Commercial flat roofing systems are notoriously leak-prone. Fortunately, several design and maintenance fixes can reduce the risk of leaks.
Elevated Roofing LLC, one of the state’s most experienced commercial roofing companies, elaborate on the solutions to the most common flat roofing problems.
Routine Roof Inspections and Standing Water
Flat roofs aren’t entirely flat—they’re slightly elevated to allow rainwater to flow to the drains. However, if the drains are clogged, water might start to pond on the roof’s surface.
Standing water shouldn’t be left unattended for more than two days. Otherwise, it might seep into your roof’s underlayers. That’s why it’s important to follow a maintenance routine for your roof. As part of a standard roof inspection, commercial roofing contractors will check your flat roof’s drainage system to see if they have enough capacity to handle the average rainfall in your area and remove any clogs in the drains.
Alternatively, you can install a standing seam metal roof. As the name suggests, the seams on a standing seam metal roof are raised above the roof surface, ensuring water can’t easily infiltrate the building through the seams.
Here’s a tip: If you need help choosing a roofing replacement, it’s best to hire experienced local contractors. Commercial roofing contractors near me are more familiar with your area’s climate and the local building codes and can, therefore, make better recommendations.
Roof Coatings and UV Damage
Thanks to their low slope, commercial roofing systems are more exposed to UV rays than a sloped roofing system. UV rays slowly break the roofing membrane, prematurely aging your roof and causing cracks to form over its surface. UV damage can be exacerbated if there’s standing water on your roof, as water amplifies UV rays. One way of improving your flat roof’s resistance against UV rays is to install a white roofing membrane. Whereas dark-colored roofs absorb heat and increase indoor temperatures, light-colored roofing systems reflect heat and UV rays to minimize UV damage and reduce the strain on the building’s HVAC system.
There’s also the option of having a roofer apply coatings. Coatings reflect UV rays and heat from the sun, extending your roof’s lifespan and lowering indoor temperatures. In addition to shielding your roof from UV rays, roof coatings can provide additional protection from moisture damage. To learn more about your roof coating options, consult a contractor from one of your local commercial roofing companies.
Roof Cleaning and Vegetation
Accumulated dirt on a roof’s surface isn’t just a cosmetic issue. Left unattended, the dirt can become fertile soil for plants. Vegetation growing on the roof’s surface is a cause for concern because their roots can penetrate and weaken the roof membrane. That’s why flat roofing systems should be cleaned at least once a week.
Should you clean your flat roof’s surface yourself or do you need to hire a roofing professional? In general, it’s best to let commercial roofing contractors handle all roofing-related work, and roof cleaning is no exception. Some building owners might attempt to do minor roofing tasks themselves, but this almost always costs them more in the long run. Not to mention DIY roof cleaning has significant safety risks. For instance, certain kinds of roofing membranes are slippery when wet.
Routine Maintenance and Loose Flashing
Seams or joints—and by extension flashing or the thin strips of metal covering them—are the weak point of a conventional roofing system. The main issue with metal flashing is that it expands and contracts as temperatures rise and fall. Over time, flashing becomes loose, allowing water to infiltrate your commercial roofing system. The only way to prevent this from happening is to have a contractor routinely inspect your roof so they can replace it before it can serve as an entry point for rainwater.