Common Commercial Roofing Problems6 min read
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Many commercial roofs have problems that residential roofs do not experience. Commercial buildings are different from homes in terms of their needs and uses.
What is the difference between residential and commercial roofs?
- Commercial roofs can be larger than residential roofs. This means that they are more susceptible to wear.
- Commercial roofing systems can have different drainage methods, and they need to be properly maintained to continue functioning well.
- Commercial properties often have flat or low-sloped roofing, while homes tend to have pitched roofs.
- Many components such as heating and air conditioning equipment are found on commercial roofs. HVAC contractors and other contractors could be involved in any work required on a commercial roofing system.
- Because of their small size and pitched roofs, residential roofs are easier to inspect and maintain.
- Commercial buildings can be taller than homes. This means that additional equipment such as scaffolding may be required for roof repair and replacement. Additional height can also increase the risk of injury and require more precautions.
- Roof repair or replacement is often a challenge because the work must be done while the business continues to operate. This is especially true if there are people entering and leaving the building while the roof work takes place.
What are some common commercial roofing problems?
Commercial roofs can be affected just like residential roofs. These are the top problems that commercial roofing contractors see.
Leakage is a common problem in commercial roofing. Leaks can be caused by many factors, but most often they are due to damage to the roof membrane. Leaks may also be caused by poor roof installation, wear, and severe weather conditions. Repairs can vary depending on the severity and size of the leak.
Ponding water is another common problem with commercial roofs. If the roof does not have proper drainage, ponding water may occur. The roof can become saturated and can cause leaks. The roof can become spongy and eventually collapse due to the accumulation of water. Mold and mildew can also grow, which can pose a risk to your customers or employees.
The National Roofing Contractors Association ( NRCA ) considers ponding water “undesirable”. This means that the water has been standing for 48 hours or more. However, ponding can be dangerous in shorter periods. A 1” deep pool weighs in at 5.2 lbs./square feet, which is a serious problem. This extra weight could cause structural damage to the building and even lead to roof collapse in extreme situations.
Proper drainage is essential to prevent water ponding on the roof. You can do this by installing drains and making sure your gutters work properly. Also, a professional commercial roofing company should inspect your roof regularly.
Some roofing materials can be damaged by penetrations and punctures. Foot traffic can cause damage to single-ply roofs.
Foot traffic can cause minor tears or holes in the membrane. These can be patched with a piece of cloth. However, if the damage is severe, a complete replacement may be necessary.
Unique single-ply roofing options exist. Flat roofing made of rubber, which is common in commercial buildings, can pose a variety of problems. Shrinkage is the main problem with this type of roof. Modified asphalt and HVAC or other equipment. They tend to be walked on more frequently than residential roofs. Although commercial roofing materials are durable, some types of roofing can be damaged. Moving or installing heavy equipment can cause tears, holes, and other damage.
How Often Should a Commercial Roof be Inspected?
Regular inspections are as important for commercial roofs as they are for residential roofs. They can also help prolong the life of commercial roofs and prevent costly repairs.
According to the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), commercial roofs should all be inspected at least twice a calendar year. The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends that commercial roofs be inspected once after the coldest (January) and once after the hottest (July/August). An inspection should also be performed after any severe weather events.
To avoid potential problems with flat roofing, it is important to inspect it regularly. Flat roof leaks must be found from the inside of the building. Leakage from the exterior could allow water to enter, and then it can move laterally onto ceilings and walls within buildings. It is possible for the leak to not be noticed immediately, which gives water ample time to cause more damage to the structure.
Commercial roof inspections should always be performed by professionals who are familiar with commercial roofing.
Here’s what an inspector will look for:
- To ensure they are intact and unaffected, the condition of the roofing materials must be assessed.
- All penetrations: Chimneys and vents, pipes, exhaust fans, or skylights.
- Fascia, flashing, and seams.
- HVAC systems, communication systems, or any other equipment found on the roof.
- Solar panels and mounting hardware, if applicable
- Ceilings and walls, interior roof deck, ceilings
- Exterior walls
- Drains, downspouts, and gutters
- Potential dangers include large tree branches hanging over the roof
Commercial Roof Repair
The cost of repairing a commercial roof depends on many factors, such as the type of roofing material used, its age, the size of your building, and whether there has been any significant damage or wear.
The style of the roof is another factor. Flat roofs are popular in commercial buildings due to their cost-effectiveness, as well as because they offer a place for HVAC, solar panels, or other equipment. Flat roof repairs are required if there is a leak or any other problem.
Flat roofs are distinct from pitched roofs so it is important to have a commercial roofing contractor who is experienced identify and fix any problems.
Non-residential buildings can also have metal roofing. Metal roofing is durable and can last a lifetime, but it can be damaged.
Metal roofing for commercial purposes is different from residential. Roofers need to have the right knowledge in order to avoid damage.
Repair or replace?
Businesses may have to make the difficult decision of whether to replace or repair their roof. It is usually cheaper to repair a roof than to replace it. However, older or damaged roofs may need to be replaced. When deciding whether to repair or replace, you should consider the cost of ongoing repairs and the potential investment in a new roof.
A roofing contractor will explain all options available to you if a total roof replacement is necessary. This includes whether it would be possible to roof over the roof or retrofit the roofing system. This does not involve removing old roofing materials and can result in a significantly lower overall cost.
The roofer is available to help if a complete re-roofing is required.
Lakeland’s Top Commercial Roofing Contractor
We are proud to provide commercial roofing services for our neighbors in Lakeland, Florida, and the surrounding areas. Our team of roofing experts is trained in the most recent techniques. We offer streamlined customer service and certified roofing professionals.
Our team has completed hundreds of commercial roofing projects in a variety of industries, including retail, civil, and industrial. We’ve worked on every type of roofing material for commercial buildings.
Contact HD Roofing of FL if you are looking for the best commercial roofers. We will remove your shingles.
This article was written by a roofing and solar installation specialist at HD Roofing & Construction. At HD Roofing & Construction, is a top one of the top-rated roofing companies in Melbourne FL. Our roofing team is the heart of the company, and we are proud to have a highly-trained, professional team. If you need a roof over your head, we’ve got you covered. We offer a variety of roofing and home improvement services, including roof replacement and repairs, emergency tarps, home restoration, and solar!