Residential roofs are typically built at a noticeable incline while commercial buildings usually have seemingly flat roofs. Skilled builders know to construct commercial building roofs at a slight angle; however, some builders make the mistake of constructing roofs evenly. This poses the problem of water gathering and remaining for long periods of time on commercial buildings. The National Roofing Contractors Association classifies water remaining more than 48 hours as ponding water.
Though standing water does not seem like it should pose much of a threat, allowing water to sit atop the building for extended periods can wear down the integrity of the roof, eventually causing leaks. A shallow, one-inch pool of water weighs 5.2 lbs/sq foot. That weight can put heavy strain on the roof over a period of time and even lead to roof collapse in more extreme cases. Roofs that are built at a dead level often result in clogged drains which exacerbate the issue of standing water.
This problem can be remedied by hiring a skilled builder. Experienced builders can add tapered insulation and proper draining channels to prevent standing water.
Due to commercial buildings’ structure, they are susceptible to wind uplift. Wind uplift occurs when wind flows directly over the rooftop, lowering the pressure directly above the roof. While the area over the roof has decreased pressure, the area right below the roof experiences a much stronger increase in pressure because of air infiltration. If the seams of the building are not properly sealed, the roof not properly anchored with enough fasteners, or built using single-ply material, the roof is far more susceptible to blow-offs or tenting.
Blow-offs can happen during high wind situations. High winds can also blow the caps off chimneys and vents on commercial and residential locations. Blowing off the caps can lead to dangerous amounts of water getting into these locations. Tenting can cause serious damage to the roof membrane and should be addressed immediately before the roofing structure is compromised.
Blow-offs and tenting can be prevented by working closely with the roofing contractor. By providing proper specifications or building codes, the contractors are able to be more diligent in avoiding this problem.
Any new punctures or penetrations that occur in the roof can significantly affect the integrity of the roof. Roofs can be punctured by a variety of sources including regular foot traffic, hail, or strong wind. Single-ply roofs are especially vulnerable to new punctures. Regardless of the type of roof, they should be inspected regularly to ensure that no new holes have occurred after a construction project or inclement weather.
Punctures, no matter what their size, can immediately cause leaks within the building. Punctures can also affect the internal temperature of the building by allowing the outside air into the environment. Punctures left untreated can eventually wear down the quality of the roofing membrane.
Punctures and indentations can be treated by a skilled professional. If any new equipment is being installed on the roof, take proper precaution to make sure all new punctures created are properly resealed. In order to prevent possible new punctures from occurring, limit foot traffic atop the roof as much as possible.
Flashing is installed around everything protruding from the roof such as pipes and chimneys on commercial buildings. However, flashing is also used on walls and curbs as well. The purpose behind flashing is to deflect water from the seams and joints of the building. Flashing keeps leaks from entering; however, it is especially susceptible to tearing due to natural expanding and contracting as well as breaking free if it is not installed correctly.
Properly installed and high quality flashing is essential. Ninety-five percent of all roof leaks are a direct result of faulty flashing. Leaks left untreated can also cause mold and fungus to begin to grow. Improper flashing can also lower the puncture resistance of the roof. These problems may not appear to need immediate attention, yet without swift action leaks and mold can grow in severity and become much more expensive to fix.
When looking to avoid improper flashing installation, it is imperative to hire a skilled professional. Investing in a company that offers a maintenance program or fast response maintenance is ideal.
Lack of Maintenance
Finally, perhaps the simplest yet most common roofing problem is lack of proper maintenance. Too often are easily preventable problems left untreated until they become disruptive and high damaging. It is crucial to both finances and safety to remain diligent about any noticeable changes to the roof.
Little problems can often be prevented by maintaining a regular maintenance schedule. Routine inspection can extend the life of the roof and save money over the years. Mostly importantly, remain proactive in individual observation as well as relying on the professionals for a more thorough inspection.
Kodiak Roofing offers solutions to all of these major problems. We even offer 24 hour “emergency response” because Kodiak Roofing understands that a functioning roof is vital to a happy work environment. To get started with a comprehensive roof solution today, contact us to get started.