critical issues on your commercial roof


It is crucial to make certain your commercial roof stays in the best shape possible to avoid potentially expensive and time consuming repairs. To help you do this, watch out for the following four things. If you spot one or more of them, be sure that your commercial roof gets immediate attention.

1. A Leaking Roof

Leaking is one of the most obvious signs of a damaged roof. However, you may not notice a leak until it has already caused significant damage. This is why it is so important to schedule regular commercial roof inspections.

If the inspector identifies any areas that have the potential to cause a problem, keep a close eye on them. By being proactive, you could prevent water pooling and damage that can put a strain on your roof. You are also more likely to save yourself the cost of water cleanup and damage repairs.

Typically, roof leaks occur around the exterior edge of the roof or at the site of parapet walls where flashings have been installed to protect the edges of the roof membrane cover. If these flashings are installed incorrectly or become damaged or loose due to strong storms and winds, it can leave parts of the roof cover exposed, allowing water and moisture to seep into the roof and building.

Penetrations, such as those from pipes and drains, puncture the membrane of your commercial roof and are prone to leaks. All roof penetrations should be properly secured to protect your roof from water damage.

Additional examples of penetrations include gas lines, conduits, HVAC units, pipes, drains, hot stacks, and other object routed through the membrane. Be sure that every area of roof penetration is carefully observed by an inspector and that the area is kept water-tight using field wraps, rain collars, pitch pans, flashing, or pipe boots.

2. Pooling Water

Also referred to as ponding water, this is stagnant water that has been allowed to sit on a roof for more than two days. This is especially common in commercial roofs because they are often flat, allowing the water to pool and penetrate the roofing membrane.

Although flat roofs frequently have a bit of a slope, pitch, or tapered rigid insulation to prevent pooling, this isn’t a foolproof system. This can cause damage to all areas of the roofing system.

In addition, UV rays from the sun can heat up a bituminous roofing system, causing gaps to form in the membrane which clog drains. When performing a roof inspection, your inspector should look for drains that have become blocked.

3. Bad Roof Repairs

In some cases, your roof may become damaged due to using the incorrect or improperly installing roofing materials. Unfortunately, in this scenario, your entire commercial roof will likely need to be replaced. This is because patching and repairing “bad” spots simply won’t help your roof’s long term performance.

4. Subpar Workmanship

If you have hired a roofing company in the past who didn’t deliver the high quality results you deserve, it may quickly become obvious. It is not unusual for some roofing companies to compromise on material quality to lower their estimate and make it more attractive to the property owner.

While the owner may not spend as much in the beginning, roofing costs will quickly rise with each repair. It’s true that most roofing materials are under warranty, but they can easily be voided if subpar workmanship is identified.

Subpar workmanship may be the result of inexperienced workers or an attempt to cut costs. In some cases, it may be the result of using or installing the wrong materials.

For example, if fastening is not done correctly, shingles can blow off, leaving the roof’s membrane exposed to the elements. In other cases, the problem can be related to improper ventilation.

Even the highest quality roof installed by the best roofers in the business will need repairs at some point in its lifetime. Make certain your commercial roof is routinely inspected and maintained to identify any potential problems as soon as possible. Then, make arrangements to get them fixed immediately.

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