A commercial roofing system suffers all types of damage due to its exposure to the elements. It is a building’s first protection against the elements and regular inspections and maintenance is an important factor in preventing unwanted surprises that come when a commercial roof leaking.
DEAL WITH ROOF LEAKS IMMEDIATELY
Extended roof leaks into a commercial building can lead to much bigger problems for building owners and property managers. Issues such a mold and mildew growth that can greatly affect the health of inhabitants. Severe interior damage to walls, ceiling, wood structures and electrical short that could lead to fire could also occur.
It becomes obvious that a commercial roof leaking is not something to ignore. It can be costly and harmful, even lethal if not mitigated immediately. Why do all commercial roofs have issues at some point in their lifespan?
WHY HAVE REGULAR ROOF INSPECTIONS?
Harmful UV rays, extreme temperatures, high winds, rain, hail, sleet, ice and snow can all attribute to sudden roof leaks and failures. Often building owners and property managers assume that a full roof replacement is in order when it comes to fixing a leaky roof.
That is not always the case. In many circumstances a less expensive and labor intensive solution is available to fix a leaky roof and actually strengthen and extend the life of a commercial roofing system could solve your roof leak issues. More on this towards the end of this article.
IDENTIFY THE SOURCE OF THE ROOF LEAK
First order of business is to identify the vulnerability of your particular commercial roof leak. Where is the leak? How is water getting in? Is there a simple fix for the roof leak? Or is the issue more complex?
All these questions can be answered by having a professional roofing inspector do a thorough assessment of your commercial roofing system. It can be a combination of a variety of factors causing your roof leaks. Identifying all of them is paramount to assessing whether you need to repair versus replace your commercial roof.
5 COMMON CULPRITES OF COMMERCIAL ROOF LEAKS:
1) PONDING WATER: As many commercial roofs are flat, ponding water on the roof’s surface can be an issue. If left overtime, ponding water will eventually lead to a roof leak. To fix this, have a commercial roofing contractor assess how best to mitigate ponding water and prevent it from causing future issues.
2) DAMAGED, AGED OR RUSTED FLASHING: Flashing is designed to protect for leaks around HVAC equipment, vents, pipes and chimneys. As flashing ages, it can become rusty, corroded, dented and damaged. This will allow water to seep through to a building’s interior. It is suggested to have flashing inspected and replaced when it is determined to be faulty to prevent unwanted sudden roof leaks.
3) SEAM DAMAGE: Many commercial roof consists of membranes that bond together at seams. These seam can become damaged through exposure to the elements. When these membranes are compromised, roof leaks can happen.
4) LOOSE OR MISSING FASTENERS: On metal roofing systems and metal accessories on membrane roofs, movement from high winds, rain, and other elements can cause fasteners to loosen or go missing. This can cause roof leaks and other major issues. Having regular maintenance to tighten and replace faulty fasteners can save building owners and property managers from major headaches when it comes to roofing issues.
5) WRINKLES ON MEMBRANES OR FLASHING: When there is movement between a roof deck and the perimeter, the flashing or membrane edges can wrinkle on a 45-degree angle that is often referred to as a fish mouth because it resembles a bass mouth-like appearance. This can become a tunnel leading water into a building’s interior. Regular inspections will quickly identify this vulnerability.
Any one of the above issues can lead to an early demise of a roofing structure when ignored. On the other hand, staying on top of roof repairs and regular maintenance can lead to a prolonged life span of a commercial roof.
ROOF RESTORATION VERSUS ROOF REPLACEMENT
As we hinted to earlier, there is an easier option to consider when encounter roof vulnerabilities. A full tear off and replacement is not always necessary. Thanks to technology, there are roof coating processes that can fix your roof leaks and protect your commercial roof from future ones.
Fluid applied roof coatings are so far advanced that they have become a great option to apply to your existing roof! They are a great investment, reduces your energy consumption due to the “cool roof” benefits, reduces the use of your rooftop HVAC equipment, has a low installation cost, plus the roof coating is sustainable and requires little maintenance.
Roof restoration versus a full roof replacement saves you tons and actually prolongs the lifespan of your commercial roof. All roofs have an expected life cycle. Waterproof, seamless roof coating systems will increase that life cycle by restoring your existing roof and saving money.
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Robert Burke, President of Restore It Commercial Roofing, personally trains and oversees all employees to ensure the job is done right. He has decades of knowledge and hands-on industry experience, so he can handle any type of problem. Not to mention, a full range of product knowledge in order to select the right one to protect your commercial roof!