With Chicago’s constant changes in weather, sudden storms, and exposure to the elements, the roof of your commercial or multifamily building can really take a beating. Leaks can be costly to repair, create a loss of rental income, and put your property at risk of all sorts of problems. So, it’s essential to have professionals inspect your commercial roof regularly and address any issues swiftly.
To help you recognize signals that your roof may need repair or even replacement, we’ve put together this handy guide including the most common reasons for damage, signs to keep an eye out for, and the value of working with a professional commercial property contractor to streamline the repair process.
5 Signs of Commercial Roof Damage
If you see any of these warning signs, call on a professional commercial roofing contractor to inspect your roof:
1. Damaged or Loose Flashing
Flashing is a protective metal piece that covers seams so that moisture can’t sneak in. When it’s broken or missing, your roof is exposed at its weak points. Look at the places where roofing panels or shingles meet, as well as places like roof ridges and around chimneys and vents.
If you see exposed seams or flashing that’s rusted, twisted, or out of position, it’s time for repairs. This problem compounds if not addressed quickly.
2. Marred Appearance
A telltale signal that your roof isn’t at its strongest is seeing visible deformities, such as cracks, blisters, or bubbles on roofing panels. You may see bald spots or missing roof parts. If you have shingles, the protective granules may be worn away.
These are all signs that moisture can penetrate the roof, and the problem will only grow worse if ignored.
3. Ponding Water
It’s not unusual for standing water to appear on a flat commercial roof right after a heavy rainstorm. But that water should drain or evaporate within 2-3 days. If it’s lingering, it may mean your roof isn’t draining properly or that portions of the roof have begun to sink.
This issue will definitely harm your roof over time, so it should be dealt with promptly.
4. Water Stains and Streaks
More evidence of a leaky roof can be found by walking around the interior of your commercial property. Examine ceilings and walls for streaks and stains, which are typically the result of a leak.
Interior stains not only mean a roof leak is likely, but they also put personal property, tenant spaces, insulation, and electrical systems at risk.
5. Mold and Mildew
Visible brown or black spots on walls and ceilings can mean mold and mildew are growing due to excess moisture. You may also notice dampness and musty odors. People inside the building may experience increased asthma and other breathing problems.
There are many causes for mold and mildew growth, including damaged pipes and poor ventilation. But a roof leak is also a possibility that should be checked and eliminated.
5 Causes of Commercial Roof Leaks
As you take the steps necessary to safeguard your commercial or multifamily property, understand that there are several common reasons your roof may sustain problems. Professional roof inspections should be performed in spring and fall, and after storms, to check these areas.
1. Lack of Proper Drainage
Many commercial roofs are flat, which can make it hard for rain and snow to drain off. The solution, of course, is a thorough drainage system with working drainpipes and downspouts. Even a pitched roof benefits from proper gutters. Look for ponding water, broken or misaligned drainage, and soft spots on the roof, all of which can be due to poor drainage.
2. Worn Roof Membrane
A roof membrane is a waterproof seal between your roofing and the elements. As it wears down, it allows water in. Look for blisters and cracks in roofing, a worn-down look, lack of lamination, and punctures that indicate you might be exposed to moisture intrusion.
3. Lack of Ventilation
Your commercial roof must allow air to escape, or you’ll end up with inevitable problems from trapped moisture. Check vents and pipes to be sure they’re firmly in place and protected so that water can’t sneak in through them.
4. Holes in Roofing
Hail, wind-blown debris, and damage caused by walking on the roof can all lead to cracked or broken roofing. And moisture can get in through those breaks, so keep an eye out for them and address them quickly.
5. Normal Wear and Tear
Even the best roofing wears down eventually. Debris, UV exposure, harsh weather, and time all take their toll. Regular professional inspections are a smart way to assess how well your roof is doing as it ages. When it reaches the end of its life, schedule a roof replacement.
A Top Commercial Contractor Keeps Your Property in Great Shape
Performing proper maintenance and making repairs quickly are two effective ways to help minimize roof issues in the long-term. A professional commercial property contractor can help with both.
The value of working with a team of experts is priceless. Commercial contractors know building codes inside and out. They can guide you in choosing the longest-lasting, most effective products to fit your budget. They’ll spot and repair damage quickly so you can protect your investment.
At Siding & Windows Group, we provide top-tier commercial inspections, repairs, and upgrades so you’ll get the most out of your property for years to come. Check out our services for commercial and multifamily properties, and call on us for upkeep and improvements you can rely on.