Signs Your Commercial Roof Needs Repair

Signs Your Commercial Roof Needs Repair

When your Pittsburgh commercial building roof begins to fail, it can be either plainly obvious or so subtle that you may not initially notice it. A lack of awareness can lead to further damage to your roofing system like leaks; these leaks can spread into the rest of your building and cause further damage.

It would be more beneficial to identify these issues quickly so that you can have proper roof repairs implemented. But not being able to see those signs doesn’t change the fact that damage can be done.

So, what are some signs to look for when your Pittsburgh commercial business roof is beginning to fail and needs repairs? After all, in Pittsburgh, the weather can be quite temperamental and lead to damages of all sorts like leaks and wind damage.

Roof Bubbles

If you happen to notice bubbles or blisters on your roof during a routine inspection, it could be a sign that the roof was improperly applied. Generally speaking, these bubbles or blisters can start out subtle and become more noticeable over time.

Bubbles are usually the result of moisture that gets trapped under the roofing materials. The water eventually evaporates and the result is the formation of those bubbles or blisters across your roof.

What’s really bad about having blisters or bubbles is that they can easily allow water to eventually seep through the roof. This can cause heavy damage to the building itself, leading to more costly repairs down the line. Keep an eye out on those bubbles; quick action can mean resolving the problem without having to implement substantial repairs or, worse, a complete replacement.

Sagging Areas

Flat roofs are meant to be level and even because the roof is built to handle a certain amount of weight, both per square foot and all across the entirety of the roof. If you do notice that areas of your roof are sagging, you should call in a professional service immediately.

In Pittsburgh, the sagging of your roof can be due to a number of different factors. Accumulated moisture is probably the biggest cause, especially when snow is involved (and in Pittsburgh, it can be involved). You can help prevent sagging by clearing your roof whenever there is a buildup of moisture or snow.

There can also be an additional weight that is put on if new roofing materials are laid down over the top of the old ones. While that might seem like an easier method of installation, you should always keep in mind that the roof is constructed to handle a certain amount of weight and that roofing system will only be adding more weight to the mix.

Moisture Infiltration

This is perhaps one of the most foolproof ways to confirm that your roof is having issues. You will see signs that the interior of your building has been dealing with something like a leak because there will be water soaking into areas of the building, primarily the roof.

Some of the most common signs are things like water stains on the ceiling or perhaps water dripping down the walls in a hall or corridor. These are the most obvious of issues and may not always be there.

Sometimes it can be far more subtle things. If you notice that there is a musty, damp smell coming from the roof, that can be indicating sign that things are wrong with your roof. When you do notice these signs, it is important that you not ignore them.

Acting quickly when you notice a leak in your roof can help you get the repairs that you need to be done to extend the life of your roof and protect the rest of the building as well. Ignoring leaks can have a potentially catastrophic result, so do not ignore leaks should you notice them.

Seaming Gaps

The vast majority of roofing systems will require seams that connect the waterproof materials together over the roof’s decking. There will be times that water will be able to make its way through the seaming and manage to soak into the roof.

This means that you may have to assess the seaming of your roof to make sure that there are no gaps that could be compromised. If you do notice any gaps or aren’t sure if those gaps exist, it might be in the best interest of your roof to call in a professional.

These gaps are what give the roof its waterproof integrity and if they are compromised at any point, so too are the waterproof qualities of your roof. When this happens, your roof is much more susceptible to water damage. This means potentially costly repairs down the line that could have been avoided otherwise.

Clogged Drains

This is one sign of roof damage this is often overlooked. If you happen to notice that the volume of water coming from the exterior downspouts is not what you might expect based on the amount of water landing on your roof, this could be a sign.

Check out the roof and look for any signs that your drain is clogged or that water has been collecting on the roof. If you leave ponds of water on the roof, it will eventually lead to the deterioration of the insulation layer.

When that pooling happens, it means that the water will eventually soak into the roof itself and cause substantial damage, potentially to other areas of your commercial building. It cannot be understated: do not let water damage to accumulate on your roof because it can do substantial damage to the rest of your building.

General maintenance and bi-annual inspections can help keep those drains working optimally, keeping your roof free and clear of water buildup that can lead to serious damage.

Failed Flashings

Flashings are one of the most important components of your roof. This is because they are used to create a sealing between the areas that join your roof with other structures like a chimney or vent. Those flashings can also be used where two different roofing materials meet and the angle does not allow for the overlapping of those materials to be used as a seal.

If the flashings on your commercial roof have been poorly attached, are deteriorating, or missing entirely, it could be a clear indication that there is something wrong with your roof. Depending on the issue, it could potentially wait for a little while, but it is recommended that you don’t let it sit for too long.

Should your flashings be damaged or missing, it can lead to water infiltration. Don’t hesitate to call a professional roofing service if you do notice these things as infiltration of water can lead to substantial damage to both the roofing system and the rest of the building.

Aging Roof

While there is definitely a litany of other signs to be aware of when it comes to the health of your commercial roof, sometimes it just comes down to the simple fact that your roof is on its final legs and has seen more than its fair share of wear and tear.

It can be difficult to know precisely when your roof is too old, but if it is 25 years old or more, it’s probably a good idea to think about replacing the roofing system entirely. Even under optimal conditions, a roof will have sustained substantial wear and tear throughout the years, meaning it only has so much life left in it.

It is a good idea when purchasing a commercial building that you have the roof inspected. Even if the previous owner says that the roof is in optimal condition, an inspection will verify that assessment and ensure that your roof is working optimally.

Final Assessment

Being able to see damage to your roof is a difficult thing to do from the ground. It is never advised that you get up on your own roof as too many things can go wrong for those without the proper level of experience.

The best course of action is to call in a professional inspector to take a look at your roof at least twice a year. This will keep you on top of leaks, cracks, breaks, damaged seams, and all the other things that lead to roof damage.

Preventative maintenance is a good rule of thumb in just about any scenario but it is especially recommended when it comes to a pricey investment like a roof. If you don’t pay attention to it, the damage could occur and be allowed to persist for far too long.

Instead, invest in a couple of inspections per year so that you can stay up to date on repairs when they need to take place. This might cost a little in the short term, but it will likely save you a ton in the long run because it will keep those costly repairs at bay.

When it comes to your commercial roofing system, especially in an inclement climate like Pittsburgh, a little care can go a long way.

Call Great Lakes Commercial Roofing at 412-256-8050 for a free estimate