Roofs can last for at least 10-20 years with proper care and maintenance. Still, some materials used in commercial roofing, such as EPDM, have a longer lifespan of about 50 years.

Since getting a new roof is a significant investment, conducting regular inspections to identify roof damage is essential. Failure to do this can lead to extensive damage that may cost thousands of dollars to repair.

Are you wondering how to protect your commercial roof and realize total value for your investments? Read on to discover eight causes of roof damage and their solutions? We’ll also provide some tips on maintaining the fixture, enhancing its lifespan, and reducing upkeep costs.

1. High Winds

Strong wind stresses the flashings and membranes of a commercial roof and causes bending or creasing. It can also loosen and dislodge roof components like HVAC systems and vent pipes. If these objects roll on the roof, they may lead to severe denting and rip rubber roofing.

Winds accompanied by a hailstorm can dent metal roofing surfaces or cause cracks that leak water. Besides, large hailstones may damage the membrane installed under thermoplastic roofing systems compromising the entire structure.

After identifying roof damage caused by high winds on your company’s roof, it’s vital to contact a roofing professional. These experts will inspect the surface to identify the affected areas. They may then install a cover board, replace the damaged membrane, and patch existing holes.

2. Ice Dams

When melted snow hits a colder part of a sloped roof, it may freeze to ice. If you don’t get rid of accumulated snow, it will form a dam and block gutters, preventing water flow.

This buildup will then put additional weight on the surface, causing structural damage. Ice dams can also trigger the freeze-thaw cycle, which will eventually cause leakage.

If your roof has damage from ice dams, the first repair measure should be removing excess snow. After that, repair the affected parts and unblock drainage systems to allow water flow.

3. Summer Weather

Summer weather conditions can cause significant roof damage in different ways. First, when exposed to sunlight for extended periods, roofs can heat up to 180 degrees.

Once the sun goes down, this temperature decreases rapidly and may trigger thermal shock. This condition will then cause the roofing material to warp and develop gaps in the long run.

Another type of summer roof damage common in commercial roofs is wearing out. Roofing materials that contain oil can dry out, become brittle, and crack due to excess heating. These cracks will then wear out the membrane and cover board, reducing the lifespan of the whole structure.

Other types of roof summer damage are:

  • Loosening of screws
  • Moisture retention in high humidity
  • Blistering

Once you identify signs of summer damage on a roof, conduct the needed repair for mitigation. One way to do this is by sealing up any perforations on the surface. These can include air ventilation, air conditioning, and ventilation systems.

After that, replace worn-out parts and apply a high-quality heat-resistant coating. This layer will reflect UV rays and prevent the roof from overheating during hot weather. Other than that, inspect the surface for cracks and parts that may hold water to prevent drainage issues.

4. Leakage

Another cause of roof damage is water from cracked and perforated surfaces. In most cases, the leakage may arise from roof penetrations by vents, drains, gas lines, and HVAC units. More commercial roof leak causes are:

  • Damaged flashing
  • Rotting
  • Mold and mildew
  • Worn out membrane

While some roof leakages may be minor, you should repair them to prevent significant water damage like mold growth. The best way to fix a leaky roof is by patching holes with waterproof material. Further, replace the top coating and worn-out membranes or get a new roof if the existing one is too old.

5. Improper Installation

One mistake people make when getting roof installation services is hiring an unqualified person. This then leads to a sub-standard fitting that wastes materials and increases the risk of damage.

The most common mistakes made during roofing are inconsistent heat sealing, using insufficient adhesive, and incorrect joint and flashing installation.

Getting roof repair service from a specialized commercial roofer is the best way to correct improper installation. These experts will check the entire surface to identify impending issues and mitigate them before they damage the entire surface and necessitate a roof replacement.

6. Aging

While most commercial roofing materials are durable, they gradually wear out due to damage from weather. Once the surface exceeds its lifespan, it may start leaking, wrapping, or encourage mold growth.

While regular repair and maintenance can extend the roof’s lifespan, it is essential to replace it to avoid more expenses in the long run. During the replacement, ensure you use durable roofing materials suitable for your environment and building structure.

7. Poor Maintenance

While experts recommend professional roof inspection and maintenance at least once a year, most property owners ignore it. Unfortunately, the lack of frequent roof cleaning and recoating exposes the surface to damaging elements.

Other than that, inadequate maintenance makes it challenging to identify and fix minor damages. It is crucial to follow your inspection schedule to protect your roof. Moreover, use high-quality equipment and material during repairs and replacements to enhance the roof’s lifespan.

8. Poor Roof Design

The design of a commercial roof can lower or increase the risk of damage. If the structure doesn’t drain water due to poor sloping or lack of moisture management systems, it can develop mold. Moreover, ponding water can rust metal surfaces and corrode parts like truss plates and roof flashing.

Using the wrong roof design also affects ventilation, causing water vapor from the inner surface to condense under the membrane. If uncorrected, the steam may damage insulation, cause mold, and rot wooden roof parts.

If you notice roof damage due to a poor design, it’s crucial to remodel it to avoid further losses. Some of the styles to consider are EPDM rubber, modified bitumen, TPO single-ply, flat r-panel, and standing seam metal.

You can also install a vapor retarder to reduce the moisture level reaching the roofing material from inside.

Mitigate the Causes of Roof Damage

Identifying the causes of roof damage and repairing them can safeguard your investment. At Yutzy Roofing Service, we offer professional commercial roof repair across Wisconsin.

Our experts can inspect your building to identify the primary cause of damage and fix it within your roof repair budget. Reach out to us today to get a comprehensive roofing quote.