Freeman Exteriors

6 of the Most Common Commercial Roof Problems

roof problems

Some commercial roofing can last as long as 40 years. As it happens, all roofs are prone to problems. Commercial roofing is especially susceptible to failure at some point.

Leaves may clog your drainage, and holes may come from contracting and expanding. Leaving any problems you see could become worse over time. So it’s important to know what potential roof problems you may face. 

Here are six common roofing problems you should know about and how to fix them. 

1. Roof Leaks and Moisture

Leaks are pretty common roof problems. Any moisture in your roof or on the ceiling is cause for concern. You could end up with mold in your building. Water stains, musty smells, mold, dripping water, and puddles indicate roof leaks.

Roof leaks can come from weather damage like hail and hurricanes. A damaged waterproof membrane can also cause leaks. The membrane is a protective layer all commercial roofs have to keep water out.

These membranes can become damaged due to age and weather damage. Blocked drainage systems become clogged with leaves and other debris, and rain or snow water has nowhere to go. 

The moisture pools on the roof and can leak through the membrane. 

How to Fix

There are a few simple ways to fix commercial roofing. One method is to patch it with caulk. Fixing a roof with caulk is as simple as applying it to the roofing membrane and waiting for it to dry. 

You can also patch the membrane with tear-away tape. Tear-away tape comes with a sticky and non-sticky side. Attach the tape to the hole in the membrane and roofing shingle, then add caulking to provide extra adhesion. 

You can also replace the entire membrane instead of patching it. Replacement may be the best solution as you won’t have to worry about your old membrane getting more and more damaged. 

2. Ignoring Maintainance

One of the biggest causes of damaged commercial roofing is lack of maintenance. For whatever reason, some people don’t diligently maintain their commercial buildings and miss issues that need repair. 

You should always perform roof inspections even if nothing has happened, so you don’t miss any potential problems.

How to Fix

The only way to fix the lack of maintenance is to start doing maintenance checks. You could set a monthly schedule to check your commercial roofing.

Have a checklist of things you should look out for like holes, missing shingles, a damaged membrane, or clogged drainage. If you see anything like this, repair it immediately. 

3. Standing Water

You’re not likely to see a commercial building that doesn’t have a flat roof. Standing water isn’t uncommon on commercial rooftops, and if left alone, it becomes problematic. 

The water attracts leaves with clog drains. The rooftop also becomes an oasis for birds who begin building nests- which also block drains. We’ve already talked about clogged drains, so you know why this problem exists.

Standing water also adds extra weight to your roof. If the weight gets to be too much, you could end up with a caved-in ceiling. 

How to Fix

One “solution” is to use solar-powered pumps to get rid of the water. Pumping the water away is only a temporary fix. If you want to ensure water can’t pool again, you may need to replace the shingles on your roof. 

Old shingles are missing granules that find their way into the drainage system. It’s also essential to clear the roof so there are no obstructions keeping water from flowing off. 

4. Shrinkage

Shrinkage happens when roofing materials (like metal) contract and expand in hot or cold weather. The seasonal shifting of your roofing materials will eventually wear joints away and cause holes. 

How to Fix

Repairing a roof with shrinkage mostly comes down to the flashing. Roof flashing is a seal between roof joints or penetrations like vents. Fixing a roof with damaged flashing involves replacing the old strips with new ones. 

5. Blow Offs

Blow-offs happen when the wind hits the side of a commercial building and flows over the top. The void between the wind and roof creates suction which rips materials away. 

How to Fix

Part of what causes blow-offs is poor installation. Materials get carried off with the wind when they’re not glued down and allowed to cure correctly.

When you purchase the replacement materials, hire a professional to apply the new membrane or shingles. Do not do the job yourself if you don’t know what you’re doing. 

6. Poor Repair Jobs

This list aims to tell you about common commercial roof problems and how to fix them. But what happens when repairing a roof is the issue? If you don’t fix your commercial roof correctly, you may as well not do it at all. 

Using the wrong materials or improper repair techniques could make your roof worse. You should always make sure your roofing contractor is qualified to fix your specific type of roofing. 

How to Fix

The only way you can fix a poor repair job is to undo the botched work and do it correctly. We cannot stress enough that someone that knows what they’re doing needs to be the one to make the repairs. 

Got Roof Problems? 

Commercial roof problems are common, so you should know what they are. The most easily avoidable roofing issue is lack of maintenance. Standing water is only fixable when you unclog your gutters and repair worn-out shingles. 

Fixing a roof with a ruined repair job should only be handled by people with the proper skill and knowledge. If you need someone with the ability to perform repairs for you, contact Freeman Exteriors for a free estimate

We handle roof installations, repairs, gutter guards, windows, and siding.


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