Commercial roofing systems differ from most residential roofs, primarily because they are not sloped. Most commercial and industrial roofs are flat, and this can present unique difficulties or issues with maintenance and safety. Three common issues facing roofing systems on commercial buildings are ponding, blow-offs and expansion. Read further to discover more about these issues solutions that may work.
Roof ponding refers to standing water that accumulates on the rooftop. Because commercial roofs are flat, it's easier for water to become stagnant. One of the major causes of standing water on a commercial rooftop is due to insufficient drainage. A lack of roof diverters may lead to this problem as well. When left to accumulate, ponding on a commercial roof may lead to major problems.
Shingles may become loose or deteriorate from the standing water. Leaks may also occur, causing damage to the interior of the building. Flashing may also deteriorate, causing further leaks around roof skylights. Other than leaks and roofing material deterioration, what are the results of commercial roof ponding?
Growth of mold or algae: When mold or algae grows on a flat roof, wood rot may occur on the materials. Eventually, a partial roof collapse may occur. This can present a hazardous situation for the indoor environment of your commercial building. It may also violate township and state health and safety codes.
Ice formation: As temperatures drop, ice may form from standing water on commercial roofs. This may damage the structure of the roof, as well as pose a safety issue from falling ice particles as they thaw.
One way to counteract the problem of commercial roof ponding is to install a solar-powered flat roof pump. These are powered by solar energy and are designed to remove the ponding water from a flat roof. The pumps do not require special tools or drilling, and are typically cased in aluminum housing.
Commercial roofs need proper installation and routine maintenance. If installed poorly or not properly maintained, a commercial or flat roof is prone to blow-offs. This occurs when high winds during a storm cause roofing materials to become loose and simply blow off in the wind. This can present a safety hazard as well as leakage.
To reduce the chances of a commercial roof blow-off, install shingles during warm temperatures to help them set and become sealed. Replace old shingles when they become worn and fragile. Also, check the mph rating on the shingles to be sure they can withstand high winds. Obviously, a 130-150 mph shingle will hold up better against winds than one that is rated as 110 mph.
Some flat roof designs swell due to condensation and humidity. Swollen roofing materials are more likely to incur a roof blow off. This is why it's important to have a commercial roof inspected on a routine basis. Having a company like Align Roofing LLC make repairs to a bellowing roof can help prevent blow offs.
Roof Expansion and Contraction
Did you know that commercial and flat roofs are likely to expand and contract under certain conditions? For instance, during hot weather and sun exposure, roofing materials on commercial roofs tend to expand? During the wintertime, the materials of a flat roof often contract.
All the contracting and expanding may cause leaks. For this reason, the roof flashing should be repaired as needed. Equally important, the installation of a fiberglass flat roof for a commercial building will help prevent leakage. It's a good idea to install a seamless flat roof as well.
In conclusion, remember to to inspect commercial roofs after major storms, as this is the time damage is most likely to occur.