A commercial roof is a critical asset for any business. It protects the building from the elements, keeps the interior comfortable, and can add value to the property. However, commercial roofs are exposed to a lot of wear and tear, and they need to be properly maintained to last.
How Are Commercial Roofs Unique?
Commercial roofs differ from residential roofs in several key ways.
Commercial roofs are typically larger and are often flat or low-sloped, whereas residential roofs tend to be smaller with a higher slope. This difference in design impacts the choice of roofing material; commercial roofs often use durable materials like metal, concrete, or bitumen, while residential roofs frequently use shingles or tiles.
Moreover, commercial roofs have to accommodate more external installations like HVAC systems, smokestacks, or roof vents. Consequently, they demand a specialized approach for maintenance and repair to ensure the longevity of these added fixtures and the roof itself. On the other hand, residential roofs are simpler, with fewer installations, and thus require a less complex maintenance routine.
What Is Commercial Roof Maintenance?
Commercial roof maintenance is the process of inspecting, cleaning, repairing, and protecting a roof to extend its lifespan and prevent costly repairs. It includes a variety of tasks, such as:
- Visually inspecting the roof for damage
- Cleaning the roof to remove debris and dirt
- Repairing any damage that is found
- Applying sealants and coatings to protect the roof from the elements
Why Is Regular Commercial Roof Maintenance Important?
There are many benefits to regular commercial roof maintenance, including:
Extends the Life Expectancy
A well-maintained roof can last for many years longer than a neglected roof.
Prevents Costly Repairs
Improves Energy Efficiency
A clean, properly sealed roof can help to keep the building cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, which can save on energy costs.
Protects the Building From Water Damage
A leaking roof can cause extensive water damage to the building’s interior, which can be costly to repair.
Enhances the Building’s Appearance
A clean, well-maintained roof can make a positive impression on customers and employees.
Avoids Unplanned Downtime
A leaking roof can lead to flooding and other problems that can force the business to close temporarily.
What Are the Different Types of Commercial Roofs?
There are many different types of commercial roofs, each with its own specific maintenance needs. Some of the most common types of commercial roofs include:
Built-Up Roof (BUR)
A Built-Up Roof (BUR) is a classic commercial roofing system that uses multiple layers of roof felts interlaced with bitumen (asphalt or coal tar) to create a robust, durable barrier. The number of layers (or plies) can be varied to suit different needs and budgets. BURs are famed for their longevity, with some systems lasting over 30 years with proper maintenance. Regular inspections for BURs should focus on checking for blistering, cracking, or wear in the top layer and ensuring that the roof’s surface remains free of debris and ponding water.
Metal roofing is a popular choice for commercial buildings due to its durability, minimal maintenance requirements, and aesthetic appeal. It comes in a variety of materials, including steel, aluminum, copper, and zinc alloys, each offering unique benefits. Metal roofs can last 40 years or more when properly maintained. Maintenance for metal roofs involves checking for signs of corrosion, seam separation, and loose fasteners or panels.
Thermoset (EPDM) Roof Membrane
Thermoset or EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) roof membranes are made from a synthetic rubber material. They are known for their superior resistance to sunlight and weather, and are quite durable and flexible. EPDM roofs can last over 20 years with proper care. Maintenance for EPDM roofs includes checking for punctures, seam separation, and shrinkage of the membrane.
Thermoplastic (PVC & TPO) Roof Membrane
Thermoplastic roof membranes, such as PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) and TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin), are lightweight, highly reflective, and resistant to UV rays, chemicals, and punctures. They are often white in color, which can help to reduce heat absorption and energy costs. Maintenance for thermoplastic roofs includes inspecting for punctures, open seams, and discoloration of the membrane.
Green roofs, or living roofs, are growing in popularity due to their eco-friendly nature. They incorporate vegetation over a waterproofing membrane, providing insulation and reducing stormwater runoff. Maintenance for green roofs is more intense than other types, as they require regular watering, fertilizing, and pruning, in addition to traditional roofing maintenance.
Modified Bitumen Roofs
Modified Bitumen roofs are a type of asphalt roofing, fortified with special polymers to increase durability and elasticity. They are designed to withstand harsh weather and fluctuating temperatures. Regular maintenance should include checking for surface wear and tear, and ensuring seams and flashings are intact.
Each of these commercial roofing types has its advantages and specific maintenance needs. Therefore, it is crucial to have a maintenance plan tailored to the specific type of roof your commercial building has.
How to Choose a Qualified Roof Maintenance Contractor
The best way to maintain a commercial roof is to hire a professional commercial roofing company who can properly inspect, clean, repair, and protect the roof. A professional roof contractor has the experience and expertise needed to ensure that your roof is well-maintained, and they will be able to spot any potential problems before they become more serious.
Additionally, hiring a professional helps to ensure that any warranties on the roof are not voided by improper maintenance.
When choosing a roof maintenance contractor, it is important to choose a qualified and experienced company. Here are some things to look for:
- Make sure the company is licensed and insured.
- Get references from previous customers.
- Ask about the company’s experience with the type of roof you have.
- Get an estimate in writing.
Here are some additional tips for business owners to keep their roofs in good condition:
- Schedule annual (or more frequent) roof inspections.
- Clean your roof at least once a year.
- Repair any damage as soon as possible.
- Apply sealants and coatings to protect your roof from the elements.
- Hire a qualified roofer for any repairs or maintenance.
By following these tips, you can help to extend the lifespan of your roof and prevent costly repairs.
Stronghold Roofing & Solar
For all your commercial roofing needs, trust the best roofing company in Florida – Stronghold Roofing. We offer a full range of roofing services for commercial property owners, including installation, inspection, maintenance, and repairs.
Contact us today.
The frequency of your inspections will depend on the type of roof you have and its age. Generally, it is recommended to schedule annual or semi-annual inspections for most types of commercial roofs.
The best way to maintain a commercial roof is to hire a professional roofing contractor. They have the experience and expertise needed to properly inspect, clean, repair, and protect your roof.
Regular maintenance and prompt repairs can help to extend the lifespan of your commercial roof. Additionally, applying sealants and coatings can help to protect your roof from the elements and extend its lifespan.
A maintenance inspection focuses on assessing the condition of your roof and identifying any potential problems that may need to be addressed in the future. A repair inspection is performed to assess the severity of existing damage and determine what repairs are necessary.
The main benefit of hiring a qualified roof maintenance contractor is that they have the experience and expertise needed to properly inspect, clean, repair, and protect your roof. By hiring a professional you can rest assured that any warranties on your roof will not be voided by improper maintenance. Additionally, a qualified contractor can spot potential problems before they become more serious and costly.