A commercial roof is a significant investment for any business owner or property manager, and it’s essential to ensure that it’s properly maintained and free from damage. However, despite the best efforts to maintain commercial roofing, damages can still occur. The causes of commercial roof damage can vary, from extreme weather conditions to poor maintenance and installation practices.
In this blog, we will discuss the common causes of commercial roof damage, their impact on your roof, and prevention and repair techniques. We will cover the impact of weather-related damages such as heavy rain, hail, wind, snow, and ice, and the effects of poor maintenance, ponding water, foot traffic, equipment damage, and poor installation practices.
Weather-related damage is one of the most common causes of commercial roof damage. Extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain, hail, wind, snow, and ice can cause significant damage to commercial roofing systems.
Heavy rain can cause leaks and water damage to the roof and building’s interior, while hail can cause dents and punctures in the roof’s surface. Strong winds can lift and dislodge roofing materials, while snow and ice can cause significant weight and pressure on the roof, leading to structural damage or even collapse.
Extreme temperature changes can also cause roofing materials to expand and contract, leading to cracks and other damages. To prevent weather-related damage, it’s essential to have a proper roofing system in place that can withstand the local climate and weather conditions. Regular inspections and maintenance can help identify and address potential weather-related damages before they become a major problem.
Poor maintenance is another common cause of commercial roof damage. Without proper and regular maintenance, commercial roofs can become vulnerable to damage from weather conditions and other factors.
Neglecting regular maintenance can cause small issues to become major problems that require costly repairs or even a complete roof replacement. Improper maintenance techniques, such as using harsh chemicals or tools that can damage roofing materials, can also cause damage.
The consequences of poor maintenance can include leaks, water damage, mold growth, and structural damage. To prevent poor maintenance-related damage, it’s essential to schedule regular inspections and maintenance with a professional roofing contractor.
Regular maintenance includes cleaning the roof surface, removing debris and vegetation, inspecting and repairing damaged or worn roofing materials, and ensuring proper drainage. Proper maintenance can extend the lifespan of the roofing system and prevent major problems from occurring.
Ponding water is another common cause of commercial roof damage. Ponding water occurs when water collects in low spots or areas of the roof, usually due to poor drainage. Over time, ponding water can cause significant damage to the roof, including leaks, water damage, and even structural damage. Ponding water can also lead to the growth of mold and other types of fungi, which can be a health hazard to building occupants.
Causes of ponding water can include clogged or blocked drains, improper slope or design of the roof, and structural settling or shifting. To prevent ponding water damage, it’s essential to address drainage issues promptly.
This can include repairing or cleaning out drains, installing additional drains or scuppers, or adjusting the slope or design of the roof. Regular inspections can also help identify potential areas of ponding water and address them before they become a problem.
If ponding water damage has already occurred, it’s essential to address the issue promptly to prevent further damage and potential safety hazards. This can include repairs or even a complete roof replacement, depending on the extent of the damage.
Foot traffic and equipment damage are other common causes of commercial roof damage. Commercial roofs are often used to support heavy equipment, such as HVAC units, solar panels, and other machinery.
This equipment can cause damage to the roof surface, including punctures, cracks, and tears, especially if it’s not installed correctly or not properly maintained. Foot traffic, such as maintenance workers accessing the roof or building occupants using the roof for recreational purposes, can also cause damage to the roofing system.
To prevent foot traffic and equipment damage, it’s essential to limit access to the roof and ensure that any equipment is installed correctly and maintained regularly. It’s also important to communicate any guidelines or rules regarding roof access to building occupants and maintenance staff.
In conclusion, commercial roof damage can be caused by various factors, including weather-related damage, poor maintenance, ponding water, foot traffic, and equipment damage. Regular inspections and maintenance can help identify potential issues and address them promptly, preventing them from becoming major problems that require costly repairs or even a complete roof replacement.