them, and how you can prevent them from costing you money. Read on to get to know your commercial roof and how you can best protect it.
Most Common Commercial Roofing Problems
While every roof is different and will encounter individual problems, many commercial roofs develop similar issues. Typically, commercial roof repairs will be due to a leak or water damage, but there are many other possibilities as well.
Here are some frequently seen commercial roofing problems:
- Leaks: A roof leak is one of the most common commercial roofing problems. A leak can be the result of poor installation, damage over time, gaps around openings in the roof, and more. It’s important to have roof leaks repaired quickly because they can quickly progress and cause further damage as they grow.
- Pooling Water: Because most commercial roofs are flat, they require adequate drainage systems. With poor drainage, water will pool on the roof. It can then seep into the roofing materials, causing mold, mildew, and rot.
- Blistering: Often a result of sun and heat exposure, blistering indicates that you have water underneath your roofing materials. As trapped water is warmed and evaporates, it creates a blister of water vapor between your roofing layers. This must be repaired to prevent deterioration from further expansion or water damage.
- Punctures & Tears: These can result from foot traffic, sharp objects, limbs falling, and more. Whatever the cause, punctured or torn roofing materials can lead to moisture being trapped within the roof. This will cause damage to the roofing materials and the building itself.
- Membrane Shrinkage: Similar to blistering, this problem generally occurs with excessive heat and sun exposure. As the sun warms the roof, it can cause the membrane to shrivel. Unfortunately, this leads to tearing, which causes leaking.
As you can see, there are many reasons that a commercial roof may need repair. From an isolated leak to widespread membrane shrinkage, there are many reasons that you may encounter a problem with your business’s roof.
In general, these issues do not arise quickly after a roof has been installed. Instead, they tend to occur as the roof ages. In addition, these common roofing problems can result from a number of causes. While many of them relate to water and weather damage, other factors are also at play.
The Causes Behind Commercial Roofing Issues
As is expected, the most common reason that you see problems with your commercial roof is related to rain or extreme weather. However, there are many other elements that affect the lifespan of a commercial roof and the likelihood of encountering issues with the roof. Explore some of the reasons that commercial roofs fail below.
- Weather complications: From wind and rain to heavy sun, the weather has a significant impact on commercial roofs. Because they are often flat, excessive rain can overwhelm the drainage system and lead to leaking. In addition, ice and snow may accumulate and cause damage. Lastly, the sun’s heat can weaken the roofing materials, leading to leaks or membrane shrinkage.
- Improper Roof Installation: When a roof is installed incorrectly, there may be gaps around openings in the roof, poor ventilation, inadequate draining, and more. In addition, some roofers will use low-quality materials to cut their expenses. With poor installation, you are more likely to see roof damage and leaks quickly.
- Inadequate Drainage Systems: A dependable drainage system is essential for a commercial roof. Many commercial roofs are flat, which means that water cannot drain as readily as it can from a sloped roof. With poor drainage, water will become trapped on the roof and begin to damage the roofing materials. Drainage systems can also become clogged or blocked, which will lead to water trapping as well.
- Lack of Maintenance: To maintain a healthy and operational roof, regular maintenance is a necessity. Routine inspections allow your roofer to locate any developing problems and correct them before they cause severe issues. With poor maintenance, you are more likely to run into roof leaks and damage.
- Advanced Age: Unfortunately, as roofs age, the roofing materials will weaken. This naturally occurs over time. With an older roof, this can mean more frequent leaks and complications. It’s best to have an old roof replaced as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the structure of the building.
While weather considerations play a big role in roofing complications, other factors also have an impact. One of the most important components to a dependable commercial roof is using a reliable roofing contractor with experience in commercial roofs. Unfortunately, many roofers are not trained or experienced to install commercial roofs, which can lead to improper drainage, poor material selection, and overall improper installation. In turn, these will cause more frequent leaks and premature roof replacement.
How to Prevent Commercial Roofing Complications
To avoid regular roof repairs and early roof replacement, it’s imperative that you take care of your roof. Below, we have compiled a list of tips to help you lengthen the lifespan of your commercial roof.
- Hire a Skilled Roofer
For every commercial roof replacement and roof repair, you should hire a reputable roofer. Find someone who has experience in commercial roofing so that every component of your roof is installed correctly. If you are looking for a commercial roofer that you can trust, turn to the team at Discount Roof.
- Use High-Quality Roofing Materials
While it may be tempting to save some money, cheaper roofing materials will end up costing you more over time. As the cheap materials deteriorate, you will have more frequent leaks and other complications. In addition, you will need to replace your roof prematurely. To prevent this, you need to invest in high-quality roofing materials.
- Schedule Routine Commercial Roofing Inspections
The best way to prevent expensive roof repairs and early roof replacements is with regular roofing inspections and maintenance. This allows for budding problems to be recognized quickly and fixed before they progress. Routine commercial roof inspections will save you money in the long run.
- Keep Drainage Systems Clear
Because water pooling on your roof leads to excessive damage, it’s imperative that you have a working drainage system for your commercial roof. To ensure the effectiveness of your drainage system, you should regularly check for clogs or blockages. This will prevent water buildup, which is certain to damage your commercial roof.
- Complete Recommended Roof Repairs Quickly
When you schedule routine roofing inspections, your roofer may recommend commercial roof repair solutions. To protect your roof, you should schedule these repairs quickly. Prompt roof repairs prevent excessive damage to your roofing materials.
Despite complications, high quality commercial roofing materials are meant to last. By following these simple tips, commercial roofs can last for many years. Some styles can even survive for up to 40 years. To make sure that your roof protects your property for many more years, you should regularly maintain your roof and schedule routine inspections to check for any developing issues.
Overview of Commercial Roof Repairs & Prevention
In review, the most common commercial roofing problems include leaks, pooling water, blistering, tears, punctures, and membrane shrinkage. These problems can occur at any point after a commercial roof has been installed, but they tend to happen as the roof approaches the end of its lifespan. The problems with commercial roofs often result due to extreme weather, poor drainage, inadequate installation, improper maintenance, and advanced age.
Therefore, the best way to prevent roofing problems at commercial locations is with routine maintenance from a trustworthy roofer. This allows for the evaluation of the roof as well as rapid solutions for any problems that arise. With the proper care, a commercial roof can last for 30+ years.
Who Should You Call for Commercial Roofing Services?
When you need commercial roof inspections, repair, replacement, or other services, Discount Roof is the team for you. Our roofers have over three decades of experience, making us the ideal roofing company for businesses across Indiana. We can install, repair, or replace any commercial roof with ease. In addition, we can perform the most effective preventative maintenance to extend the lifespan of your commercial roof.