Roofs are designed to be resilient and durable – commercial roofs even more so! Almost every type of commercial roofing is built to perform and serve for a long time, though these roofing systems are not foolproof nor are they impervious to damage and deterioration. During their service lifespan, these roofs can develop problems caused by poor installation, negligence in maintenance, bad design and inevitable wear and tear. As a property owner, it is in your best interest to know how your commercial roof should be maintained. What are the different ways and strategies for different levels of commercial roof repair?
Performing repairs on your commercial roof can’t be done haphazardly as there are times when preventive repairs need to be done on working and acceptable parts of your roof, and there are times when major repairs need to be undertaken.
If the deterioration that leads to the need for a repair project is due to long-term exposure to the weather or the advanced age of the roof, it becomes difficult to justify repairing an existing roof membrane or replacing portions or parts of a roofing system. The installation of a maintenance coating will rarely cure the problem if the damage is substantial. While replacing deteriorating base flashings or pitch pockets may eliminate a specific source of water penetration, replacing isolated components on a large scale is rarely financially viable. In addition, a consistent level of quality between the new repair elements with the old degraded roof membrane is difficult to achieve and might pose many challenges to roof teams.
The probability of commercial roof repair scales with the extent of the present insulation. Commercial roofs with excellent levels of insulation and thermal efficiency are always easier to repair than most. As for the roof membrane, if it is in good condition, then minor repairs for small cracks and other negligible damage should be done instead. While it is good to repair everything eventually, prioritize minor damage first before trying to reinforce the good and working parts of your roof.
It isn’t always required to replace a damaged roof as there may be portions of it that can still function acceptably. If your commercial roof has good insulation, re-covering your roof can address the problem. Roof re-covering is best done when the membrane is damaged but the roof itself is fine and is in an acceptable condition. Roofers can easily install a new membrane on top of your commercial roof if it has only one membrane layer, making it a simple process that no longer needs repairs or replacement. Though keep in mind that re-covering your roof can only be done once, it does save you from the trouble and hassles involved with tear-offs and other laborious processes.
When feasible, installing a new roofing system via re-covering over an existing roof is an alternative to roof replacement. The economic savings associated with not having to remove and dispose of the current roof membrane are the main benefit of this strategy. Another benefit is that fewer items are transferred to landfills, which is beneficial because labor, disposal and trucking costs are high and rising faster than material costs.
Because most roof recoveries include the installation of a narrow layer of insulation or other material to separate the new roof membrane from the current roof membrane, there is also a chance to improve the roof system’s thermal performance. The original membrane stays in place, shielding the interior from water damage while the new roof is being constructed, which is a final advantage of recovery versus replacement. With all this information, bear in mind that you don’t have to take on an immediate full roof service through your roofing contractor.
When the roof of your property is showing damage like cracks, broken shingles and recurring leakages that doesn’t get permanently solved by repairs or by a re-cover, then the best course of action would be to get a full roof replacement.
Aside from the aforementioned damage, just like when you do shingle replacement, there are also certain scenarios where replacement is ideal. If one or more of the following situations exist, full removal and replacement of an existing roofing system, often known as a tear-off, is warranted:
- The construction code requires tear-off.
- The old roofing system has degraded to the point where it can no longer be used as a substrate for a recovery system.
- There is a lot of moisture underneath the membrane.
- The old roof system attachment is incapable of providing the required wind uplift resistance and fire protection for the new roof assembly.
- The underlying structural deck has deteriorated significantly.
- The existing roof assembly comprises phenolic foam insulation, which when wet can produce sulfonic and formic acids, which can cause steel to corrode.
The risk of water damage to the interior finishes during the construction process is a major issue that will impact the roof replacement system’s selection and design. Installing a temporary roof over an occupied space is one way to make the installation of a new roof safer. This temporary roof can be left in place in frigid and moderate-temperature climates to act as a vapor retarder in the new roof system.
Applying a layer of coating over your commercial roof will help extend the service life of the roof. It also provides a cost-effective protection and reinforcement option against leaks while improving the aesthetic appeal of your property. There’s also the option of applying reflective coatings on your commercial roof to assist with energy-efficiency as these coatings reflect the heat from ultraviolet (UV) rays, which in turn lessens the strain on your HVAC system by keeping your interiors cooler.
AQ Roofing LLC is a roofing contractor that prides itself in providing residential and commercial clients with the highest quality products, services, and workmanship. A family-owned business that aims for excellence every time, we only use the highest quality products, materials, and techniques available, with workers and specialists backed with years of roofing experience and skills! Our warranty will remain in effect after your roof is done, providing you with long-term value. And if there’s a problem with the materials or labor, we will address the problem – free of charge!
For any inquiries, contact us at (501) 951-1683, or fill out our contact form to request an appointment. We proudly serve businesses and homeowners in the State of Arkansas.