Commercial and residential roofs both protect people and objects located in buildings beneath them. Although they have similar purposes, there are some major differences between them. Residential roofs are usually steep slopes and made primarily with slate, asphalt, or cedar shake shingles. Several homeowners may use tile or metal shingles too. Commercial, institutional, and industrial roofs are flat roofs. They range from modified single-ply to old-style built-up roofs. Because they are flat surfaced, these roofs can sometimes serve as great spots for rooftop gardens or solar panels. Commercial roofs are commonly larger than residential roofs. Generally, commercial roofs also cost more than residential roofs. Now, due to their difference in shape, they have slightly different signs of wear and tear. Here are six signs a commercial building’s roof is to give way.
Damaged Flat Roof Flashing
The roof flashing is the metal edge detail that commonly runs the entire perimeter of the roof. The metal flashing is an essential part of a flat commercial or industrial roof. It serves to close joints and other areas that come in contact with a lot of water. This prevents leaks from compromising your roofing system. Do you have a bent, rusting, or otherwise damaged metal detail? If your roof flashing is compromised, there is a good chance that water can find its way into your roof system. This will result in damages that may require commercial roofing contractor services for repair or replacement. Also, note that early detection and addressing can keep damage minimal and reduce repair costs.
It is normal to see ponding or standing water on a flat commercial roof surface after heavy rainfall. However, if within 48-72 hours the gathered water doesn’t drain or evaporate, it may be a sign of a compromise. If left unchecked, ponding water can cause more severe problems like leaks, sagging, mold growth, and accelerated roof deterioration. Large areas of ponding water on rubber or asphalt roof systems will also damage the roof’s integrity.
Interior Water Stains
Sometimes you can spot defects with your commercial roofing from inside the building. If you see a water stain on the ceiling or walls, you should investigate the possibility of damage to your roof. However, water stains on the ceiling do not always indicate a leak in your roof. They can also be caused by plumbing or HVAC issues. Step one is to find the source of the leak. More often than not, roof stains point to roof damage, and wall stains could be either. It’s best to hire a professional to investigate the leak. This way, you can rest assured that you are applying the right solutions to the problem. You want to avoid wasting any time and money on the wrong solutions.
Cracked or Blistered Roof Surface
Look out for cracks, blisters, or bubbles on your roof’s surface. It could indicate trapped moisture, which could eventually lead to leakage. Blistering and cracking may occur when there are pockets of air or moisture stuck between layers of the roof’s membrane or between the roof’s membrane and the deck. Ignoring such red flags could lead to further damage and more costly repairs or complete roof replacement.
Dips and Sagging
A roof is built to carry its own weight. There should be no sagging, dipping, or sudden change in the roof’s appearance. If there are, do not ignore it. There are many reasons why you might observe roof sagging. Suppose collected moisture is trapped inside the building materials or between the layers. This will cause pockets of heavy water-soaked insulation. Such collections are detrimental to the roof’s waterproof performance and lead to severe structural damage. Don’t worry; sagging roofs can be easily repaired. If you notice dips or sagging, call a roofing contractor for a thorough inspection immediately.
Mold or Musty Odor Inside the Building
Another interior red flag you should not take lightly is mold or foul, musty odors. This can be caused by water breaching your commercial roofing system or sometimes the exterior walls of your building. If you start to perceive the smell of mildew or see mold growing on your ceilings, you should act immediately. Do not let the problem get to the point where you require engaging a mold remediation company. Molds could also have health consequences on your employees. Ensure to hire a professional roofing inspector to look for any problem spots in your roofing system.
Commercial roofs are made to withstand several elements, even severe storms. For optimal performance, roofs need proper regular maintenance and repair. It usually helps to have a reliable roof expert on speed dial to take care of things for you. They will ensure that all things concerning your commercial roof are covered. You won’t have to worry about not spotting some minor damage or small leaks on time. You may also consider scheduling regular maintenance services throughout the year. With this, you can be sure that you won’t ever miss a day of maintenance.