Commercial Roof Challenges

commercial roofKeeping a well maintained roof is a challenge for any home or business owner. The weather, pests and debris can all threaten the integrity of a roof. Both residential and commercial roofs have their own challenges in terms of general maintenance and upkeep. However, commercial roofs pose unique problems that should be considered by any business owner.

Roof Leaks

Commercial roofs are different from residential roofs in many ways, the main difference being the shape of the roof. Most commercial roofs are flat or carry less of a slope than residential roofs. Without a significant slope, water cannot drain properly and may accumulate on the roof. When water begins to pool on top of the roof, the constant moisture causes weak spots in the roof and results in water damage. Water damage can cause many costly repairs such as mold or mildew to the roof materials, and even risk having the roof collapse.

Traditionally, the metal flashing bridges the gap along a roof transition in between materials or between the roof and an additional structure.  In many cases, commercial roofs may lack adequate, if any, flashing because of the type of roof material used. In older roofs, hot tar and rubber would be used to coat the top of the roof. This roof material was once thought to create a water tight seal along the roof, but has since been determined to be less effective due to severe cracking between joints. This is especially true in hotter climates, where roofs made out of cement or hot tar tend to flex in the heat and causes cracking along the roof.

Roof Damage and Debris

Commercial roofs are more susceptible to damage and debris than residential roofs because of (a) their size, (b) their shape and (c) their location. Since many commercial roofs are large and flat, animals find it easy to build nests or hang around to spot prey. Animal waste can be toxic and acidic, resulting in damage to the roof. Commercial roofs also tend to have large structures, such as air conditioner units and ventilation caps, which make finding shelter from predators or the weather easier for many animals. Trash and other debris blowing in the wind may also get stuck in ventilation caps or large roof structures. If the debris is not cleaned out or removed, the resulting damage can be a costly roof repair.

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