Caring for Your Commercial Roof

Examining the Rooftop of a Large Building

Skylights and Other Roof Protrusions Have a Higher Chance of Developing Leaks. Check These Areas Too.

If you’ve been tasked with caring for your company’s commercial roof, you already know what a challenging responsibility it can be. You have to answer all the big questions, such as

  • “How much does roof maintenance cost?”
  • “How often should we have the roof inspected?”
  • “When should we think about replacement?”

Sometimes there is no clear answer until your roof is in the middle of repairs. For most companies however, there’s ample opportunity to get ahead of the curve and create a maintenance plan. With some foresight, you could greatly extend the life of one of your company’s most valuable building assets.

Today, we’ll show you how to make a maintenance plan for your commercial roofing systems. We’ll also break down your options when your roof starts showing signs of its age. After reading, you should be able to develop your own game plan for the future! Let’s jump in.

Maintaining Your Commercial Roofing

Ripped, Displaced Shingles on the Rooftop

After a Storm, Search for Damaged Shingles, Tile, Etc. on the Rooftop. Be Sure to Take Notes!

When it comes to basic roof repairs, you can expect costs to run in the hundreds (towards $600) for an average sized flat roof. Sloped roofs will run even higher, as will larger repair projects. A flat roof inspection may cost a couple hundred dollars. Finally, the cost of replacing a 10,000 sq. foot single-ply commercial roof, can run from $35,000 to $75,000.

We are we throwing all these numbers at you? Common sense says that the best way to get the most value from your roof is to use it as long as possible. Too many businesses however, lose their roof years before its expected end of life. While some lose their roof to extreme weather, a large number forfeit their roof due to lack of timely maintenance. That doesn’t have to be your company’s story, however. By developing a tailored commercial roof maintenance checklist, you’ll limit your repair costs, cut down on the number of emergencies, and delay your eventual roof replacement.


Developing a Checklist – Flat Roof Ed.

First, start with an interior examination of your roof. That may sound like any oxymoron, some of the most serious rooftop degradation is easiest to detect by spotting symptoms underneath. Check out the ceiling and the crawlspace above for signs of leaks. These could be mold growth, mildew smell, active dripping, or another symptom.

Next, you’ll need to mount the roof and check for pooling water, aggregated dirt, and miscellaneous debris. The roof should be cleaned off periodically to slow the rate of corrosion. There are commercial roof wash companies that would be happy to do the work for you. If you notice pooling water, this is a sign of faulty roof design or a sagging spot underneath.

Your third step is to examine the roofing material for cracks, holes, tears and other blemishes. Also take a carefully look at any rooftop seams and make sure they are still sealed. All of these small problems can lead to more significant problems later on. Make sure your drainage areas are unclogged and working effectively.

Here’s a smart idea from PHP Design: develop a “Great/Fair/Poor” rating system to classify individual areas on your roof. This is a handy way to keep track of potential problems and make a clear record of rooftop health. Areas with “great” and “fair” ratings can fare without commercial roof repair (for now). Sections in “poor” condition require immediate action from a professional.


Maintenance – Other Commercial Roof Types

Sloped roofing systems are a little bit more difficult to care for, but you can make it very manageable. You should start your maintenance by inspecting the ceiling crawlspace on the top floor. This is the easiest place to spot leaks. Make sure there aren’t any signs of mold, mildew, dripping water, etc.

You’ll want to routinely rinse of the rooftop every few months to clear away dirt and debris. No matter which type of system you have, be it a commercial metal roof or tile, you’ll need to keep an eye open for degraded material. Cracked tile, curled shingles, corroded metal panels: these are “now” problems, not “later” problems.

One last note, keep an eye on areas with flashing. When flashing is in good condition, it safely directs rain water away from vulnerable gaps in the roofing. When the flashing deteriorates, it actually does the opposite: funneling water into the building.


How Often Should You Have Your Roof Inspected?

Assuming you don’t have any noticeable problems beforehand, it’s prudent to schedule an inspection for your flat roof every one to two years. Metal roofing systems can go without inspection for a three years or so, but even these durable roofs should be examined every now and then. Professionals simply know how to spot problems in ways other people wouldn’t think of.

Weighing Commercial Roof Replacement

Replacing a Degraded Tile

Even Relatively Small Damage Can Allow Water Into Your Business’ Ceiling Area.

Supposing your roof is starting to show visible signs of age, don’t let your first thought jump to replacement. There are several ways to extend the life of your roof. Commercial roof coatings, for instance, can mend minor degradation (deep tears, small holes, etc.) while creating an additional layer of protection against sunlight and rain water.

If you still have a several years left on your roof’s expected lifetime, there’s a chance a professional can fix the damage without breaking the bank. Replacement should only be completed as a last resort, when damage is clearly too extensive for the roof to go on.

Schedule Your Commercial Roof Repair!

Our team at Voegele Co. would love to do our part and help you extend the life of your roof! We provide a variety of commercial roof repair, restoration, and replacement services for local businesses. Consult with one of our friendly roofing experts today at (412) 227-8488.