As any full-time business owner knows, running the daily operations of a business is stressful enough on its own. Facility management is likely the last thing on your mind, yet it quickly takes top priority on your to-do list when something goes wrong. When it comes to your commercial roof especially, it’s important not to wait for mild problems to become expensive and time-consuming roadblocks that shut down your business for multiple days. Depending on the type of damage already present, your roof may need repairs in the following key areas.
Water leakage is the most common and concerning symptom of roofing damage. It can lead to severe health and safety threats like erosion and collapse of your building’s structural components, mold or plant growth, and pests. If you notice water stains on the ceiling or dripping along your walls, schedule a flat roof leak repair project with your trusted roofing contractor. It may be tempting to find out where the leak is coming from and patch it yourself. However, the source of the leak is not always obvious. A roofing professional will know how to diagnose the root issue as improperly installed flashing, physical damage and punctures, missing shingles, ponding, or something else entirely.
Whether you recently experienced a rough winter storm or your roof is starting to get up there in age, your roof’s shingles require regular maintenance check-ups and repairs from time to time, too. Shingles are designed to withstand UV rays, weather events, high wind, and physical damage, but only up to a certain point. Over time, they will inevitably erode, crack, curl, split, shrink, lose granules, or break apart from the roof entirely. Missing or damaged shingles can cause water leakage and poor insulation and must be replaced as soon as possible.
Flashings are strips of metal installed along chimneys, valleys, flat roof walls, edges, and other features to keep water flowing in the right direction. Sometimes, flashings come loose, curl or acquire cracks due to brute force damage. Alternatively, it may have been improperly installed in the first place, or the seams may not have been sealed off adequately. Without properly functioning flashing, water is more likely to seep underneath the roofing membrane or shingles and create leakage issues. Your roofing repairs should include a thorough inspection of every section of flashing and then replacement or re-installation wherever necessary.
Roofing repairs should include standard maintenance, such as cleaning out the gutters. Your roof’s gutters should be clear of leaves, debris, animal left-behinds, and asphalt shingle granules, if they are to function correctly. Clogged gutters and drains won’t allow water to escape the rooftop and flow toward the ground, making ponding and other forms of rooftop water damage more probable. Worse than that, a blocked gutter may not be able to tolerate the weight of the debris forever and may end up caving in. It’s crucial to have your gutters cleaned and maintained at least twice a year – in the spring after the winter storms let up and in the fall after the leaves have fallen.
Airflow in and around your commercial roof helps to evaporate moisture, regulate temperature and humidity levels, and prevent mold, mildew, and rot. Ventilation issues are also linked to higher energy costs, as your HVAC system has to work harder to maintain an indoor temperature that fluctuates with the rooftop’s changing temperature. Plus, the trapped heat may cause your asphalt shingles to blister and degrade faster than usual. For these reasons, a healthy commercial roof should be watertight to prevent water damage but not completely airtight. To amplify your roof’s ventilation, your contractor may recommend installing more or new roof vents.
Roofing repairs aren’t too costly or disruptive to business when the damage is only minor. However, if you wait too long to maintain your commercial roof, you may be facing thousands of dollars worth of repairs or even a complete roof replacement. Regular inspections and repairs will ensure your rooftop is operating at full capacity and protecting your assets, products, employees, and customers from safety or health hazards.