December 16, 2022
How HVAC Units Can Affect A Commercial Roof

A lot of commercial buildings conveniently place their HVAC units on top of the roof. HVAC units are crucial in keeping your building cool, with ambient temperatures and refreshed interiors. Rooftop HVAC units are a convenient and efficient option but with the collateral damage of roofing problems. Rooftop HVAC units penetrate the roofing system and the immediate area becomes at great risk for damage and various roofing problems.

There is a greater risk of structural damage and leakage in the areas where the HVAC unit penetrates the roof. These leak points can easily go undetected during a roofing inspection while the damage builds up underneath. Professional roofing construction, HVAC unit installation and regular maintenance is necessary to avoid such problems on your commercial roof.

The condensation from the rooftop HVAC units is also another potential source of moisture damage. Since the condensation discharges on the roof, it can lead to localized ponding and increasing risk of damage. Constant moisture not only seeps into and weakens the roofing structures but also attracts airborne debris that causes the growth of mold and vegetative growth besides the premature membrane deterioration. The moisture penetration can eventually lead to discolorations and unsightly stains.

The best option for the condensation problem is to direct the condensation away from the roof surface through interior discharge lines or condensation lines directing the discharge to the nearest roof drain. Professional roofing contractors can assess the level of damage caused by the condensation discharge and the possible design modifications they can make on your roof to change this with minimal structural disturbance.

Most technicians who install and maintain rooftop HVAC units are usually not keen on welfare of the roof but getting the job done with the HVAC unit. They can cause a lot of structural damage to the roof in the process without reporting any damaged roof membrane. In case you are going to have HVAC or machinery technicians working on your roof, it is advisable to call a roofing contractor to oversee their work and ensure that the roof is left is proper condition after they are done.

The best time to install HVAC units to commercial roofs is during new roof construction. However, with time and increasing need you may find it necessary to install additional HVAC units to your building. There arises a whole new challenge of creating curbs, installing drainage lines, tubing and electrical lines that were not originally planned for. When adding additional HVAC units to your roof, you will need consult a professional commercial roofing contractor to find the ideal solution as improperly installed units can lead to wind uplift and reduced ability of the roof to hold the extra heavy.

There are many other complications with HVAC units that can spring up unexpectedly but having a professional onsite to oversee the work can help minimize these risks. They can easily pinpoint potential problem areas and correct them before they get out of hand.