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Commercial Real Estate
Jan 5, 2023

How to Tell If Your Flat Roof Needs Replacing

Sponsored Content provided by David Grandey - Sales and Marketing Manager, Highland Roofing Company

Most commercial buildings have flat roofs made up of a variety of different types of  roofing materials. Here’s how to know if your flat roof simply needs minor repairs or if  it’s time for a full replacement. 

Most commercial roofs less than 10 years old should only need repairs especially if  damage or wear and tear is isolated to a specific area and are minor issues that can be  repaired quickly and efficiently. Common deficiencies in commercial roofs that can  easily be repaired include: 

• Minor tears/punctures 

• Nails that have popped out of place 

• Worn out flashings 

• Deteriorated sealants and caulking 

• Rusted fasteners 

• Minor damage to coping caps 

• Clogged gutters and drains 

All of the above common repairs can quickly be addressed and prevented with a  preventative roof maintenance program where each quarter, six months or year a  dedicated roofing service team will inspect your roof to make minor repairs, clean gutters and downspouts and remove debris from the roof’s surface. All of this will  prolong the life of your roofing system. 

However, most properly installed flat roofs should last between 20-25 years, so if you  are getting to that timeframe and are noticing that repairs are becoming more frequent,  extensive and are no longer isolated to a specific area, it’s likely time to replace your  roof. Here’s some other common signs to watch out for: 

Blistering, Bubbles and Cracking – Blisters, bubbles and cracks on the surface of  the roof membrane are sure signs that it’s time to replace the membrane.

Ponding Water – “Flat” roofs usually have at least a 15-degree slope to allow for water runoff, but as the roof ages, the roof could start to warp causing the designed runoff to  become less effective and water to pool and puddle leading to increased water damage  and leaks. 

Persistent Roof Leaks – As roofing materials age and break down from exposure to  sunlight and weather, cracks will form causing roof leaks to become more persistent as  water makes its way through the cracks. Discoloration, mold and mildew on the interior  ceilings are all signs of ongoing roof leaks.

Increasing Energy Bills – If your energy bill is rising and you are having trouble pinpointing the source, it could be your roof! High-quality TPO, PVC and EPDM flat  roofing membranes are designed to conserve energy. As the roof ages, it will eventually  fail to property insulate the structure its connected to. 

A new roof system provides the following benefits: 

• Energy Savings – most roofing systems today help deflect heat away from the  building which saves on ongoing energy costs and depending on the type of roof  selected and if new insulation is installed, a building owner could earn a hefty rebate from their energy company after the installation 

• Weatherproofing – new roofs are better at resisting strong storms, including  hail and strong winds 

• Leak Protection – with a new commercial roof and an ongoing roof  maintenance plan, your business will have the best leak protection

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