Top 6 commercial roofing problems

Common commercial roofing problems

While some of the problems may seem similar between commercial and residential roofing, commercial properties can exhibit a host of other issues because of the different types of roofing materials and methods used.

With that in mind, here are the Top 6 roofing problems that can afflict commercial properties.

Roof leak

Any roof can get a leak, but what can you do. First thing, don’t ignore it!

The leak source can be difficult to locate. Water can travel a fair distance before it settles on your ceiling. It often follows the path of least resistance but remember it never flows uphill. So look above the stain for penetrations in the roof.

Once you find the source, and especially if you can’t, call someone to fix it.

Blow offs

High winds can loosen or even blow off shingles. This can make finding your roof leak easier but it can cause major problems if left alone. The only way to fix it is to replace the missing pieces or the entire roof.

Improper installation and repairs

The best way to avoid improper installation is to hire a licensed roofing contractor to start with. Look for a contractor with good references. In Tennessee, you can check a license on the Department of Insurance and Commerce’s website.

Lack of Maintenance

Make sure you keep your roof surface clean by removing debris from skylights, valleys, and large pipes, as well as vents, fans, joints and flashings.

Leaks occur most often at failing joints at plumbing vents, roof vents, chimneys, dormers or anything that required a hole be placed in the roof and its covering.

Standing water

Flat roofs should not be completely flat. They have a slight slope so water drains easily to the edges. But sometimes that slope isn’t as steep as it should be or some other problem causes water to pond in certain areas.

If water stands for too long, it could eventually leak into the building and you’re back at the Number One problem. The best way to prevent it from happening again is to make certain your roof is properly sloped.

Blistering of the roof surface

Flat, or membrane-style, roofs can come with their own sets of issues. When installed properly, they can last a very long time. But they can be subject to blistering and shrinking.

Blistering happens in the gaps between the membrane plies or between the underlying substrate and the membrane when air or water gets trapped. Blisters are fairly easy to fix by patching the area, which is good because, if left untreated, then you’re back at Number One.