Commercial Roofing 101: 4 Issues Affecting Flat Roofs

Posted on: 11 May 2017

Commercial roofs are susceptible to many issues. This is because unlike residential roofs, most commercial roofs are flat roofs. In order to prevent the need for costly repairs, business owners should be on the lookout for some specific problems that flat roofs are more likely to experience.

So what issues should you be wary of? Here are four common problems:

1. Standing Water

One of the mot common issues a commercial roof will experience is standing water. This is because it is much harder for water to flow off of a flat roof. Instead of letting gravity do much of the work, flat commercial roofs need to have drains installed to allow for proper drainage. However, the drains must be kept clear and debris-free. Otherwise, the roof may begin to experience standing or pooling water. If left untreated, standing water will begin to erode the roof. It will also begin to seep into the building, which can cause some serious structural issues.

While water may pool on the roof temporarily after a large amount of rainfall, it should not persist. So if you notice that you constantly have puddles of water on your roof, contact a professional roofer immediately.

2. Shrinking

Another common problem that affects flat commercial roofs is shrinking. This most commonly affects buildings with a rubber roof. As the temperature fluctuates, the rubber expands and contracts. Over time, this can cause the roof to shrink. While it might not sound like a serious problem, it is. As the roof begins to shrink, the under-layers of roof become exposed. This makes it far more likely for the roof to experience other types of issues, such as leaking. Luckily, this issue is easily fixed by applying rubber patches.

3. Blistering or Bubbling

A flat commercial roof may also experience blistering or bubbling. This is because flat roofs experience more moisture and sun exposure than traditional pitched roofs. The sun alone can cause blistering or bubbling. However, it's more likely to occur due to moisture issues. As water becomes trapped between the layers of your roof, the roof may begin to bubble or blister. Unfortunately, this is an expensive issue as you'll likely need to have your roof replaced.

4. Worn Flashing

Finally, a commercial roof may also experience issues with the flashing. The flashing is used to help prevent water damage to the roof. When it becomes worn or damaged, it cannot do its job properly. As you might expect, the roof is far more likely to experience water and moisture issues when the flashing isn't functioning. So be on the lookout for worn or damaged flashing.

As you can see, there are many issues that affect flat commercial roofs. Luckily, most of these can be avoided by having your roof inspected and repaired as needed. Whether an inspection is overdue or you believe you have an issue, a professional commercial roofer can help. 

For more information, you will want to contact a company such as Specialty Commercial Contractors LLC.