5 Signs of damage for commercial flat roofs

The benefits of a flat roof for commercial properties

Flat roofs are most commonly seen in the business world for commercial properties. Aside from the obvious protection to the building, its occupants, and what is stored inside, commercial flat roofs in Tampa, FL also allow businesses to put key installations out of the way, yet keep them easily accessible, such as HVAC equipment. However, like any other part of the building, commercial flat roofs are prone to damage and degradation over time. 

5 Signs of damage on commercial flat roofs

When properly maintained, flat roofs can last a very long time without needing to be replaced. With just routine maintenance, and barring any natural disasters, most businesses can expect their flat roof to last around 20 years or more. However, many times routine roof maintenance is one of the last things on a business owner’s mind, leading to problems that can shorten the longevity of your roof.

  1. Cracks and splits: One of the most common signs of damage on a commercial flat roof are cracks and splits. This damage can occur due to a variety of reasons such as exposure to extreme weather conditions, age, and foot traffic. If left unchecked, these cracks and splits can lead to water leaks, which can cause significant damage to the building’s interior.
  2. Pooling water: Pooling water is another common problem that occurs on commercial flat roofs. This happens when water accumulates on the roof and does not drain away properly. Pooling water can cause the roof to sag, leading to further damage and in worst cases, potential collapse.
  3. Blisters and bubbles: Blisters and bubbles are another sign of damage on flat roofs. They occur when moisture gets trapped between the layers of the roofing material, causing it to bubble up. This can weaken the roof and lead to water leaks.
  4. Cracking seams: Cracking seams are a sign of wear and tear on commercial flat roofs. These seams occur where two roofing materials meet, and they can separate over time, causing water to leak through.
  5. Vegetation growth: Vegetation growth on a flat roof may seem harmless, but it can cause significant damage. Plants and moss can put pressure on the roof and cause it to crack or split. Additionally, vegetation growth can trap moisture on the roof, leading to further damage.
commercial flat roof

When is it better to get a new roof versus repairing the damage?

While repairing a damaged roof is often the first choice for building and business owners, sometimes it is better to get a new roof. When considering which is a better option for you, it is often important to look at the following considerations:

  1. Age of the roof: The age of the roof is one of the primary factors in determining whether to repair or replace it. If the roof is over 20 years old, it may be more cost-effective to replace it rather than repair it repeatedly.
  2. Extensive damage: If the damage to the roof is extensive, it may be more practical to replace it than to repair it. Extensive damage, even when repaired, often will not be as good as a brand new roof. So you may experience more repair work needed down the line.
  3. Energy efficiency: A new roof can significantly improve a building’s energy efficiency. If the roof is not properly insulated or is allowing heat to escape, it may be more cost-effective to replace it with a new, energy-efficient roof. For many commercial flat roofs, there is the option to also have solar panels installed.
  4. Insurance: It is no secret that insurance companies are getting more and more strict on roof requirements. You may find it significantly harder to get insurance on your business if your roof is too old or badly damaged. 
  5. Cost: In some cases, the cost of repairing a damaged roof may be more than the cost of replacing it. A new roof can provide long-term cost savings in terms of energy efficiency and maintenance costs.

Choose the roofing pros at Stay Dry Roofing if you need help

Deciding on repairing or replacing a commercial flat roof in Tampa, FL can be a big deal and a hard decision to make. And for many business owners, it is an area of expertise that is out of their wheelhouse. At Stay Dry Roofing, we have over 30 years of experience with repairing and replacing flat roofs, and can help guide you toward the best solution for your needs. Our roofing contractors are honest and dependable, and will always guide you toward a solution that works best for you and your needs.

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