Loveland Roofing: Article About Top Commercial Roof Problems
High winds, hail, humidity and heat all place stress on commercial roofs. Although flat and low-slope roofs can be covered in a variety of roofing systems, no system is completely immune to the destruction that weather, foot traffic, new roof-top equipment and temperature swings can wreak on commercial roofs.
To understand how to avoid as many roof problems as possible, it's helpful to know what the most frequent issues are and how they are caused. Many of these problems can be avoided or lessened if you keep to a regular roof maintenance schedule and work with your experienced Loveland roofing contractor to ensure that little roof problems don't become big ones.
Unsurprisingly for a damp area like Colorado, the biggest issue for commercial roofs is moisture and leaking. To compound the moisture issue, a commercial roof's very shallow slope can challenge drainage if there are any impediments at all. Keeping the roof field and drains clear, the surface intact and flashing secure can avoid costly leaks. In fact, 95 percent of all leaks on built-up roofs occur due to flashing issues.
All flat roof systems have problems with leakage. In modified bitumen roofs, it can result from backwater laps, inadequate flashing on parapet walls and a host of other errors. On single-ply membranes like TPO or PVC, seams can fray or separate, allowing water to seep through.
Water ponding on flat roofs is a problem in its own right.
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It can be caused by an interrupted slope or lack of tapered insulation, clogged drains and scuppers, HVAC equipment without proper condensate drains, faulty asphalt mopping at installation and a variety of other issues. This continuous standing water can wear down asphalt, modified bitumen roofs and built-up roofs, so it's important to remove the water immediately.
Punctures, tears and rips in the roof membrane lead to a bounty of problems. Foot traffic and heavy construction work after the roof is installed can cause all of these, especially on single-ply membranes. Make sure that your roofing contractor lays walking pathways and that people on the roof stay on the paths to avoid damaging the roof surface.
When any portion of the roof is not fastened or adhered properly, blow-offs and billowing occur. This is true whether the problem originates from loose flashing, seaming or single-ply membranes, and all types of roofs are at risk. Once the membrane is loosened, it becomes vulnerable to wind uplift, making the rest of the roof membrane susceptible. This is especially true in an area where hurricanes and tornadoes are always a concern.
Other common problems include membrane shrinkage, blistering, surface deterioration and cracking. Nearly all of these issues can be avoided with regular maintenance, so be sure to keep to a consistent maintenance schedule that includes special checks after major weather events.