Most companies do not think much about their commercial property’s roof until there is a problem with its structural integrity. Yet, it is far easier to repair and patch a commercial roof than it is to replace one. Even if you do this consistently and maintain the roofing structure, over time, most commercial buildings will need that roof replaced. Moreover, doing so should not be something you put off since it can put the entire structural integrity of the property at risk. Knowing when it is time for a new commercial roof can help you to make the best decision for your property.
Yutzy Roofing Service is a trusted commercial roofer serving Wisconsin. We can offer an inspection to help you make the best decisions about when it is time to replace your roof.
Key Signs You Need Roof Repair or Replacement
Most often, a small leak in a commercial roof is not indicative of the need to replace the entire structure. Most of the time, repairs are possible. Yet, there are some indications when a new commercial roof is ideal and even necessary.
The Age of the Roof
One of the first things to consider about the existing roof is its age. Though most types of commercial roofs can last 10 to 20 years and sometimes considerably longer, that does not mean they maintain their overall structural integrity and benefits over time. Most of the time, you will want to start considering roof replacement when the roof is getting to the end of that 20-year maximum timeline.
Use that as a benchmark. As noted, in some areas, especially when the roof is somewhat protected from the elements, they can last longer. Yet, in Wisconsin’s weather, that is less likely to be the case. If your roof is approaching a few decades of age, it is time to consider replacement rather than repairs. Over time, those repairs will simply continue to mount and worsen.
There is Pooled Water on the Roof
Most commercial roofs are flat, and that allows for water to be easily pooled in various locations. However, this water should still drain away, and if it does not do so, that is an indication that the roof is showing some structural concerns.
Pooling water is often an indication that the insulation in the roof has collapsed or is compressed so much that there is no longer a flat or even space for water to run off. There could be other issues with the roof as well, including structural damage and concerns related to the roof’s base layers rotting away.
To know if this is a problem, look at the roof when it rains. Most often, you will see low places easily because this is where water will pool. The longer the water sits there, the more risk there is of it penetrating into the roof material and causing interior leaks, putting the entire structure at risk. If you see any pooling, try to open up any drains nearby that could be directly related to it. If that does not work, it may be time to consider a new commercial roof to repair the underlying concerns present.
Storm Damage to the Roof
There are other instances in which the damage to the roof is pronounced, such as from storms that raced through the area. Storm damage can be visible with big openings or damaged material, but sometimes, it is harder to see until pooling begins to happen.
In Wisconsin, all types of weather are risky, from hail and sleet to the heavy weight of snow and ice buildup. In particularly challenging times, you will want to ensure that the roof is being structurally supported well, as a simple ice storm can put so much weight on an unstable flat roof that it can cause it to buckle and cave in.
Though routine maintenance and upkeep can help you to manage most concerns with your roof from storm damage, there are times when the damage is easier or more cost-effective to replace rather than repair. That is when you will want to consider a new commercial roof instead of making the decision to repair it again.
Significant Changes to the Pitch
Another indication that the commercial roof may need more than minor repairs is when there is a change in the pitch of the roof. Many low-slope roofs will suffer this type of damage over time, especially as the roof ages. If you notice that the structure does not seem to have the same shape it always has, that could be an indication that it is time to replace it with a new roof.
Blistering and Bubbling of the Surface
Another concern with many commercial roofs is called bubbling or blistering. While newer roofs are less likely to do this, many older roofs can be easy to spot because of this type of damage. This type of roof blistering occurs when the membrane of the roof becomes damaged due to heat or the formation of a bubble. If your commercial roof has a membrane on it, such as built-up roofing, EPDM, or TPO, then this could occur.
In this situation, a bubble develops under the layers of the built-up roofing material.
Most of the time, this is caused by moisture seeping in, but it can also occur if there is air that gets between the layers. Over time, this can lead to changes in the structural integrity because temperature swings will cause the blistering to take place, especially in the Wisconsin area.
Even if there are small blisters, this can create a water risk and rotting risk to the structure of the roof over time. You may have a hard time noticing this initially, but without repairs, it can worsen over time until you cannot repair it and instead need a new commercial roof.
Other Damage to the Roof Can Also Require Repairs or Replacement
There are some situations where the damage to the roof could warrant the replacement of the structure in some cases but not in others. Your roofing contractor will need to determine the extensiveness of the problem as well as the cost and benefit of repairing it instead of replacing it.
- Roof membrane holes: These are often hidden and hard to find, but they tend to be near your HVAC and generator systems.
- Damaged flashing: Most often, this can be fixed until it becomes significantly damaged and leads to damage to the roofing structure itself.
- Pitch pans damage: These are metal sleeves that are positioned around any type of protrusion on the roof, and they, over time, can wear down as well.
If you notice any type of damage to the roof, you should contact a roofing contractor for an inspection as a first step. You can then count on them to provide you with insight into whether you should repair the problem or, in other cases, if it is time to replace the roof.
Get a Free Estimate to Learn More About a New Commercial Roof
When you have a trusted roofing contractor to call on to provide you with insight into the condition of your roof, you will feel better about the decisions you make. Whether you need repairs or a new commercial roof, contact Yutzy Roofing Service in Wisconsin for help with your roof. Our team of first-class roofing experts can help revamp your commercial property’s roof as you need it.
You can also request a free estimate at 715-897-5017.