Commercial roofs are expensive to install, making regular maintenance a necessity. There are some commercial roofing issues that require a qualified contractor – attempting to fix them yourself could exacerbate the problem, void manufacturer and/or workmanship warranties, force you to buy expensive equipment and safety gear, and cost you time. Roofing issues that should only be handed by a qualified contractor include:
Ponding is the prolonged presence of water, usually over 48 hours, on a roof. The water could be rain water, melting ice/snow, or runoff from HVAC and other equipment. Ponding should be addressed immediately because it poses a risk on the roofing material and the supporting structure, it can cause ice damage, vegetation and algae growth, and it makes the roof more susceptible to UV rays when the water acts as a magnifying glass. Ponding is usually indicative of an underlying problem such as a slope that is not sufficient to evacuate the water, leaking HVAC or other equipment, and clogging. A qualified contractor will be able to identify the underlying cause and fix the problem.
Punctures and Penetrations
Punctures and penetrations on the roofing membrane are usually caused by foot traffic and falling debris. Punctures should be fixed by a qualified contractor to ensure it is done right. Failure to address the issue will lead to water damage to the underlying roof and even leaks which are expensive to fix.
If the roof starts leaking, you have a big problem. Leaks are caused by age, weather, and other factors. Other than the actual leak, be on the lookout for mold, odors, and discoloration as these are also indicative of a big roofing problem. Leaks should be addressed by a pro since they require the fixing of the underlying problem.
Storm damage from hail or high winds usually causes extensive damage. Call in a pro immediately after storm damage to assess the damage and to take remedial actions.
Extreme temperature sometimes causes shrinkage, especially around the edge of a roof and along the seams. A professional will ensure that adhesion is properly applied. Call a professional the moment you see long cracks between seams.
Billowing, which results in large, uneven bumps throughout the surface of the roof, should also be fixed by a professional. Billowing, like shrinkage, is also caused by extreme weather conditions. A qualified contractor will ensure the underlying problem that is causing billowing is addressed.
All roofing materials are meant to last a particular number of years. The age for commercial roofs is usually 15 to 20 years, depending on the material. Roofing material manufacturers will not honor the warranty if the roof is past this age. Replace your aged membrane even if there is no obvious problem because new roofing solutions have better properties, to ensure you are safe from roofing problems, and to take advantage of manufacturer warranties. Roof replacement should only be done by a qualified professional and in adherence to code.