Why is my Commercial Roof Leaking?

Randy Blog
commercial roof leaking

If you own or manage a commercial property, staying on top of maintenance and repairs is a must. This is particularly true of your roof as it is frustrating, disruptive and costly when your roof springs a leak!  Finding the exact source of a roof leak can be difficult but a full and proper diagnosis is a necessary first step to a successful repair. If dealing with a leak, you should start by looking for the following:

Debris 

Wind, rain, and the changing seasons will deposit tree branches, leaves and other debris on your roof. If left unaddressed, the debris can clog rooftop drains, gutters, and downspouts which can cause excessive water ponding and unintended drainage paths for water, both of which can cause a leak.  Finally, that same debris, when dropping on your roof or dragged across it by wind, can cause damage and punctures to your roof membrane and flashings.

Deteriorated, Damaged or Poorly Installed Flashings and Penetration Details

Failing flashings and details are a likely source of roof leaks. Issues can be caused by poor workmanship, damage or simply deterioration from age/weathering. The consequences of shoddy workmanship during a roof installation are most often experienced in the premature failure of the roof’s details. Material failures are also most common at roof perimeters and penetrations.  Tiny cracks, fissures or holes in the flashing, or deteriorated sealant around the roof’s penetrations, can contribute to major roof leaks.

Poor Design

Many low slope roofs suffer the consequences of poor design.  The two design issues that most frequently contribute to leaks are an inadequate slope to drainage and insufficient drainage capacity. Inadequate slope to drainage is evidenced by significant ponding water on a roof’s surface. Ponding water is defined by the roofing industry as the excessive accumulation of water at low-lying areas on a roof that remains 48 hours following a rain event. One inch of ponding water will add a load of 5 pounds per square foot to your roof deck and if the commercial building is not designed to handle the additional weight, severe ponding conditions can lead to building structural damage and can be a threat to occupant safety.  The roof membrane and flashings covered by ponding water can also deteriorate prematurely.  Insufficient drainage capacity, including interior drains, scuppers, conductor heads, gutters, and downspouts, can cause water to leak into the building around drains and at exterior walls.

Old Age

Low slope roofs, if properly designed, installed and maintained will last well more than 20 years. But, father time is still undefeated. Your leaks could simply be the result of the predictable aging of your roof.

Effective property management requires the active management of your commercial roof assets. You should regularly have a roofing professional get up on the roof to remove debris, check flashings and details, and to look for signs of excessive ponding.  Overlooking any of these conditions may results in disruptive and expensive leaks, endanger tenant satisfaction and safety, and may void your roofing warranty. Be quick to contact Innovative Roofing Group by calling 404-594-6038 or sending an email to service@innovativeroofing.net if you have a commercial roof leak or maintenance need.

3 Good Reasons to Restore your Commercial Roof

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Restore your commercial roof

Commercial roof tear-off and replacement projects are expensive and disruptive.  Restoration of your roof, while not always an option, can be a cost-effective way to extend its life.  Due to advancements in fluid applied coating technology, nearly all roofing systems of a suitable condition can be restored.  This includes single-ply, metal, modified bitumen and built-up roofs. But why might you want to restore your commercial roof, rather than replace it?

1. Save Money

As already mentioned, roof replacements can be expensive. Restoration of your existing roof with an elastomeric coating system can save you lots of money, sometimes as much half of a roof replacement contract value. This is due to several factors including material, labor and disposal costs. When you restore your commercial roof it can also be a wise roof asset maintenance and management decision by helping to eliminate annoying, potentially damaging, and costly repairs. Finally, the installation of a highly reflective, “cool” roof coating system can reduce building energy usage, and therefore energy bills, and may qualify you for tax credits.

2. Extend the Roof’s Lifetime

A quality installation of an elastomeric restoration coating system can dramatically extend the service life of a commercial roof. The leading roof coating manufacturers will warrant restoration installs for ten years or more. Critical to a restoration project’s success is the completion of a thorough roof condition assessment by a qualified individual to determine the roof’s suitability for restoration, prior to the development of the scope of work.

3. Less Risk and Disruption

Commercial roof tear-offs are costly. They are also dirty, smelly, noisy and fraught with risk (flooding, worker and occupant safety, among them). The installation of a roof restoration system directly to the existing roof assembly eliminates most of these potential issues and risks and allows building activities to continue uninterrupted.

Restore your commercial roof

Is Restoration an Option for your Commercial Roof?

There are good reasons to know if restoring the roof on your commercial building is an option, as an alternative to replacement or simply as a strategy to extend its useful life.  For more information on restoration or to schedule time for an inspection and assessment of your commercial roof contact the team at Innovative Roofing Group today by calling 404-594-6038 or sending an email to sales@innovativeroofing.net.

How to Find a Qualified Commercial Roofing Company

Randy Blog

When it’s time to get a new roof for your building, you may not know how to find a reputable commercial roofing company to do the job right. This means safely, on time and on budget, and with minimal aggravation and disruption to building operations. There is too much at stake to outsource your contractor selection to Google. Here are a few tips to help you find a commercial roofing company that you can trust.

Know Thy Stuff
Some roofing companies specialize in certain market segments (retail, industrial, institutional, etc) and others are qualified to install certain roofing materials (single-ply, modified bitumen, built-up roofing, etc). You should look for a contractor who has plenty of experience working with your type of project. You may also want to consider how long the company has been in business. As is often said, “the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior”.

References on Request
If you talk to a contractor who is unable or unwilling to provide references, you should consider it a red flag. Companies should have satisfied customers who are happy to share their experiences with potential clients. When reaching out to references, ask questions about the contractor’s safety performance, project management, communication, cleanliness, billing process and whatever else is important to you. Reviews and testimonials are often readily accessible online, as well.

Proof Please
Can you imagine hiring a roofing company that does not have adequate insurance or is in poor standing with OSHA, the EPA or local building code officials? You should most definitely verify that the contractor carries sufficient insurance. You may also want to inquire about the company’s safety performance. Contractors are required by OSHA to maintain safety logs. So, you may want to ask for details about their accident and injury experience. Don’t make the mistake of hiring a contractor that doesn’t put safety first.

Get It in Writing
Warranties offer you another level of protection. Your contractor should be willing to offer you a workmanship warranty and they should be able to deliver a roofing material manufacturer’s warranty at the conclusion of the project. It’s also wise to have a contract or agreement drafted that includes the project’s scope of work and terms and conditions. Having these things spelled out in black and white can save you from headaches down the road.

When you start your search for a great commercial roofing company, you should talk to the experts at Innovative Roofing Group for all your roofing needs. Call us at 404-594-6038 or email us today!

How to Know Your Commercial Roof May Need to be Replaced

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Commercial Roof repair

It may not be obvious that your commercial roof needs a replacement. But, because the roof plays a critical role in the overall performance of your building and the health and safety of its occupants, it’s a very important thing to know. The following conditions should not be ignored as they may be alerting you that a roof replacement is needed.

Deformed Roofing Materials

Regardless of the type of roofing system installed, if you observe warping, blistering or bubbling of the materials you should contact a commercial roofing professional to assess the roof’s condition. The presence of these kinds of visible material distortions is a sign that moisture may be infiltrating your commercial roof system. While you may not have an active leak, entrapped moisture is a situation that should be swiftly diagnosed and addressed as it contributes to catastrophic roofing failure. Definitely, don’t ignore sagging of your roof! This could be a sign that the insulation is saturated or that the deck, on which the roof sits, is failing. The latter could present an immediate safety risk to rooftop workers and building occupants.

Deterioration of Seams and Flashing

A commercial roof’s seams and flashings are its most vulnerable parts. Cracked or crazed flashings at edge details or penetrations and gaps in roof membrane seams could very well allow moisture to enter your roof system. If diagnosed early, damaged or deteriorated flashings and seams can be relatively easy to remedy. But, if left unaddressed, these conditions lead to full roofing system failures. Furthermore, failing roof details can be a sign of a more sinister issue with the roof system’s performance that can only be fully addressed by a roof replacement.

Moisture Intrusion

The presence of uncontrolled moisture in your building leads to serious performance and even occupant health issues. This one is easy . . . if your commercial roof is leaking get it checked out by a qualified professional. However, moisture may be present even if you don’t have an active leak. Look for ceiling tile or wall staining, and effervescence on masonry walls. Also, if you notice a musty or earthy smell it’s possible you have entrapped moisture somewhere in the building that is leading to mold growth. Mold could be present in the roofing materials, on or below the decking, or even in the walls and other structural components of the building. Do not ignore this condition as it can get very expensive to remedy and some mold spores can contribute to serious occupant health issues. An inspection performed by a qualified technician will help diagnose if any moisture entering the building is coming from the roof.

As you can see, there are several signs you can look for to know if you should seek guidance regarding a roof replacement for your commercial building. Contact Innovative Roofing Group by calling us at 404-594-6038 or sending an email to Innovative Roofing for an inspection today.

3 Reasons to Keep a Commercial Roof Maintenance Plan

Randy Blog
Commercial Roof Maintenance

The performance of your roof is crucial to your commercial building’s health. Consequently, commercial roof maintenance is imperative. Think of roof maintenance as a regular checkup on your roof to ensure that it’s up to standard, performing as designed, and likely to continue to do so. Without, you may end up with expensive and disruptive problems on your hand.

Save Yourself Money

A typical commercial roof maintenance plan will include regular visits to address housekeeping such as debris removal from drains and gutters. While an absolute “no-brainer” for commercial property owners and managers, maintenance is inconsistently performed and ends up contributing to premature failure of roofs, gutters and downspouts. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess. Additionally, a commercial roof maintenance plan can help to recognize early signs of deterioration to your roof membrane and flashings and/or damage to your roof caused by debris, extreme weather or trades with access to the roof. Early identification of issues ensures repairs will be easier and cheaper to finish. Regular roof maintenance should keep any extensive damage from sneaking up on you.

Meet the Obligations of Your Warranty

If your roof is still under a manufacturer’s warranty, you should dust it off and give it a read. It most certainly states that the warranty will remain in force only if the roof is regularly maintained. A commercial roof maintenance plan executed by a credible roofing professional will ensure that if your roof has a performance issue that is the result of material failure, you will have been fulfilling your obligations under the warranty along the way.

Prevent Roof Replacements

Your commercial roofing should last for decades. Unfortunately, the average commercial roof lifespan is well below that. Poor or lax roofing maintenance, is a major contributing factor to premature roof failures. Additionally, it’s been proven that regular roof maintenance can extend a roof’s life well beyond a manufacturer’s warranted term. A few operating dollars spent annually on maintenance can help delay a large and disruptive capital project. A premature or, worse yet, sudden roof replacement project is a bitter and expensive pill for any business to swallow.

You never want to slack on your maintenance plan! Enlist a qualified roofing professional to ensure that your roof remains healthy and your building watertight. If you’re interested in learning more about commercial roofing, contact Innovative Roofing Group at 404-594-6038 today!