The roof is a business's first line of defense against the elements. With proper care and maintenance, most systems will last for over 10 years, but damage does happen. Here are some of the most common causes of commercial roof repairs that business owners should look for through the year.
Faulty or Damaged Flashing
Metal flashing covers seams and joints to keep water and debris out of the underlayment. When the flashing is damaged or improperly installed, moisture can collect in the materials. Over time, this can lead to leaks inside the building and can cause long-term damage to the structure.
Many commercial buildings utilize a flat roof system. Although typically durable and easy to maintain, flat options are unacceptable to pooling water, especially in spring and winter. When water collects and does not run off the structure, it can speed up deterioration and force the business owner to schedule commercial roof repairs sooner than would otherwise be necessary.
Houses can be damaged by intense winds, and commercial structures are no different. During windstorms or extreme gusts, free materials can catch the wind and become detached from the surface. If the wind is strong enough, the materials can blow off the underlayment completely, leaving a portion of the surface unprotected from the elements. Routine commercial roof repairs will keep this risk to a minimum.
Lack of Maintenance
Regular maintenance is key to extending the life of a commercial roofing system. If a business owner schedules periodic inspections as the seasons change or calls a repair professional at the first sign of damage, the system will last for many years. However, if the materials are not maintained properly, they will break down primitively and require expensive replacement or repairs.
While this problem is more common in residential areas, some businesses are subject to damage from low-hanging branches. As trees move in the wind, their branches scrape along the surface of buildings, damaging the materials, siding, and even the seal between the outer roofing materials and the waterproof membrane underneath. Trimming the low-hanging branches should be sufficient to keep the materials in good condition.
Roofing systems require good ventilation to protect the building. If there's too much heat buildup or improper ventilation in the attic space, the structure can become compromised. The glue and sealant can weaken and cause blisters or air bubbles, while also putting undue stress on the attic's framework.
The older the structure, the more frequently repairs will need to be made. Since areas break down over time, it's important to schedule routine inspections every year. During these inspections, a roofer will examine the integrity of the materials and recommend the proper course of action to help an older structure last as long as possible. Business owners should note that the system will need to be replaced historically. Also, if they have to make repair calls several times each month, it may be best to replace the roof entirely.
All business owners should watch for these common signs of damage so they can keep their building as safe as possible.