Unlike certain types of cheese, commercial roofs do not get better with age. Your roof will begin to deteriorate as soon as it is installed; sunlight, rain, hail, strong winds and even foot traffic can literally wear out a commercial roof. As it ages, your roof will develop problems. Some issues are minor, obvious and easily handled, but others can be hidden from view and have serious consequences if they are not identified in time.
Commercial Roofing: Your Unforeseen Expenses
What Are Some Common Problems With Commercial Roofs?
Whether the issues are hidden or visible, many different factors can cause problems with a commercial roof. Routine inspections and preventive maintenance can often keep minor issues from turning into a costly emergency. The following list explores some of the problems that can occur with a commercial roof.
• A roof leak must be addressed immediately. With a built-up roof, leaks are almost always linked to flashing details. Wherever the membrane is interrupted or terminated, the flashing must be correctly installed and well-maintained.
• Modified bitumen roofs can leak if the installation is incorrect. Inadequate backwater laps and head laps can allow water to seep beneath the membrane. Leaks can also develop if the seams are inferior on a single-ply membrane.
• If the flashing is incorrectly attached, too few fasteners are used or the seams are inadequate, tenting, blow-offs and billowing can occur. The membrane will have less resistance to punctures, and the roof may violate local building codes.
• Well-meaning employees or service providers can damage the membrane as well as the substrate beneath it. Many roofs are damaged when a new HVAC system is installed or an existing one serviced. Heavy equipment should never be dragged across the roof, and the addition of a walkway can often help keep people on a safe path.
• A commercial roof needs professional repair. Commercial roofing contractors often find areas repaired by a property owner or manager that were performed with materials never meant for the purpose for which they were used. Many times, the attempted repair makes a minor issue far worse by damaging the membrane so badly that it cannot be salvaged.
• Although commercial roofs are often referred to as flat roofs, they are usually low-slope roofs. If they were completely flat, water would have no way to drain without the installation of crickets or tapered insulation. Ponding water can be a serious problem, especially when compounded by exposure to the ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun. However, ponding water is not always a sign that the roof is failing. Drains may be clogged, so a thorough cleaning may restore them to functionality. If the HVAC unit does not have a condensate drain line, this could also be the source of the water.
If you are concerned about the health of your commercial roof, contact the professionals at Alpha Roofing. We are a commercial roofing contractor serving Austin and Central Texas with exceptional workmanship and exemplary customer service. We offer an extensive range of services, including roof repairs, flat roof replacement, metal fabrication and we also install, repair and seal flashing. You can use the online form to request a free quote, or you can reach us at (512) 777-1086 if you would prefer to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members.