close up broken roof house
close up broken roof house

8 Signs You Have Commercial Roof Damage

A healthy roof is critical for your commercial property. It protects your inventory, equipment, and most importantly, your employees and customers from the elements.

On the other hand, a damaged roof that is neglected can lead to costly repairs, operational disruptions, and even pose health risks. That’s why it’s critical that commercial property owners regular look for signs that there are problems with their roofs.

Special Challenges for Commercial Roofing

Residential roofs is susceptible to damage primarily from weather events and wear and tear. Commercial roofing is likewise susceptible to those same things but also face additional challenges.

  • Commercial roofs are often flat and cover a larger surface area compared to residential roofs. This makes them more prone to water pooling, which can weaken the roof structure over time.
  • Commercial buildings typically have more foot traffic on the roof, whether it’s for maintenance or HVAC systems. This increases the risk of damage from dropped tools or debris, and foot traffic can also cause wear and tear on the roof.
  • Many commercial buildings have equipment installed on the roof such as HVAC units or solar panels. These installations can create penetrations in the roofing system, leaving potential weak points for water to seep through.
  • Commercial roofs must meet specific building codes and regulations, which can vary depending on the location and type of building. Failure to comply with these codes can result in fines and potential legal issues.

Spotting Exterior Roof Damage

Wind damaged house roof with missing asphalt shingles after hurricane Ian in Lakeland, Florida Repair of home rooftop concept

Commercial roofs come in various styles, each with its own vulnerabilities. Flat roofs, commonly found on industrial buildings, are susceptible to ponding water and tears in the membrane. Pitched roofs, with their angled slopes, are more prone to shingle or tile damage and flashing issues. Regardless of the roof type, early detection of damage is crucial to minimize repair costs and prevent further complications.

Your roof’s exterior serves as the first line of defense against the elements. Regularly inspecting it for signs of wear and tear can help you nip problems in the bud. Here are some key areas to focus on:

1. Damaged Flashing

Flashing is the thin metal material that seals the joints where different roof planes meet, such as around chimneys or skylights. Over time, flashing can become loose, cracked, or rusted due to weather exposure. This compromises the watertight integrity of your roof and can lead to leaks.

2. Ponding Water

Following a rainfall, water should drain efficiently off your roof. However, if you notice puddles accumulating on the surface, especially for more than 48 hours, it signifies ponding water. This can be caused by clogged drains, inadequate slope, or damaged waterproofing membranes. Left unaddressed, ponding water can lead to structural damage and leaks.

3. Cracks, Tears, and Punctures

Exposure to harsh weather, age, or physical impact can cause cracks, tears, or punctures in your roof’s membrane. These openings become entry points for water infiltration, leading to leaks and further deterioration of the roofing material. Flat roofs are particularly susceptible to tears due to their single-ply membrane construction.

4. Missing or Loose Shingles/Tiles

If your commercial building has a pitched roof, missing or loose shingles or tiles are potential signs of damage. Wind, hail, or improper installation can cause these issues. Even a small gap can allow water to seep underneath, leading to leaks and interior damage.

5. Deteriorating Roof Coating

Flat roofs often rely on a protective coating to shield the membrane from UV rays and weather extremes. Over time, this coating can deteriorate, exhibiting signs like blistering or chalking. A compromised coating leaves the underlying membrane vulnerable to damage and shortens the roof’s lifespan.

Signs of Trouble Inside Your Building

While a thorough exterior inspection is crucial, don’t neglect the interior of your building either. Here are some signs that may indicate roof damage:

1. Leaks and Water Stains

The most obvious sign of roof damage is a visible leak. Water stains on ceilings, walls, or upper portions of the interior can indicate a breach in the roof’s waterproofing. Prompt action is essential to prevent further water damage and mold growth.

2. Mold Growth

Commercial Roof Damage

Moisture intrusion due to leaks creates a breeding ground for mold. Mold spores can pose serious health risks, causing respiratory problems, allergies, and skin irritation. If you suspect mold growth, professional remediation is necessary to ensure the safety of your occupants.

9. Increased Energy Bills

A compromised roof can lead to unexpected spikes in your energy bills. Leaks and damaged insulation can allow conditioned air to escape, forcing your HVAC system to work harder to maintain comfortable temperatures. Addressing roof issues can improve energy efficiency and result in cost savings.

The Value of Professional Roof Inspection

While a visual inspection can reveal some obvious signs of damage, a comprehensive assessment by a qualified commercial roofer is highly recommended. These professionals possess the expertise and tools to identify hidden problems, assess the severity of damage, and recommend the most appropriate repair solutions.

A comprehensive roof inspection can involve a number of things:

  • A thorough evaluation of the roof’s drainage system may be conducted to ensure that it is functioning optimally and is free from any blockages or damages that may cause water to pool on the roof.
  • The moisture content of the insulation may be tested to determine if there is any moisture infiltration, which can lead to insulation damage or the growth of mold and mildew.
  • The overall condition of the flashing and membrane could be evaluated to check for any signs of wear and tear, punctures, or cracks, which can cause leaks and water damage to the interior of the building.

Regular roof inspections are an essential part of any preventative maintenance plan. By proactively addressing minor issues before they escalate into major problems, you can extend the lifespan of your roof, minimize repair costs, and ensure the continued smooth operation of your business.

The Best Roofing Company in Lakeland and Sarasota

For commercial roof repair or other commercial roofing services, contact the team of experienced Lakeland roofers at Stronghold Roofing & Solar. We are committed to offering our commercial and residential clients the best in materials, workmanship, and service.

Keep your business running smoothly with a roof inspection from Stronghold!

FAQ-s – Signs of Commercial Roof Damage

How often should I have my commercial roof inspected?

It is recommended to have your commercial roof inspected at least twice a year, preferably in the spring and fall. However, if you notice any signs of damage or suspect an issue, it’s important to schedule an inspection as soon as possible.

Can I do a commercial roof inspection myself?

While you can perform a visual inspection of your roof, it’s best to leave a comprehensive evaluation to a professional roofing company. They have the expertise and equipment to identify potential issues that may not be noticeable to an untrained eye.

What should I do if I notice signs of damage on my commercial roof?

If you notice any signs of damage, such as leaks, water stains, or mold growth, it’s important to contact a professional roofing company immediately. They can assess the extent of the damage and recommend the best course of action to repair it. Ignoring these issues can lead to more significant problems down the road.

Can I prevent commercial roof damage?

While some factors, such as severe weather, are beyond your control, regular maintenance and inspections can help prevent commercial roof damage. Identifying and addressing minor issues early on can save you from costly repairs in the future.

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Did you know it’s recommended that you get a roof inspected by a professional at least once per year? Our expert contractors can spot issues like cracked tiles, blistering shingles, loose materials or debris, and soft spots on your roof. It’s essential these issues are taken care of promptly to prevent further issues down the road. Let us drop by and check your roof from any unseen problems. Fill out the contact form below to schedule your inspection.