Commercial roofs typically last around 10-20 years, depending on the material. And if your commercial building has an aging flat roof, leaks are a primary concern.
Older buildings often require repairs and renovations, but don\’t forget about the roof. Although you can\’t always see it, your roof protects your business from the elements, including water damage. You might need a roof remodel more than you realize.
Here\’s why it\’s a good idea to consider fixing that old roof.
It\’s at the End of Its Lifespan
The lifespan of your roof will vary depending on factors such as material and climate. For instance, a roof exposed to harsh winter weather undergoes a lot of stress. Here in Wisconsin, that\’s an expected part of winter.
In general, this is how long a roof lasts based on material:
- Asphalt shingle: 15-20 years
- Wood shingle: up to 30 years
- Metal: 25-40 years
- Cement shingle: up to 50 years
- Clay tile: up to 100 years
- Slate shingle: up to 125 years or longer
- TPO (thermoplastic olefin): 20-30 years
- Modified Bitumen: 10-20 years
- PVC: 15-30 years
- EPDM: 20-30 years
One way to determine if it\’s time for a new roof is to consider the age of your roof. Of course, these estimates vary depending on proper care, installation, etc.
Bad Weather and Installation
The average snowfall here in Wisconsin ranges from 40 inches to up to 200 inches along Lake Superior. Wherever your business is located, you have to deal with the snow, sleet, and ice that come each winter.
One factor that affects the lifespan and condition of your roof is the material choice. As you can see from our list above, most commercial roofs last between 20-30 years.
That\’s a good benchmark to consider once you know the material type, but you must consider how weather affects that estimate. Certain materials are better suited to harsh weather conditions.
Regular inspections and maintenance can help you to extend that lifespan to its full potential. That\’s why it\’s critical to keep up with building inspections. Make sure you include the roof in those inspections.
Proper installation is also key to ensuring your roof lasts as long as possible. Always select a professional roofer that you can trust.
Loose Fixtures or Damaged Flashing
Another reason to conduct regular inspections is to look for any loose fixtures on the roof. Loose fitting, for instance, needs addressing immediately.
Strong winds, hail, sleet, ice, and snow can all affect the elements of your roof, including fixtures and flashing. Blowing debris can also cause damage or knock parts loose.
A critical part of the roof is the flashing, which prevents water from leaking into skylights, dormers, and chimneys. Pitch pans play a similar role, keeping water away and preventing leaks. So if these parts become damaged, they can\’t protect your business against water intrusion, which can result in costly repairs.
Bubbling or Blisters
Bubbling or blisters can occur on membrane roofs such as TPO, EPDM, and PVC. Bubbles can form when there is moisture between the layers, which can happen during high winds or storms. Trapped water causes a blister that causes further damage if left untreated.
Thankfully, a roof repair specialist can inspect the damage and repair it or perform a roof remodel if necessary. Severe damage or bald spots may require more work.
A similar problem that impacts commercial roofs is holes or tears in the membrane. These holes might be difficult to see with the untrained eye. A damaged membrane isn\’t protecting your business, and it can result in water damage.
Not Scheduling Inspections After Strong Winds
The weather in Wisconsin can vary greatly depending on the season, from hot summers to freezing winters. Strong wind gusts or straight-line winds aren\’t uncommon either, especially if your business is near the lake. Wind speeds can reach 100-150 miles per hour, which is almost as devastating as a strong tornado.
Derechos are a category of straight-line winds common in the midwest. In fact, southern Minnesota and Wisconsin also have the greatest number of derechos in the country.
Membrane roofs may not be prone to blow-offs like shingle roofing, but wind can damage other parts of your roof. Seams that aren\’t properly sealed may fly off. If your business is in an area that experiences strong winds, it\’s vital to regularly check the roof afterward to look for damage.
Being in an area prone to severe weather events may mean you\’ll need to replace or repair your roof more often.
Understand Your Insurance Policy
All types of roofs can cause leaking if they sustain enough damage. Leaks are a costly problem that may damage your assets.
Commercial property owners need to understand their insurance policies. Remember, insurance companies will always try to limit the number of claims they will pay out to maintain their profit margin. Therefore, any damage you sustain from an old roof, such as leaks, may or may not be covered depending on why it happened.
Waiting too long to discover the damage can result in claim denial. It\’s also important to remember that your policy typically only covers certain events, such as hail tearing up the roof. A lack of maintenance or negligence on the property owner\’s part isn\’t covered.
Another critical point to consider is that many policies won\’t cover a roof if it\’s older than a certain age.
Is It Time for a Roof Remodel?
You may need a roof remodel more than you realize if any of the above signs apply to you. Putting off repairs or replacements will only make the problem worse and might result in bigger issues, such as leaks and water damage.
Here at Yutzy Roofing Service LLC, we\’re a family-owned operation, and we\’ve been helping Wisconsin businesses with their roofing needs since 1995.
Send us a message or give us a call to discuss your roofing options today.