Every season does its part to put wear and tear on a commercial roof. Falling temperatures stress them in the autumn. Snow and ice build up on them in winter, and springtime brings the rains that cause leaks. But summer is the worst season for roof damage, especially in hot climates.
The combination of heat, humidity and long days of intense sunshine break down roof membranes.
This happens because brutal summer heat causes expansion of the roof. Once the sun sets, cooler temperatures make roofing systems shrink. This repeated process of expanding and shrinking, though natural, results in wear and tear that weakens roofing systems. Also, this process eventually causes cracks because different parts of the roof expand and shrink at various rates.
In addition, violent thunderstorms can cause physical damage or result in leaks because of cracks that have not been addressed. For these reasons, it’s important to prepare commercial roofs for the summer heat through a roof inspection, damage repair and preventative maintenance.
Why a Roof Inspection is so Important
Roofing systems are key to maintaining a functioning building that increases in value. A roof inspection reveals any trouble spots, such as cracks, that need to be fixed before they get worse. Delaying routine inspections can be exceptionally costly.
Commercial roofing systems need regular maintenance and inspections just like a vehicle. If vehicle owners put off routine maintenance, dirty oil continues to flow through the engine and the vehicle must operate with certain parts that have become too old and damaged to do their jobs. As a result, additional stress is placed on the entire system, eventually resulting in a breakdown that is far more expensive to repair than the cost of preventative maintenance.
Maintaining a commercial roofing system prevents it from suffering damage from summer weather conditions. Parts of the roof that have been weakened can be repaired, preventing the spread of damage to other sections of the system. An inspection reveals any needed fixes. By having a roof inspection, building owners also prevent cracks from growing larger, so the cost of repair remains much lower.
During the inspection, a roofing professional detects signs of wear and tear, identifies areas vulnerable to accidents and determines the strength of the roof surface. The inspector pays close attention to chimneys, vents and skylights to ensure they have remained tightly sealed. The expansion and shrinking process during hot weather, winter snows and storms all contribute to the eventual weakening of the seals, so tightening any that have come loose is an important part of commercial roofing maintenance.
A roofing inspector also checks for signs of water damage, which should be remediated immediately to prevent mold and additional damage to the roofing system. Examining the drainage system is also an important part of a roofing inspection. Any damage to the drainage system may cause water to remain on the roof, where it can cause corrosive damage.
Flat roofs are especially vulnerable to ponding, where stagnant water sits on one spot of the roof. Ponding causes material warping and deforming. An inspection will show any damage from ponding and determine the needed fixes.
Common Signs of Commercial Roof Damage
Inspectors and building owners can also check for common signs of commercial roof damage, which can point to needed maintenance and repairs before the problems grow worse.
Common signs of commercial roof damage include the following:
• Damage to the roof membrane, such as punctures, cracks or blisters
• Discoloring for walls or ceilings
• Water damage to walls and ceilings
• Cracks in walls
• Cracks in parapets
• Deterioration of the walls below the roof deck
• Nails or screws poking through the membrane
• Damaged or loose flashing
• Caulking gaps around any units on the roof
• Bald or bare spots
Hot summers can be rough on commercial roofing systems. Though all seasons provide different forms of weather that put wear and tear on roofs, hot summer heat does the most damage because of the expansion and shrinking of roofing material due to temperature changes. Building owners can keep their commercial real estate functioning in prime condition and save money on future repairs by conducting regular roofing maintenance and inspections.
Make sure the roof on your building is ready for the summer heat by scheduling an inspection with an experienced commercial roofing contractor. MacDermott Roofing offers a no obligation expert roof assessment and are ready to help your Michigan business. We are experts in the commercial roofing industry with a reputation for service, technical skill, and product knowledge.
As an authorized Elite Master Contractor for the Duro-Last Roof System – the World’s Best Roof®, we provide the highest quality workmanship in the roofing industry and have a proven record of excellence year after year. We work with all roofing systems for repair, new installation, replacement, or maintenance. Call today for a Free Estimate!