Re-roofing your commercial building is an expensive proposition. Attending to needed maintenance and repair of the roofing on your business can prolong the time before you must make the decision to tear off and replace your roof. Pay attention to the signals your roof is sending you that indicate where repair is needed and how soon you must respond to avoid the much more intensive and costly full replacement.

1. Signs Of Interior Water Incursion

The number one indicator that your roof needs repair is evidence that water invades your premises. Obvious signs are leaks and seepage that drip and pull water into the property, leaving telltale puddles and minor to major flooding. More subtle messages you building sends include:

  • Elevated humidity
  • Stains on ceilings and walls
  • Increases in vermin — rodents and insects
  • Mold growth

When you experience these signs you must take steps to find out how the water flows inside. Quality repairs will restore the roof’s functioning.

2. Changes In Utility Bills

Roofing does not just prevent the elements from damaging the interior of a property. It also provides a number of other critical functions. It provides a covering for insulation and venting systems that keep the interior of the commercial building comfortable for humans and appropriate for whatever inventory or processing for which you use the premises. It also reflects the rays of the sun during the cooling season.

If energy bills climb, that is an indication your roof may have been compromised. Damage may be from weather related issues or because age, bird or animal activity, pressure from heavy items that are placed or have fallen onto the decking, and much more. Reflective coatings may have worn off and need to be reapplied and other repairs may permit your HVAC system to work more efficiently.

3. Deterioration Of Roof Support

Atop the roof look for dips, low spots, and areas where water pools up after rain. These areas may indicate that the underpinnings of your roof have sustained damage from rain, wind, or other events. Insulation may have become soaked and compacted or the joists and rafters holding up the roof may have broken or sagged. Replacement of the deteriorated structures will permit the the remainder of the roof to continue to do its job.

4. Bubbling Of The Roof Surface

When water moves beneath the protective membranes on top of your roof, the materials reveal this by bubbling where the moisture is or has been trapped. The location of the bubbles gives you a road map of where the water has been leaking, although you and anyone you engage to make repairs must be aware that water moves in a path of least resistance and may have invaded from another area and pooled where the bubble shows. These areas must be repaired to prevent further damage.

5. Gaps In Seaming

Roofs almost always require seams to connect the various waterproof materials that overlie your roof’s decking. The methods used to fasten down the waterproofing membranes range from metal screws, bolts, and clips to adhesives. Most roofs include both types of seaming, and you need to arrange for a careful review of every inch of the seaming. It may reveal failing areas where water now has a pathway inside your building.

6. Failed Flashings

Roofs use metal flashings, strips employed to protect the joints between the roof and other structures, including the very edges where the roofing materials connect to the top of the building. A complete inspection of the flashings may reveal missing, poorly attached, or deteriorated strips. Replacement and repair of these materials make a roof much more able to protect the areas and contents beneath it.

7. Blocked Gutter And Downspout Systems

If rain falls on your roof, it must have an efficient way to drain off, and not inside the building. An evaluation of your draining configuration may indicate that the drains are not doing their job. Clogged drains allow water to pool up on the roof, and also force water under the materials that are intended to protect the building from moisture. Observe the drains and the surface of the roof during a hard rain to see if obstructed drains are a problem.