The purpose of a commercial roof is to protect the structural components of the building, the materials within the building, and the employees and customers of the business. Many commercial roofs are constructed in flat design and must also be constructed to withstand the additional burden of heavy equipment needed for the operation of the business as well as the foot traffic required to install and maintain this equipment. These requirements result in a vast difference in the materials and designs of roofs for commercial buildings and roofs for residential structures. The additional requirements of a commercial roof give it a dual purpose, which is to protect the building from the outside elements while providing a useful area to maximize the efficiency of the building. The use of the commercial roof as an operational part of the structure requires strict adherence to a program of preventive maintenance and repair to maintain the integrity of the roof and building.
What Is the Purpose of Preventive Maintenance for Commercial Roofs?
An improperly maintained commercial roof can result in a substantial financial loss from extended periods of downtime. In some cases, the structure itself can be compromised. Materials, inventory, and equipment within the building can be damaged. Employees can be put at risk or injured. A well-planned and properly initiated procedure of preventive maintenance begins with a thorough visual inspection that can detect potential problems before they cause any damage. Any damage found can often be repaired without affecting the normal operation of the business. Periodic visual inspections performed by a commercial roofing contractor should be done at least twice a year if the roof is relatively new; older roofs may need to be inspected more frequently. An inspection should also be performed after any occurrence of severe weather.
Why Are Immediate Repairs Critical for Commercial Roofs?
Any repair needed should always be performed as quickly as possible. Acting fast will minimize the extent of the damage and reduce the chances of more costly repairs. If only temporary repairs can be performed, they should be, but they should only be relied on for a minimal length of time until permanent repairs can be made. Having properly trained employees able to recognize potential problems and initiate any needed repairs is fundamental to the integrity of a commercial roof.
What Are Some Warning Signs of Problems With a Commercial Roofing System?
The exact symptoms depend on several factors. These factors include the type of roof covering used, the design of the roofing system and the age of the roof. However, commercial roofing companies and their customers typically notice one or more of the following warning signs.
1. Any water stain or damp area appearing on the ceiling or wall within the building should be immediately investigated to determine whether there is an issue with the roof. If water leaks appear while rain is falling, the probable cause may be apparent, but if the water follows a circuitous path over several days before reaching the interior, the connection may not be so easily identified.
2. Any debris, including leaves and trash, should be removed from the roof promptly and not allowed to collect. Debris left on the roof will trap moisture and initiate premature deterioration of the roofing material. Debris can also provide an environment for the growth of algae as well as mold and mildew. Microbes can quickly take root in these areas and cause extensive damage quickly.
3. Pools of water on the roof surface can mean low spots or clogged drains. Standing water can eventually cause roof membrane failure and infiltration of water into interior surfaces.
4. The roof surface should be free of bubbles under the membrane or cracks along seams. As the roof surface ages, watch for these conditions and take immediate action if they develop.
5. All flashing should be inspected often for roof damage. Loose flashing can allow water penetration into the structure. Sealants used around flashing can become dry and brittle with age, so they should be removed and replaced with new sealant when problems are observed.
Alpha Roofing offers a vast array of commercial and residential roofing services to property managers and homeowners in Austin and throughout Central Texas. Our services include flat roof replacements, metal roofing systems, roof repairs, commercial roof installations, metal fabrication, flashing repairs, chimney repairs, siding installations, skylight installations, and roof damage inspections. We have earned an outstanding reputation for quality workmanship, integrity, customer service, and professionalism. Call our office at 512-777-1086 to speak with one of our knowledgeable representatives or request a quote. If you prefer, you can contact us through the quote request form appearing on our website.