Did you know that the average lifespan of a commercial roof is anywhere from 20 to 30 years? If you’ve got a building that’s been around for more than a couple decades and noticed some wear and tear, it’s time to think about commercial roof repair.
Not sure where to get started? We’ve got you covered. Below is a complete guide to all the maintenance activities you should do every few years.
Read on to learn more about the benefits of undertaking ongoing maintenance and repair projects. Be sure to take this all into consideration before you get started.
Identifying Common Roofing Issues
Roofing issues can lead to significant problems if not addressed promptly. Here are some common roofing issues that homeowners may encounter:
A leaky roof can be a big problem for homes because it can damage the inside, cause mold to grow, and even cause structural problems. Leaks can happen for many reasons, like when shingles are broken or missing, when the flashing around chimneys or vents is cracked, or when roofing materials aren’t put on right.
Water can leak through these weak spots and enter the attic or living areas, causing water stains on ceilings or walls, dampness, or even running water when it rains. It’s important to fix leaks immediately to stop further damage, like structure deterioration and insulation loss.
Damaged or Missing Shingles
Shingles are the roof’s topmost layer and protect it from the weather in a very important way. When shingles are broken, cracked, bent, or blistered, they no longer protect the roof and the structure underneath. This can let water get into the roof and cause leaks and possible water damage. Over time, shingles can wear down from exposure to harsh weather, leading to missing or loose roofs. It’s important to check the shingles regularly so that any problems can be found early and fixed or changed quickly to keep the roof’s integrity.
Roof Ventilation Problems
For a roof to stay healthy and last for a long time, it needs to be able to breathe. If there isn’t enough airflow, heat and moisture can build up in the attic, damaging the roof, the shingles, and the insulation. Roofing products, like shingles and underlayment, can wear out faster if they don’t get enough airflow.
Also, it can help make mist, which can lead to the growth of mold, mildew, and rot. Properly placed vents and a well-balanced air circulation system help keep the roof’s temperature and humidity in check. This helps the roof last longer and avoids problems.
When the draining system isn’t working well or is blocked, water is more likely to pool on flat or low-slope roofs. This is called ponding water, when water builds up and stays still on the roof instead of moving away. Water pools for a long time can weaken the roof membrane and cause leaks and other problems.
It can also make the roof a good place for algae and mold to grow, which is bad for the roof’s strength. Ponding water and the problems it causes can be avoided by fixing drainage problems, ensuring the roof slope is right, and keeping gutters in good shape.
Flashing is an important part of a roof because it seals and covers places where the roof meets other parts, like chimneys, skylights, or vents. When flashing is broken or not put on correctly, it can let water into the roof system, which can cause leaks and water damage.
Weathering, corrosion, or bad fitting are common things that can damage flashing. Flashing needs to be checked and kept up regularly to ensure it seals well and stops water from getting in.
Roof cracking is when bubbles or blisters appear on the roof’s surface. It usually happens when there is too much moisture in the roof materials or insufficient airflow. When the sun heats up the roof, moisture trapped under the shingles or insulation can expand and form blisters.
Over time, these blisters can cause the shingle pieces to wear away, which means the roof won’t be able to keep the weather out either. Roof blistering should be fixed immediately to avoid further damage, like water getting in, shingles falling apart, and possible leaks.
Ice dams can cause a lot of damage to roofs in cold places. When the snow melts, it runs down the roof and freezes again at the eaves or gutters. This makes an ice dam.
Because of the ice buildup, water can’t drain properly, so it backs up under the shingles and could get into the roof. This can cause water damage to the structure of the roof, the insulation, and the house’s inside. Ice dams can be stopped using the right insulation, ensuring enough air flow and putting up ice and water shield barriers.
A sinking roof is a major structural problem that must be fixed immediately. It can happen for several reasons, such as a weak or broken roof frame, too much weight on the roof, or bad fitting.
A sagging roof is a sign that the building’s integrity has been weakened, which puts the safety of the people inside at risk. To fix the problem and make the roof safe and stable again, it needs to be looked at and fixed by a professional.
Implementing Effective Roof Maintenance Strategies
Implementing effective maintenance strategies for commercial roofs is crucial to extend their lifespan, prevent costly repairs, and ensure the overall integrity of the building. Here are some key steps to follow:
It’s important to check on a business roof regularly to keep it in good shape. At least twice a year, preferably in the spring and fall, and after bad weather, these checks should be done.
During inspections, the roof’s state should be carefully checked for things like cracks, leaks, loose or missing shingles, and signs of membrane degradation. When problems are caught early and fixed, they don’t get worse and become harder to deal with.
Create a Maintenance Schedule
It is important to make a full maintenance plan to ensure that all tasks are done regularly. This schedule should list the exact maintenance tasks that need to be done, how often they should be done, and who is responsible for them.
Some jobs to put on the schedule are cleaning the gutters to keep them from getting clogged, inspecting and fixing the flashings to keep the seals working, resealing the joints to stop water from getting in, and checking the drainage to ensure water doesn’t stand. By sticking to a maintenance plan, you can deal with problems before they happen and keep the roof working well.
Address Repairs Promptly
Promptly addressing repairs prevents small problems from escalating into larger, costlier issues. It is essential to take immediate action during inspections or if issues are reported.
Ignoring or delaying repairs can result in water infiltration, structural damage, and more extensive repairs. Engage qualified professionals experienced in commercial roofing to ensure that repairs are done correctly and effectively.
Keep the Roof Clean
Regular cleaning of the commercial roof is essential for its longevity. Clearing debris, leaves, and other obstructions from the roof surface and gutters is crucial to prevent water accumulation and potential damage.
Standing water can lead to leaks and structural issues, while clogged drains impede proper drainage. When performing cleaning tasks, it’s important to exercise caution to avoid damaging the roof membrane or surface.
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Maintain Proper Drainage
Adequate drainage is critical for commercial roofs. Ensure that the roof has proper drainage systems, including downspouts and gutters. Regularly inspect and clean these elements to prevent water from pooling on the roof’s surface, which can lead to leaks and compromise the roof’s structural integrity. Proper drainage management is essential in preventing water damage and extending the roof’s lifespan.
Regularly Check Seals and Flashings
Seals and flashings are very important for keeping water out of places on the roof where it could get in, like vents, skylights, chimneys, and HVAC units. These things should be checked and fixed regularly to ensure they stay in good shape and work well.
If any signs of wear and tear, like cracks or gaps, these parts should be resealed or replaced immediately. Keeping the seals and flashings in good shape can stop water damage and make the roof last longer.
If you have an in-house maintenance team, teaching them the best ways to take care of business roofs is important. This training gives them the necessary information and skills to inspect, find potential problems, and do basic maintenance chores. Giving your staff the right skills and knowledge can make your repair work more efficient and effective.
Document Maintenance Activities
Keeping thorough records of all maintenance work done on a commercial roof is very helpful. This paperwork should include inspection records, logs of repairs, and any other important information. By keeping accurate records, you can keep track of the roof’s condition over time, find problems that keep happening, and make smart choices about maintenance or repairs in the future. This paperwork is also helpful if you need to make a warranty claim or plan to fix your roof.
Understanding Different Repair Techniques
Commercial roof repair techniques can vary depending on the roofing material type, the damage extent, and the specific issues being addressed. Here are some common roofing repair techniques:
Patching involves repairing localized areas of damage, such as punctures, small cracks, or blisters. It typically involves cleaning the damaged area, applying a sealant or adhesive, and reinforcing it with patching material.
Roof coating is a protective layer applied to the roof’s surface. It can help extend the roof’s lifespan by providing additional waterproofing and UV protection. Coatings are available in various types, including acrylic, silicone, and elastomeric coatings, each suitable for different roof types.
Membrane roofs, like EPDM (rubber), TPO (thermoplastic), or PVC (polyvinyl chloride), often need membrane repair. This method includes finding leaks, holes, or broken seams in the roofing membrane and fixing them. Most repairs are done with special patches, glues, or methods for heat welding.
In cases where the existing roof is severely damaged but the structural integrity is intact, a roof overlay may be a viable option. This technique involves installing a new roof layer directly over the existing one, providing an additional protective barrier. It can save costs and minimize disruption by avoiding completely tearing off the old roof.
If the roof has a lot of damage or is getting close to the end of its life, it may need to be replaced completely. This means removing the old roof down to the roof deck and installing a new one. The new roof can have better flashing and draining systems and new insulation and roofing materials.
Flashing refers to the metal or waterproof material installed around roof penetrations, such as chimneys, vents, or skylights, to prevent water intrusion. Flashing repair involves identifying and fixing damaged or deteriorated flashing to ensure proper waterproofing and prevent leaks.
Gutters and Drainage Repair
Commercial roofs need to drain water well. When gutters, downspouts, and draining systems are in good shape, water effectively flows away from the roof. This can mean cleaning out clogs, fixing leaks, or adding new parts to improve draining.
Reach New Heights With the Best Commercial Roof Repair Expertise
Commercial roof repair and maintenance is an important part of preserving the integrity of your commercial building. By taking the time to properly inspect and maintain your roof, you can prevent costly repairs down the road.
Review the complete guide to commercial roof repair and maintenance to ensure your roof is getting the best care. Don’t delay. Read the guide today!
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