Replacing a commercial roof is one of the most important investments you can make in your business. If you do it prematurely, you’ll be laying out cash that can be put to better use. Unfortunately, many people wait too long to move on replacement, resulting in damages and even safety risks that could have been avoided. Not sure if it’s the right time for your business? Keep your eyes out for the following signs:
If the roof has reached the age of 20, it’s time to think about replacement. Years of wind, rain, snow, and yes, even the harmful UV rays of the sun, will eventually break down any flat roof system. When the roof becomes “thin,” you will start to see the underlying reinforcement, fiberglass fibers, or scrim. You may only notice that your roof needs to be replaced after a good rain, but by that time, the aging process will have already been well underway.
Poor workmanship, not surprisingly, can result in premature roof failure. Improper installation, especially at the perimeter, is a sure sign of trouble on the horizon.
Deteriorated curb and stack flashing can lead to water infiltration. Parapet flashings that are not properly secured or aged will start to pull away, or “trampoline,” from the walls with time. This is the number one cause of roof failures.
A sure sign of upcoming failure, especially for a built-up roof system, is blistering. Roof blistering occurs when moisture has infiltrated the top layer of waterproofing and has become trapped between the roof plies. As the weather warms up, the moisture turns to vapor and expands, causing an upheaval of the top layer of roofing. (Do not step on these blisters when traversing the roof unless you are prepared to bring out the bucket brigade!)
Leaks not only damage the property you’re protecting indoors, but the precious insulation on top of your roof deck. Once insulation becomes saturated, its corresponding r-value (the capacity to resist heat flow) drops to near zero. If your heating bills start to noticeably increase, it may be time to schedule an inspection.
Ponding water also spells bad news for a flat roof. It can occur from improper drainage, deteriorated insulation, or deck deflection.
Seam failure, an obvious and common sign of roof failure, ranks second (behind wall flashings) as the cause for roof replacement. If your roof seams have already been reworked once, it may be time to replace the roof if they fail again.
Repairs done with incompatible materials can cause complete roof failure. For example, repairing a EPDM rubber roof with an asphalt product will strip the rubber of its oils, causing it to lose its flexibility and become brittle.
If your commercial roof meets one or more of these criteria, it is time to schedule a professional inspection. Technique Roofing will offer a thorough assessment, prompt quote, and the permits and plans to get your replacement in the works as soon as possible.