Most Common Causes of Damage to Commercial Roofing Systems

Learn the Biggest Threats to Your Commercial Roof

All commercial roofing systems have an expected lifespan. Depending on the materials used in its construction, a flat or low-slope commercial roof may last anywhere from 10 to 40 years or more. However, certain factors can damage a commercial roof and require a roof replacement sooner than would otherwise be expected. 

As experts in flat and low-slope commercial roofing, our team at Moser Roofing Solutions has seen a lot of damage to commercial roofing systems. Some sources of damage are more common than others, however, and knowing these common causes of damage can help you better prevent roofing problems and extend the life of your commercial roof. 

Faulty or Improper Installation

Oftentimes, roofing problems and damage can be traced back to the very beginning of the roof’s lifespan. Improper installation is an all-too-common issue within the commercial roofing industry, especially when choosing a contractor based on pricing alone. 

There are several things that can go wrong during the process of installing a flat or low-slope commercial roofing system. Poor design is a common installation mistake, particularly when planning for drainage. An inexperienced roofer may use poor technique during installation, leading to weak points and structural vulnerabilities. To avoid issues with installation—and save money and headaches in the process—always look to experienced, certified, and licensed companies when you choose your commercial roofer.

Related post: How Hiring the Right Commercial Roofing Contractor Can Deliver Major Savings

Age and Deterioration Over Time

As mentioned earlier, all commercial roofing systems have an expected lifespan. This is because even the hardiest roofing materials will start to break down and deteriorate eventually. 

For commercial roofing systems, one of the first areas that may start to become damaged is the seams between sections of roofing materials. The fastening materials commonly used to seal seams (such as roofing caulk, glue, or other adhesives) can start to weaken as early as five years after installation. These seams and other potentially vulnerable points should be regularly inspected and reinforced to prevent premature roof failure.

Foot Traffic and Punctures from Workers

Commercial roofs are built to withstand high winds and other severe weather, but they aren’t designed for heavy foot traffic. And while roofers are trained to walk on a roof carefully to avoid damaging the roof’s surface, roofers typically aren’t the only ones who may walk on your roof throughout its lifespan.

Technicians and repairmen may need to walk on your roof to access roof-mounted HVAC equipment and electrical components. This foot traffic can cause wear and tear along the surface of your roof. In addition, some of these contractors may cut holes in your roof to complete their work—and they may not patch these holes properly. This leaves your roof vulnerable to water penetration and deeper structural damage. 

Poor Maintenance Practices

The good news about many types of damage is that they can often be remedied through proper preventative roof maintenance. On the other hand, poor roof maintenance is another source of damage we see all too often at Moser.

Poor roof maintenance includes things like leaving debris on your roof, failing to clean out drainage systems, and not scheduling regular roof inspections to catch roofing issues early on. Commercial roofing systems have a critical job to do in protecting your business, but they won’t perform this job effectively if they aren’t properly maintained.

Since maintenance is such a key component of keeping up the health of a commercial roof, we recommend enrolling in a commercial roof maintenance program. These programs typically include regular inspections, debris removal, cleaning, and other important tasks, saving you the headache of scheduling out roof maintenance services yourself.

Moser’s Roof Guardian Program Protects All Commercial Roofing Systems!

While there are many factors that commonly cause damage to commercial roofing systems, proper maintenance is the single most effective way to prevent damage from all sources. The Roof Guardian commercial roof maintenance plan from Moser Roofing Solutions is designed to help business owners get the most from their commercial roof. Our maintenance plan includes two annual inspections, comprehensive reports, debris removal, priority repairs, and more!

If you’re looking to maximize the lifespan of your flat or low-slope commercial roof, let the experts at Moser Roofing Solutions protect your roof, so your roof can protect your business. Contact us today to enroll!

Featured image credit: Chad Kainz, via Flickr

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