Protect Your Business

Leading Causes of Commercial Roof Damage

Commercial roofs are installed for easy access and maintenance to a building created for making money. The last thing you want is for a leaky roof to drip into an office space with thousands of dollars of computer equipment, or into a grocery store where food products have to be thrown away, or a good store, where water could damage inventory. Commercial buildings are used for all sorts of things, and just like with a home, you want everything under the roof to remain protected. That’s why it’s important to know what the causes of commercial roof damage are and how to help or prevent them.

Commercial Roofing

Layers Of A Commercial Roof

Each layer of a commercial roof is necessary and needs to be maintained in order to protect every layer below it. If one layer is no longer sealed or safe, there is a limited time before the layer below is also damaged.

  • Roof Deck- This is the base layer of a roof. This has a load-bearing amount and is considered a structural layer.
  • Vapor Barrier- The vapor barrier is a thin plastic or foil layer that is designed to prevent or control condensation.
  • Roof insulation- A layer of insulation to help hold the temperature in the building.
  • Roof Cover Board- This board helps to extend the life of your roof. It is what the next layer, the roof membrane, is adhered to.
  • Roof Membrane- Simply, this layer is a waterproofing layer to help seal the roof.

Leading Causes of Commercial Roof Damage

Despite preventative measures, something is bound to go wrong after years of use. Having routine roof inspections for your building(s) is always recommended. Like residential homes, it’s recommended that you have it inspected twice a year, once in spring and again in fall. This is to catch any issues before they become costly or too damaging. Sometimes a call needs to be made to a trusted roofing company before a routine inspection. So what should you look out for? 

Causes of Commercial Roof Damage

Heavy Snow or Ice Dams

Winter weather is hard on any roof, but too much snow or ice accumulation can be a problem for a commercial roof. Residential roofs are sloped to get water and snow off as quickly as it can. Commercial roofs are flat, and this means it relies on shoveling, melting, and drainage. Too much weight can be bad for roof decking and create sagging, which will lead to more problems. Ice dams can well up and get under flashings and the roof membrane, which will eventually cause a leak. You can learn how to prevent ice dams at ClaytonHoover.com/ice-dam-removal.

Standing Water

When the snow and ice are melting, or after heavy rains, if you notice standing water, you should call your trusted roofer immediately. Standing water can mean a series of things, and none of them are good for your commercial roof. Sagging in your roof deck can capture water, which can mean a structural issue, and this could mean that your building isn’t safe. That doesn’t mean you should panic! It could be something as simple as a clogged drain. However, regardless, standing water will eventually break down your roof, and you don’t want to it to stay or persist.

Issues with Flashings or Pitch Pans

Flashings are thin metal pieces that line the edges of the roof to act as an extra seal when water from snow, ice, or rain is still in the process of draining. Pitch pans are placed around any pipes or drains that penetrate the roof. These pieces can be installed poorly or damaged later on by wind or ice dams. If these get pulled away, they can cause leaks in your roof. You can learn more about flashings and how to repair them at ClaytonHoover.com/expert-tips-to-repair-step-flashing.

Strong Winds

Strong winds are an excellent example of why you should have routine inspections and maintenance on your roof. New roofs and ones well cared for are much less likely to become damaged. For these roofs, it usually requires something to fall and puncture or scratch open the surface of the roof membrane. In older and less cared-for commercial roofs, there can be structural damage with the wind and pressure inside the building. Flashings, pitch pans, and caps can also be pulled on or torn away, which will create the perfect place for water to get into.

commercial roofing

Commercial Roof Damage is much more likely without the proper inspections and care. You’ll be much more likely to avoid bad damage if you’re taking preventative measures. Visit ClaytonHoover.com/roofing to learn more about our roofing products, schedule an inspection for your existing roof, or get a free estimate for one needing a complete revamp!