While both residential and commercial roofs serve the function of protecting the building and its contents, there are some differences in how they are constructed. Because of the contrast in building materials and construction protocols, finding a roofing company that specializes in commercial buildings is key.
This commercial roofing specialization is often crucial to ensuring the proper care is given to the structural component that protects your business. The vast majority of commercial buildings have flat roofs, which can present unique challenges for both owners and roofers. Without this commercial specialization, your flat roof may begin to deteriorate or become damaged by roofers unfamiliar with keeping commercial roofs in good condition.
Whether you’ve owned a commercial building for a while or you’re new to ownership, knowing the signs that your roof needs to be repaired is important. A roofing repair pushed off for too long can lead to some serious trouble down the road. Let’s take a look at some important things to know when it comes to figuring out if your roof needs to be fixed and for finding someone that can successfully take on the job.
Signs Your Commercial Roofing Needs a Repair
When it comes to problems with your roof, catching damage as soon as possible is crucial. The longer a problem goes undetected or ignored, the more severe the damage can get. Here are some signs you should keep an eye out for, as they can all indicate that your roofing system is beginning to fail.
One of the first signs that there is damage to a roof is when moisture issues arise. If you notice water stains on the ceilings, high humidity, a damp or musty aroma, or an increase in rodent and insect activity, you could leak into your roof somewhere. A leaky roof can lead to damage to the building’s walls and insulation.
Increasing Energy Bills
If your roof no longer has much reflectivity remaining, your cooling system is likely working on overdrive. For those running a business in a place with a hot and sunny climate, you will see a change in your cooling costs pretty quickly. This loss can be a huge money drain, so it’s important to address the problem as quickly as possible.
Ponding Or Pooling
No roof is entirely flat or pitched perfectly, and as a result, there will occasionally be spots where water will collect and “pond”. This is often no more than a small damp spot, or an extremely small puddle on the rooftop after a rain. In more serious situations where there is too much water to quickly evaporate, however, water from ponding can begin to seep into the roofing materials, causing damage to interior components and eventually leading to sagging or more serious damage.
When a roof begins to sag, it is often due to water damage that has gone undetected for a while. Your roof could be sagging due to ponding or you could have structural damage. While ponding can often be remedied with relatively simple repairs, other damages aren’t so easily fixed.
More extensive damage to the roof or building’s structure, such as a broken joist, will often require a more extensive repair and remediation. If you notice sagging in your ceiling materials, such as drywall or joists, you must get it fixed quickly to avoid a roofing collapse.
This is not a sign that you’ll be able to notice from inside. You should do regular walkthroughs of your building, roof included, to ensure issues aren’t overlooked. If you notice bubbles during a roof inspection, it is likely due to moisture build-up underneath the surface of your roof. More bubbles mean there is more moisture hiding in there.
The bubbles are due to moisture and air getting underneath the roofing coating, becoming trapped, and then subsequently expanding and contracting with environmental changes. Since many roofing coatings are meant to be a moisture barrier, installing them before the subsurface is totally dry can lead to bubbling in the future.
One of the main functions of a roof is protecting the structure below from water. When a roof is installed, there are seams where the waterproof materials are, to guard the roof’s decking connect to each other. If there are cracks, tears, or gaps in a seam, this compromises the waterproof barrier that these materials provide, leaving your roof vulnerable to water damage.
When rain falls on your roof, the gutter system is supposed to allow the water to drain off. If your gutters are clogged, the water has no way of leaving, so it pools or ponds on the roof. A blocked drainage system could lead to serious water damage, as water just sitting on your roofing materials can soak in over time, getting into areas that won’t dry easily.
Why You Need To Get Your Commercial Roofing Repaired Immediately If Experiencing A Roofing Issue
Part of the responsibility of being a business owner is ensuring that your property and business are functioning safely and properly. When it comes to major problems, especially those that are related to the structure of the building, having it repaired promptly is crucial.
One of the most damaging things to a roof is a leak. Roof leaks are a powerful thing that can lead to serious problems down the line. Some of the things that a leaky roof can lead to include:
- Water can get into your walls and cabinets, which can cause damage to any electronics or documents that may come in contact with the water, as well as potential electrical issues.
- An increase in humidity, as well as a higher risk of mildew and mold, can result in health problems and even business closure.
- Water damage can impact a business’ inventory, which can be problematic for warehouses and stores that rely on effective climate control measures.
Paying attention to the warning signs of roofing damage can save you and your business a lot of time and money in the long run. Many roofing issues can be fixed affordably if caught in the early stages, but the more extensive the damage, the more expensive the repairs will be.
What To Look For When Hiring Out a Commercial Roofing Repair Company & How To Find The Right One For The Job
There are more roofers than ever before, and while they may all be able to do the job satisfactorily, choosing one can seem like a pretty monumental task. These tips should help you research any roofer you’re thinking of potentially working with, and can help you find the right commercial roofer for your roofing job.
Word Of Mouth
Even with the advent of social media, good old-fashioned word of mouth is still the most reliable way of getting trusted referrals for commercial roofers.
If your friends or family own businesses, ask them if they’ve ever needed to use a roofer, and if so, who they used and what they thought of the experience. Ask other business owners in your general area. If you own a business in a densely populated area, you should be able to get a significant number of recommendations relatively easily.
One of the most powerful and underleveraged tools for looking into potential businesses is the internet. The internet, and large impartial platforms, in particular, are incredibly valuable for getting reviews of roofers.
By researching reviews and ratings on platforms where the business owner cannot remove bad feedback is crucial to getting a well-rounded picture of the perception of the business by its clients. Be sure to check the Better Business Bureau as well, just to be sure.
Qualifications & Licensing
The company should be able to easily demonstrate that they have both a current business license as well as the appropriate commercial and liability insurance coverage for them and their employees. Take this opportunity to ask them about the work you plan to have them perform, and ask any questions you have at this stage. They should be able to answer your questions easily and with demonstrated technical knowledge.
Be sure you inquire about permits for work in your area also. Many times commercial facilities are required to obtain permits before starting any work on their buildings, and performing the work without the required permits can leave the business owner open to potential fines.
One final thing your potential commercial roofer should offer is a free roof inspection with no further obligation. They should allow you to schedule the inspection at your convenience, and when completed they should discuss the results with you. Not only the repairs that they feel are needed, but the level of urgency that they would assign to the repairs.
If you feel that your commercial roof may need some repairs, or if you have noticed roofing damage on a recent visual inspection, talk to licensed professionals today. You can schedule it for a time and date that work best for you and your business.