Your roof is the unsung hero of your business. When it’s doing its job, you forget it’s even there. But when it’s damaged, you’re reminded of it every moment of the day. Water leaves unsightly spots on your ceiling. It drips into the building, threatening the safety of those inside, whether people, electronics, or machinery. Energy costs increase as your heating and cooling efforts escape through the roof.

Below is a list of common causes of commercial roof damage and ways to keep the sky from falling on your staff and your customers. 

1.      Punctures
Most commercial roofs have little to no slope, making rooftop maintenance much easier. This ease comes with a cost.

A commercial roof’s first line of defense against the weather is called its “membrane.” It’s usually a sheet of waterproof material spread over the rest of the roof system. On average, it’s only a little over 2 inches thick. 

            Foot traffic and equipment maintenance are major causes of membrane puncture.

 2.      Standing Water
The flatness of a commercial roof necessitates gutters, drains or other ways for rainwater and snowmelt to find its way to the ground.

Even when drainage systems have been correctly installed, birds make nests in drains, leaves fill gutters and the flow of water can be blocked.

Depending on the membrane type, pools of standing water can dissolve the adhesives that attach it to the rest of the roof system. And, if there’s a pool of water where a leak develops, it won’t just be a trickle. It’ll be a flood.

 3.      Blow-Offs
When wind blows against the side of a building and up around the roof, it can create a suction effect that pulls on the membrane. Over time, this suction can cause the membrane to come loose, exposing the more vulnerable parts of the roof system to the elements.

Blow-offs can be the result of pooling water or poor installation, or simple wear and tear. 

4.      Improper Maintenance of Non-Roofing Systems
Roofers are not the only people who go up on your roof. Plumbers place and manage vents; HVAC workers fix heating and cooling systems. While these professionals are competent in their fields, they might place tools or equipment in ways that damage your roof system.

Most important on the list are these last two because they applicable regarding everything else.

5.      Improper Installation
As a specialty within a specialty, effective commercial roofing installation requires a high level of expertise. Some materials must be used together, others can’t be, and dozens of tools and techniques have to be used competently.

 A poorly installed roofing system is prone to punctures, standing water, and blow-off. It can lead to costly repairs and limits the life of your roof.

 Always be sure to have a skilled, licensed professional handle any installation on your roof.

 6.      Lack of Roof Maintenance
The most common cause of commercial roof issues is a simple lack of maintenance. Not all damage is sudden and catastrophic. Most of it develops bit by bit over time.

 Having a maintenance inspection twice a year will go a long way to mitigating nearly all the other issues on this list.

Your roof is exposed to all the weather extremes that Illinois has to offer. Inevitably, something will go wrong. When it does, call TTLC - Roofing, Siding and Gutters, your 24/7 commercial roofing specialists. Even better: sign up to receive regular maintenance to be sure you’re not caught off guard.

For immediate assistance, to learn about our maintenance plan, or for a free inspection, call us at (814) 270-5669.