A big cause of roof issues stems from failing to maintain them or fix them when repairs are in their early phases. Always have your roof inspected after winter ends by an experienced metal roof repair contractor. When spring arrives, inspect the roof for damage that could have occurred in the winter time.
Some of the most common issues that you might find on a commercial roof today include:
Roof materials wear down over time. The elements are the greatest cause of deterioration, and they all affect different materials in different ways depending on where they reach exposed materials. Inorganic materials wear out more slowly than organic materials. If you can see deterioration happening, have the membrane inspected for water leakage.
Voids in the membrane happen due to poor roof installation They can lead to blocked drains and water ponds on the roof. Ponding is also commonly caused by HVAC units that do not use proper condensation drainage lines or drains that are blocked by debris. Improper roof sloping also causes ponding.
Note that UV rays make a negative impact on roof ponding. Do not order repairs to the roof until the source of the ponding is determined by a proper investigation. Inspect these causes carefully before you undertake the recommended repairs.
Poor Support for Roof Equipment
A rooftop is often used as a location for various types of equipment including antennas, signs, ladder struts, flag poles, and other items. Do not put them on a roof unless it is completely necessary. Even if they are, make sure that they are not mounted on the roof’s membrane. Have them mounted to a support structure or raised up with curb-like supports.
Use flat flange or curb flashings so the roof is watertight. These prevent you from needing to disturb the equipment if any repairs must be made.
Any voids in the system cause blisters. Voids appear from skips in the bitumen mopping making trapped debris look like uneven membranes. Gases can get trapped and appear as unevenness in the membrane. When it gets warmer out, the voids expand due to the heat and this displaces the membranes and makes them look like blisters. When things cool off at night the membranes do not go back to their normal size. Instead, they develop a vacuum in the blister. This draws more air into it and creates issues.
A few blisters usually do not lead to major issues or large repairs. Be sure that they are watertight and that they are small in size. If any of them rupture, moisture will reach the surface and compromise the membrane’s strength. Do not break the blisters on your own deliberately or by accident. Take care not to step on them when doing any work on the roof. Make sure to avoid doing this especially if the membrane is cold. Call for a repair any time blisters grow in size, pull apart at the seams, or rupture.
Flashings for penetrations up and through the roof’s membrane are done in two different ways. Either single pipes and vents are installed with flat metal flanging on top of the roof material. These are stripped in. Bigger penetrations use curbs of metal, concrete or wood. These are also flashed in and have metal counter flashings installed along with them.
Common penetration problems are:
A fastener back out happens when the shank length is too short and drill points are off. Poor threading can also cause them to back out as can poorly designed stress plates and fastener heads. If any back-outs are found inspect the roofing system to see if any others might occur. If too many have backed out or might you should avoid a repair and work on getting a total roof replacement.
Taurus Elite Commercial Roof Systems, 512-332-4422, is a commercial roofing contractor based in Austin, Texas, and specializing in commercial metal roof repair, commercial metal roof restoration and commercial metal roof replacement services in the Austin Texas area, including Waco, for the last two decades. When you have a need for repair on your commercial metal roof, give us a call.