Allowing problems with your commercial flat roof to persist, may cause it to fail, resulting in devastating financial and productivity losses. Knowing how to address and solve problems with your flat roof will help it far exceed its life expectancy and save you money in the long run.
atlantacommercialroofingcontractors.com gathered information about commercial flat roof problems and what you can do to solve them.
Ponding Water – Flat Roof Problem
The majority of flat roofs are not “flat.” They have just enough of a pitch or slope to drain water from the roof. When water is obstructed by debris or misdirected by damages in the roof, it will naturally find low points in the roof to pond.
If ponding water is left on the roof, it can cause leaks, moss, and algae growth and result in severe damages to the roofing system.
Ponding Water Solutions – The following are actions you can take to correct and prevent water from ponding on your flat roof:
• Keep the roofing system, and all drains free from debris and stored equipment/supplies
• Inspect your roof frequently and immediately after severe weather
• Maintain a commercial roofing maintenance program
• Immediately call for repairs when you detect a problem with your roof (no matter how insignificant it may appear to be)
Read more about commercial roofing programs and services at atlantacommercialroofingcontractors.com/maintenance-programs-services/
Tip: If your roofing system uses downspouts, check the entry at the roof connection and the exit at ground level. Make sure they are free of debris or anything that could block water from exiting the roof.
Debris – Flat Roof Problem
When debris (leaves, branches, dust, pollen, etc.) collect on your commercial flat roof, the damages they cause can grow exponentially if not removed quickly.
Debris can clog drains, create barriers that pond water, scratch or tear your roofing system membrane, hold moisture, and deteriorate the roof beneath.
Debris Solutions – The following actions will help you eliminate debris from accumulating and damaging your commercial roofing system:
• Hire a tree service to prune your trees away from the roof and remove dead or diseased limbs
• Inspect your roof frequently
• Create a roof cleaning (clearing) schedule that occurs between regular maintenance visits
• Avoid storing equipment and/or supplies on your roof
Note: When any equipment maintenance is performed on the roof, inspect the work and surrounding area upon its completion to ensure no tools or parts were left behind or unsecured.
Buckling – Flat Roof Problem
Buckling can occur if your commercial structure settles or shifts. A flat roof’s integrity relies on a continuous membrane, and that membrane will settle and shift with your structure, potentially causing it to buckle. The membrane may also buckle if your commercial flat roof was poorly installed.
Buckling Solutions – Your first line of defense from a buckling roof membrane is early detection. This can be achieved by:
• Maintaining your commercial roofing maintenance program
• Following a frequent inspection schedule
• If you suspect that the building has settled or shifted, you should consult an engineer and have a building inspection performed.
• If you suspect that your roofing system is defective, consult your roofer and hold the installers accountable for their work.
Note: The impact of a tree falling on your building, a vehicle crashing into it, or heavy objects carried by severe weather systems can cause this commercial flat roof problem as well.
Shrinkage – Flat Roof Problem
Also known as “alligatoring,” shrinkage occurs in regions where temperatures fluctuate from extremely cold to extremely hot and cause a flat roof membrane to crack, tear, and literally pull itself apart at its seams.
Shrinkage Solutions – While we cannot control the weather, like buckling, early detection of this problem is how to stop it or slow it down. Increase your roof inspection schedule during:
• Seasons with temperature swings between extreme cold and extreme heat
• Rainy seasons accompanied by hot weather
Note: Neglecting a shrinkage problem will lead to severe structural damage, leaks, and the potential failure of the entire roofing system.
Leaks – Flat Roof Problem
Leaks in your commercial flat roof can be caused by ponding water, debris, buckling, shrinkage, poor maintenance, improper installation, and much, much more.
Solutions for Leaks – You can solve leak issues on your commercial roof by eliminating the factors that cause them. However, one of your most essential tools in leak fixing and prevention is routine preventative maintenance.
For more information about commercial roofing leak problems, visit atlantacommercialroofingcontractors.com/3-leaky-roof-causes-solutions/
Flat Roof Problems
In this article, you discovered several commercial flat roof problems and what actions you can take to solve them.
By regularly inspecting and quickly resolving your flat roof problems, you may be adding years to the life of your roof, protecting your business operations, and maximizing your roofing investment.
Ignoring roofing problems or procrastinating solving them can result in catastrophic damages to your commercial property, workflow interruption, and significant financial losses.