Should You Perform a Commercial Flat Roof Repair or Replacement?

2018-02-28T12:04:40+00:00 January 13th, 2018|Blog|

How to repair commercial flat roof

It’s no secret that nothing in life lasts forever. Yes, that includes your commercial roofing system. Every business owner who has his own building will agree that over time, their roofs will leak, develop blisters, and lose their reflectivity. These occurrences happen because of a roof’s age or other factors like poor workmanship and lack of maintenance.

If you’re the typical person who wants to save more money (we all do), you’ll wish that your roof will remain problem-free during its entire lifespan. That’s less likely to happen, considering the natural elements that your roof faces day and night. However, a roof can last way longer when you give it the proper care and maintenance it needs.

What if one day you discover a pesky leak or a tear on your roof? What if your energy bills increased? Will you tackle a commercial flat roof repair or replacement?

In this blog post, we will discuss the following areas. Knowing these things will hopefully help you make an informed decision:

  • Factors that affect your decision to repair or replace your commercial roof
  • Causes of commercial roof leaks and other problems
  • How to repair commercial flat roof

What are the factors that prompt a flat roof repair or replacement?

1. Age of flat roof

Increasing age is one of the biggest reasons why someone decides to replace his roof. Different roofing systems have different lifespans.

For example, rubber roofs can last from 25 to 30 years. Sometimes longer depending on the climate or quality of installation. On the other hand, metal roofs last somewhere between 30 to 45 years. This lifespan is possible if you eliminate rust through painting. You also need to replace damaged panels.

Lastly, spray foam roofing is the type with the longest lifespan. It can last more than 50 years while keeping your building cool and leak-free.

2. Cost of replacement

Which costs more time and money? Is it repair or replacement? Without a doubt, roofing replacements are very expensive. The price of a new roof depends on the type of material, size, and more. Before a flat roof repair contractor puts a new roof on your building, they need to dispose of the old roof first. Removal of old roofing material is another major expense.

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Although roof replacements are generally costly, this does not mean that you should stay away from them. There are, of course, certain conditions when a total replacement is needed.

A contractor will come to your place to perform a thorough inspection. They will check all areas of your roof – outer appearance, corners, and seams. If your roofing material is very weak and acquired extensive damage, the best solution would be to replace it.

3. Increasing energy bills

What many building owners don’t know is that their roofs play a role in their heating and cooling bills. Your roof doesn’t only serve as a plain structure above your head. All year round, it maintains the temperature inside your building. Therefore, it plays an important role in your energy-efficiency.

An old and poorly maintained commercial flat roof can drive up energy costs. How so? Roofing systems have a reflective surface. Roofs with high solar reflectance prevent UV rays and heat from getting into your building. Over time, these light-colored, cool roofs get dirty and decrease their ability to reflect sunlight.

There are also instances when a contractor installed a low-quality insulation material. Or perhaps your previous roofer failed to consider your climate.

Whatever the roofing issue may be that increased energy bills, you know that it needs to be addressed immediately. Find a reputable contractor who can recommend the best possible solution. They will have to look for the source of the problem first.

4. Overt membrane damage

When you go to your rooftop, pay attention to your roof’s appearance. Does your flat roof look different than it used to years ago?

With an aging roof membrane, there are obvious signs that indicate damage. These signs include blistering, bubbling, shrinking, and puncturing. All these issues allow water and moisture to reach the interior of your building. These points of entry also attract pests.

Roof penetrations are also trouble areas. Areas of your roof with HVAC units, pipes, and drains are prone to leaks. Ideally, you should have a maintenance plan in place. This plan entails checking these roof penetrations regularly.

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Since a roofing membrane’s function is to seal off your roof to protect you from external elements, any disruption to its integrity will affect your building’s interior. Therefore, membrane damage needs to be addressed immediately.

5. You plan on selling your building

Do you intend to put up your building for sale? Since a roof is generally an important structure of a building, it will be brought up during your conversation with a buyer. It’s best to assume that a buyer will care about those tears and old appearance.

People want the best value for their hard-earned money. If your buyer wants to build a new business or use your building for an apartment, the last thing he wishes for is to endure pesky leaks and tackle repairs on their own. Regular individuals don’t know how to repair commercial flat roof. If they do, they’re still not in the best position to do so.

So your choice whether to leave your roof as it is or deal with it affects your selling price. If you lack money, consider bringing the price down. But if you can afford to improve your roof, call a flat roof repair contractor. A commercial flat roof repair or replacement boosts the appearance and lifespan of a roof. Then you can sell your building in no time, and at a higher price.

Things that can endanger your roof

As we have mentioned earlier, all roofs don’t last forever. Certain factors take a toll on your roofing lifespan. For your information, we listed below things that can damage your roof over time.

1. Foot traffic

There are building owners who decide to use their roofs for different purposes. Some use the area to hold company meetings. Others install HVAC and other equipment as well as tools. The more often you or your employees walk on your roof, the more likely it will deteriorate. Foot traffic causes early roof damage.

2. Lack of maintenance

Ongoing maintenance is critical to preserving the life of your roof. Even though you have a warranty, it cannot prevent the development of problems. Regular inspections help detect early damage. Maintenance is one of the best investments that decrease your roofing lifecycle costs.

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3. Weather

While you cannot control the weather, you can prepare your roof for the worst. For example, building owners should make sure that their pipes aren’t clogged. This ensures that during the winter, water flows freely. Roof segments should also stay intact to keep snow away from a roof’s inner layers.

To maximize the lifespan of your roof, choose a contractor who can recommend the best material depending on your location. If you live in a hot area, they should suggest a material that protects your roof from the sun’s damaging rays.

How to repair commercial flat roof

Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to roofing problems. Each problem is unique and therefore will require a different repair procedure. In general, all roofing problems entail locating the source of a problem. Before a roof is repaired, you need to clean your roof first. Remove all dirt and debris. Take note of areas where you can find puddles of water.

Should you know how to repair commercial flat roof? One thing you should put in mind is that roof repairs are not a piece of cake. If you fancy yourself as a handyman just because you were able to patch a leak in the past, we advise you against it. DIY repairs might lead to long-term damage.

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A commercial flat roof repair is commonly done for roofs that can still be saved. While it costs less than a total replacement, your expenses vary by the type of damage, the extent of damage, and warranty.

Together with a roof repair, you can also opt for a restoration service. A roofing restoration “restores” the appearance of your roof, making it look brand new. With this method, a contractor such as WM Roofing will fix all repairable areas and apply a membrane coating. This membrane coating protects your roof, reflects sunlight, and keeps your building cool.

Hiring a flat roof repair contractor

If you suspect that your commercial roof requires attention, don’t delay intervention. A small leak could grow big. Temperatures could rise and your energy bills could soar.

When it comes to hiring a contractor, choose a company that can offer you various solutions. They should inspect your roof and suggest a material or method that addresses your problem.

WM Roofing is a trusted roofing company that has served the industry for over 10 years. Having solved different roofing problems, we provide a wide range of roofing services. These include but are not limited to repairs, installations, roof coatings, and restorations.

Contact WM Roofing today for your needs.