11 Signs Your Commercial Building Needs a New Roof

Building maintenance is a usually overlooked but highly important aspect of running a business. Whether you’re running a small bistro, expansive warehouse, or multi-family rental apartment, it’s your job to keep your place of business clean, safe, and comfortable.

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But buildings don’t last forever, and as they age, they will require more upkeep and repairs. The roof is one of the sturdiest parts of a building, and for good reason. After all, it serves as the main line of defense against the elements. But when they start to show serious signs of damage, it may be time for a commercial roof replacement.

11 Signs Your Commercial Building Needs a New Roof

We’ve listed down the most common reasons your commercial building needs a new roof.

Sagging Roof

A sagging or dropping roofline is a sign that water has permeated into your roof structure. This type of damage is usually due to rainwater pooling on the roof for a prolonged period. When water remains on the roof, it can compromise the joists, rafters, and sheathing. If the dropping or sagging covers a wide portion of your roofline, a complete roof replacement may be in order.

Water Damage

Water is the main common culprit of roof damage. But there are many kinds of water damage to watch out for. In fact, some may not be as obvious as you’d expect. The more obvious ones include soft or spongy wood decking and water sports on the exterior walls and on the ceiling. More discrete signs include granule-filled gutters and cracking or blistering shingles.

Your roofing contractor will have to do a thorough inspection of the entire roof to know the extent of the damage. It’s for them to determine whether the damage can be repaired or whether a complete roof replacement is necessary.

Multiple Leaks

Water leaks are not only a nuisance to your patrons or tenants, they could also be a good reason to replace your commercial roof. Plus, it’s not good for your business to have buckets and “Wet Floor” signs lying around. If you find yourself catching water indoors each time it rains, it’s a clear indication that the damage to your roof is serious. If sealants and Band-aid fix no longer do the trick, it may be best to renovate the entire roof of your building. 

Musty Smells

Musty odors may be a sign that mold is building up in your commercial building. It’s important to address the issue the moment you notice the smell as mold can cause serious health problems. Mold growth is a sign of serious water damage. If the leaks are coming from the roof, you may need to have it checked. In most cases, repairing leaks and adjusting your HVAC unit will do the trick. But re-roofing may be necessary if the damage is beyond repair.

Clogged Drainage System

The drainage system is one of the most important parts of a roof system. It’s responsible for keeping water from remaining on the roof. But different types of debris like fallen leaves, tree branches, and dirt can get stuck in the drains. This could result in inadequate drainage and serious damage during heavy rainfall. If your roof drains are no longer performing optimally, it’s best to have them checked by a roofing contractor.

Failed Downspouts

Clogged downspouts are also another major concern that needs addressing. If water is no longer coming down from your roof’s downspouts, it’s time to have them checked. More often than not, clogged downspouts won’t warrant a complete roof replacement. But it depends on the extent of the problem. There are some cases where failed downspouts are linked to a more serious problem in the roof system.

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Bubbles and Blisters

If you notice bubbling and blistering along your commercial roofing membrane, you are dealing with serious water damage. The presence of bubbles in a commercial roof could mean that moisture gets trapped underneath. Over time, the trapped moisture or air causes raised areas and forms blisters. While repairs are still possible, recurring blisters could warrant a roof replacement.

Serious Wear and Tear

Another obvious reason you need a commercial roof replacement is serious wear and tear. This could mean different things for commercial buildings. It could be damaged flashings, worn-out sealants, aging roof materials, or cracked, curled, or split shingles. Patchy or bald spots, or even moss growth, are indications of roof damage or single death, which all require immediate attention. When you notice these signs, get in touch with a roofing company right away.

Loose Materials

The roof of a building is regularly exposed to harsh weather. If a tree has fallen onto your roof after a thunderstorm and you notice loose materials, it’s time for a roof check-up. Loose materials are a major safety hazard. Your customers and staff rely on you to keep them safe from harm. So concerns like this need your immediate action.

Damaged Roof Membrane

Unlike the signs of roof damage mentioned above, a worn-out roof membrane is a bit harder to diagnose. But it’s a good practice to check your roof after storms and strong winds. Your roofing contractor can tell if the roof membrane uplifting is at a percentage that requires roof replacement. If you notice bald or damaged spots on the roof membrane, call your contractor right away.

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Aging Roof

Commercial roofs are generally more durable than residential ones as they have heavy-duty materials. But like most structures, commercial roofs have a limited lifespan, which ranges between 10 to 40 years. Experts recommend investing in regular roof inspections and maintenance to expand its lifespan. But if the structure has come to its final stretch, a complete roof replacement is in order.

Installing a new roof on a commercial building takes time and money. For a business owner, this also means loss of revenue, failed inspections, and business interruptions. This is why it’s important to check for damage and address issues before they wreak havoc. Instead of cutting corners, be sure to address the underlying issue. But if the damage can no longer be addressed with small repairs, re-roofing your commercial building may be the wisest choice.

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