Do you need commercial roof repair? If you don’t know, and you’re not sure how to tell, you must read this guide before you do anything else.
If one of your buildings has a damaged, worn out, or otherwise compromised roof, it must be addressed immediately. If you procrastinate, it will very quickly become more expensive to repair. And, until then, it’s dangerous for your tenants.
So, to spare you from unnecessary expense and/or tragedy, we’ve written you this guide. In it, you’ll find the 5 most common signs that your commercial roof needs fixing. Read through this checklist carefully, then check your commercial roofs for these warning signs.
1. Your Roof Is 20+ Years Old
First, how old is your roof? If it’s more than 20 years old, it probably needs replacing. You should at least call a professional to take a look at it.
Checking the Roof’s Age
If you have the roof’s construction or warranty documentation, look up how old it is. Call the company who installed it if you need to. If you still cannot obtain the information, try asking the county assessor’s office.
If your roof is confirmed to be 20+ years old, or you cannot confirm it’s age, call a professional roofer to take a look at it.
2. Leaks or Holes
If you know the roof leaks, then it’s already overdue for repair. Roof leaks are an advanced sign of roof deterioration.
They form when moisture gets trapped beneath or between the roofing materials. Then, the moisture expands and contracts with the changing temperatures outside. Over a long period of time, this stretches the separation between the roofing materials wider and wider.
Once it’s wide enough to leak rain into the building, the deterioration accelerates. Dirt, debris, wind, and more moisture work their way into the hole, rapidly making it worse.
This weakens the roof’s ability to support itself. When it becomes too weak, it collapses.
In short, if you know of any leaks, call a roofing professional immediately.
Checking for Leaks and Holes
The easiest way to check for leaks is to pay attention to your roof (or your tenants) during the next rainstorm. Walk every room under the building’s roof looking for dripping or unexplained moisture. Check on the ceiling and walls.
Look for any puddles or pools of water where there shouldn’t be any. Fungus or mold growth in the building is also a sign of excess moisture that could be caused by leaks. So is peeling/blistering paint.
Don’t forget to check any attics/storage areas. Check any exposed, accessible insulation. Moisture can sometimes hide in there and go undetected.
Furthermore, ask your tenants if they have noticed any leaking. Instruct them to report any leaking to you immediately if they do.
If it’s not raining, you can look for holes instead of leaks.
Wait until a bright, sunny day. Then, turn off all lights, close all blinds/shades, and look at the ceiling. If you see any holes large enough to let sunlight in, call it in.
3. Increasing Energy Bill
A sudden, unexpected increase in your energy bill is another warning sign that you need roof repair. While there are many factors that could cause this, one of the most common is air leakage.
When air passes in and out of your building through holes in the roof, heat passes through, too. The temperature-controlled air from your HVAC escapes through the holes.
Then, your HVAC system has to run constantly to keep the building at the desired temperature. That, of course, results in a higher monthly energy bill.
Checking for Air Leaks
Check for air leaks the same way you check for holes (as described above).
4. Stains, Discoloration, and Sagging
When roof leaks go unfixed for a long time, they can cause water damage to the building. This may appear as stains/discoloration or sagging in your ceiling.
These brown, yellow, gray, or rust-colored stains happen when leaked moisture picks up dirt and other sediment on its way into the building. When this mixture gets to the interior surface of the ceiling, it shows up as a ring or solid circle of discoloration. Or, the dirty water may trickle down the walls, leaving streaks of discoloration.
Sagging is an even worse sign. It’s caused when leaked water sits in a pool above your ceiling for a long time.
Eventually, the ceiling becomes weak and heavy and starts sagging. If this continues unrepaired, it could burst open or collapse completely.
Checking for Stains and Discoloration
As before, physically walk through the rooms of the building, checking all ceilings and walls for these signs. Ask your tenants to report any sightings as well.
If you do see water stains or damage, call it in right away. If the professional doesn’t find any roof leaks, you may want to have your plumbing checked as well.
5. Exterior Roof Damage
Lastly, even if your roof is less than 20 years old, harsh weather conditions can still cause significant wear-and-tear. Hail, tree branches, and other debris are particularly hard on roofing materials.
This is especially true in areas that frequently experience high winds. Even rain is more likely to penetrate the roofing materials during a powerful wind storm.
Once the moisture is in, the damage gets worse and worse. The roofing holds the moisture in instead of keeping it out.
The moisture makes the roofing soggy and weak and it expands and contracts with temperature changes. Eventually, roofing tiles will crack or fall off, letting even more moisture in.
Checking for Exterior Roof Damage
If you have the proper equipment/training, you or one of your contractors can check the roof exterior for damage. But do not let an unqualified individual walk on the roof.
Falls kill hundreds of workers every year, trained professionals, even! However, if you do have a qualified individual at your disposal, have them check for the following types of damage.
Check for any obvious damage: holes, cracked or missing roof tiles, etc. You may also see roofing debris on the ground around the building.
Look very closely at any “valleys” in your roof where two inclines meet. These take the brunt of the wear from a rainstorm since they collect the rainwater into an erosive stream.
Check any roof objects, like vents, that protrude through the roof from the interior of the building. The flashing that connects these objects to the roof is quite prone to damage. Check the flashing for cracks, warping, or separation from the roof.
Poor Patch Jobs
Also check for anything that looks strange, like a bad patch job. Poor patching from a sketchy roofing company may let moisture in, doing more harm than good. If anything on your roof looks weird, call it in.
Get the Commercial Roof Repair You Need Today
Did you see any of these signs in your buildings? Don’t wait to call them in. Contact us today to set up a commercial roof repair appointment.