Flat roofs are an extremely popular choice for commercial buildings due in part to their cost-effectiveness, simple maintenance requirements, and ease of installation. However, like any other type of roofing, they can experience issues that may necessitate costly repairs if left unaddressed. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the five most common flat roof problems commercial roofs face and why regular maintenance is key to avoiding them.
Ponding water is a problem that occurs when water pools on a flat roof and does not drain properly. This is a common roofing issue that can be caused by low-quality installation, clogged drains, or sagging in the roof structure. Ponding water can lead to roof leaks and other forms of damage, as well as the growth of mold and algae. Checking and cleaning the roof regularly, as well as scheduling professional inspections with commercial roofers in Dover, DE, can help prevent ponding water from occurring.
The primary purpose of commercial roof membranes is to act as a barrier that protects the roof from the elements, such as major weather events and drastic temperature changes. Typically composed of materials like EPDM, PVC, or TPO, the roofing membrane plays a crucial role in safeguarding the integrity of the roof structure. Unfortunately, damage to the membrane can occur due to foot traffic, adverse weather conditions, or poor installation. When the membrane is compromised, it also compromises the health of the roof, leading to leaks, mold, and other problems. Inspections should be performed regularly to catch any signs of damage early on.
Roof leaks are another common issue that can be caused by a variety of problems — especially the two already discussed above (ponding water and membrane damage). However, excessive wear and tear and improper flashing installation can also result in a leaky roof. Leaks can lead to costly roof repairs, damage to the building’s interior, and toxic mold growth. Over time, a persistent leak can even damage your building’s foundation, so leaks should be addressed ASAP as soon as they’re noticed.
Proper insulation is key to maintaining the temperature inside a commercial building and preventing energy loss. Insufficient insulation can contribute to the formation of condensation within the roof assembly. This condensation can lead to moisture buildup, which can compromise the roofing structure’s integrity and contribute to mold and mildew growth. Over time, this can lead to health hazards for occupants and further structural damage. Moreover, worn-out or improperly installed insulation materials can lead to energy inefficiency and increased utility costs. Without adequate insulation, the building may struggle to maintain a consistent temperature, resulting in uncomfortable working environments and increased HVAC usage.
By their very nature, flat roof materials are constantly exposed to the elements, which inevitably means they are subjected to temperature changes. Extreme temperatures cause the roofing material to undergo rapid expansion and contraction, a process also known as “thermal movement” or “thermal shock.” As the material expands and contracts repeatedly, it can develop cracks, tears, and other forms of damage. Inspections and regular maintenance from a reputable roofing company can help to catch signs of damage early on and stop it from turning into a more significant issue.
Regular maintenance and inspections are crucial for preventing the most common flat roof problems that commercial buildings face. By addressing issues early on, commercial building owners can save money on repairs and extend the lifespan of their roofs. If you are experiencing any of these roofing issues or suspect you may need roof replacement, contact our experienced commercial roofers in Dover, DE, today, and we can recommend the best course of action for your situation. We’re looking forward to partnering with you!