With everything your business does on a daily basis, the last thing you need is a leaky roof that requires commercial roofing services. Unfortunately, restoring its former status is vital to avoid further damage the weather can cause. Possible accidents caused by water leaks and puddles can injure personnel inside your office.
Our decades of experience in providing commercial roof repairs has helped us understand what causes damage to roofs. It has also helped us identify the signs that you need to have your roof replaced as soon as possible. Not even caulking and patch-up jobs can repair the damage sustained by the following suspects.
Usual Causes of Roofing Damage
A poorly installed roof can introduce leaks into your office. The sheet metal placed on the joints of your roof, called flashing, prevents leakage from its corners, valleys, and vents. They can be sealed with caulk. However, sealants can only do so much.
A properly-installed roof ensures that flashings are installed in their correct positions. It also allows your roof’s membrane to utilize rainwater gutters that remove water weight from your roofing. This reduces any possible rainwater and weather damage in the future.
Faulty Rainwater Management and Gutters
If the rainwater remains longer on your roof, then the more its weight can cause damage. Even with properly-installed commercial roofing, some spots can create puddles that increase in weight for the duration of a rainstorm or snowy season. Weight can penetrate protective membranes that prevent internal leakage.
In this light, gutters help remove rainwater effectively. However, incorrect gutter installation can send water to other areas of the roof where its weight can cause long-term damage. Gutters with huge chunks of dust and debris also builds up rainwater with their blocked passages.
An effective commercial roofing company studies the passage of rainwater through gutters to minimize any rainwater buildup on your commercial roof.
Roof Membrane Damage
Your roof membrane is its most important part. Without it, internal leaks happen. Roof membrane damage requires the help of commercial roofing restoration services.
One common factor that causes roof membrane damage is water weight. Another are trees and small animals. If your commercial structure is situated near trees, then branches and small animals can puncture the roof membrane.
In addition, if the exterior part of your roof has undergrowth due to moisture, it is possible that mold, algae, and fungi have grown in these areas. Their growth will damage and puncture the interior membrane. If you detect the foul odor or a crusty, moldy smell, then your roof membrane is probably infested with molds.
Natural Wear and Tear
Despite repeated commercial roofing maintenance and consistent improvements, your roof ages. The normal wear and tear are unavoidable even if the most durable materials or best rainwater management systems are used.
Thermoplastic roof membranes have a lifespan of 22-30 years. Synthetic rubber roofing materials such as ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM) can last for about 22-35 years.
Regardless of your roofing material, if it is aged more than two decades, it’s time to give it a commercial roofing repair. You may also need replace it to prevent further damage.
Now that you know the causes, how can you tell that you need minor repairs or require commercial roofing services?
Read on to find out!
Signs Indicating The Need For Commercial Roofing Maintenance
Ceiling and Wall Stains
Ceiling and wall stains look like coffee marks right at your ceiling. Once your roofing membrane is punctured, the internal office roof panels will absorb the moisture of discolored rainwater that has collected dust and debris. If the leak is near your wall, you can expect your wall to have these similar stains as well.
Easy but short-term fixes for these stains such as caulking the damaged roof membrane to prevent any possible leaks are useful. However, these fixes are only useful for only a short while. Only the help of a commercial roofing company can help you fully repair your membrane.
Cracked and Peeling Paint
Peeling paint from your ceiling and walls is another sign you need to have your roof checked for possible repairs or replacement. Moisture can bloat hard materials including wood (common for ceiling panels) and concrete. The change in shape results in the dried paint failing to expand and cracking or peeling.
The best areas to look for these signs are the corners of your roofs. If the paint has begun to discolor, you can expect it to peel or crack anytime soon. You can also check if moisture is present in these areas.
Most internal commercial ceilings are made from natural and hybrid woods combined with plastic membranes. If moisture does not discolor the roof because of the synthetic surface of your ceiling tiles, then it can likely make your ceiling tiles sag. These sagging spots are also present in seamlessly-installed roofs. Most of them will have discoloration over time.
Ceiling discoloration and sagging as a result of damaged roof membranes are dangerous. Moisture can also affect internal wiring, which can cause irreversible damage to your structure’s electronics if not addressed effectively.
A Moldy Smell
As mentioned earlier, moisture that is present in your roof membranes can combine with soil, dust, and debris. The nutrients found in the soil and the microorganisms carried by moisture can cause molds, algae, and fungi to infest your roofing membrane.
As a result, they can pierce through the material over time. Once they do, they will emit a crusty, moldy smell that can spread throughout your commercial structure. If you detect a hint of this odor in a single spot, it is likely that the organisms’ concentration is only in that particular spot. On the other hand, a stronger odor is a sign of critical roof membrane damage and needs immediate commercial roofing repair.
Internal Puddles and Drips
If you can see puddles and drip inside your office, then the weather and other factors have critically damaged your roofing materials and it needs an immediate commercial roofing restoration.
Some will choose to caulk the leaks and prevent them from flowing further in a matter of weeks. However, caulk is a general sealant and it will fail to lock in the moisture that can spread to the ceiling materials’ other areas.
If you see these signs, then it would be best to call a commercial roofing company for help immediately.
Ceiling or wall discoloration is a sign that you might need to consider commercial roofing repair services. If you’re seeing some sagging ceilings, then you clearly have a leaking roof that needs fixing.
Indeed, it would be cost-effective to use sealant on the leaks. However, these materials wear out faster than roofing membranes and would give way to bigger issues in the future.
It would be wiser to contact professionals to help you assess the extent of damage and provide a cost-effective and permanent solution.