3 Types Of Damage A Commercial Roofer Looks For When Deciding If A Roof Has To Be Replaced

Posted on: 12 January 2022

If you're buying a vacant building to renovate for your store, one thing you want to do is hire a commercial roofer to assess the condition of the roofing material on the building. You may want a thorough inspection before you even buy the building so you know the condition of the roof. If the building has a flat roof, it may have a membrane, such as rubber or PVC, on it. Here's how the roofer may check for damage and options for restoring the roof.

1. Check For Small Puncture Holes

Small puncture holes are common in membrane commercial roofing. They might be due to foot traffic or birds pecking on the roof. It's easy to overlook puncture holes, but it's important for the roofer to examine the roof carefully to see how many holes are present. They might pay extra attention to access doors and equipment on the roof.

If there are only a few holes, then they might be repaired by patching. If there are a lot of holes and the membrane is old and sun-damaged, the roof might need to be replaced. The condition of the insulation boards under the holes matters, too.

If the building has been vacant a long time, rain may have been leaking in for months and caused a lot of water damage. When there is a lot of water damage, the roof usually needs to be replaced completely.

2. Look For Loose Seams

Membrane commercial roofing is applied in long sheets. The sheets are joined with adhesive or by bonding them with heat. As the roofing ages, the seams can work apart. Sometimes, seams can be closed again if there isn't a lot of water damage. The roofer may use an infrared camera to assess the area for water damage to determine if repairs are appropriate or if the roof has to be replaced.

3. Check For Sunken Areas

If the flat roof has developed a dip, or if an elevation is blocking drainage, water may puddle up on the roof every time it rains. Water on the roof is not a good thing. Even a flat roof has enough of a slope that water rolls toward a roof drain. If there is a drainage problem on the roof, this has to be corrected, and that could mean you need to get a new roof rather than make repairs.

However, the slope of a roof can sometimes be built up when a coating is applied. A coating is sometimes a suitable form of commercial roof repair as long as there isn't too much water damage to the insulation boards under the membrane.

The above three types of commercial roofing damage are important things for a roofer to look for, but the roofer will also check flashing and the general condition of the membrane. Over time, sun exposure and the weather wear down roofing membranes, and then the roofer needs to decide if putting a coating on will fix the problem or if it's time for a new roof.

For more information, reach out to a company such as Tillotson Enterprise Inc.