9 Common Commercial Roof Problems

Kathleen Maxwell

aerial shot of commercial roof with cars in the parking lot

Just like with any problem or issue, commercial roof problems are inevitable but can be prevented with proper care and attention. From the quality of installation and products used to the frequency of inspection and maintenance to the occasional natural disaster—if commercial roofing problems are left unchecked, they will lead to bigger, more costly repairs. It’s important that you have a trusted roofing partner to guide you in the prevention and repair of unwanted surprises with your commercial roof.

Here are nine of the most common commercial roof problems we find within the industry. If you are experiencing any of these with your commercial roof, please contact us today for a consultation and inspection.

1. Age

Commercial roofs will generally last in good condition for around 15 to 20 years. However, as a roof ages, it becomes more susceptible to damage. Proactive maintenance can go a long way in ensuring that a commercial roof stays problem-free as it ages.

2. Leaks

Wear and tear, open penetrations, and even clogged drainage on a commercial roof over time can create numerous opportunities for water to seep in. You can prevent leaks on your commercial roof by scheduling consistent appointments with a commercial roofing company.

3. Poor Installation

Faulty installation will speed up the potential for commercial roof problems, ultimately affecting a roof’s life expectancy. If you suspect poor workmanship or construction with your commercial roof, it’s likely time to contact a reputable roofing company to inspect and correct any installation issues to avoid greater problems down the road.

4. Lack of Maintenance

Routine inspections are a must for commercial roofing systems. Waiting too long for an inspection or proactive maintenance can cost you financially and at risk of your employees’ safety. 

5. Improper Roofing Materials

Commercial roofs that have been installed or repaired with improper roofing materials can cause major problems. Not only do you want to select the appropriate roofing materials, it’s critical to ensure that your roofing contractor or maintenance technician is certified to install and repair your roof.

6. Ponding or Standing Water

Especially common on flat or low-slope commercial roofs, there can be spots where water collects and “ponds,” meaning it doesn’t drain or evaporate quickly. Standing water on a roof will lead to a number of costly problems for your building and can dissolve the adhesives used in construction, allowing moisture to infiltrate your building.

7. Blow-offs

When heavy winds blow over a commercial roof, the pressure above the roof’s surface can decrease. At the same time, internal air pressure can expand due to air infiltration through cracks and openings—known as a wind uplift. Strong winds can also blow off vents or caps, which allows water to get into pipes.

8. Faulty Flashing

A high percentage of roof leaks can be attributed to faulty flashing. This is because of the expansion and contraction that occurs and causes the flashing to tear and break. If the top of the flashing is not terminated properly, water will creep in and lead to major damage.

9. Debris

Rooftop debris can come in natural and man-made forms—from leaves and limbs to cardboard or trash. Debris can clog a building’s gutters or pile up in rooftop areas, leading to rapid deterioration of roofing materials. Though you may not be atop your commercial roof often to notice debris, scheduling regular inspections will be helpful in ensuring that debris and gutter systems are clear—especially after severe weather.

How to Prevent Commercial Roof Problems

It’s no secret that preventative maintenance is a must when it comes to keeping your commercial building’s roof free of problems. Commercial roofs should be checked at least seasonally, as well as immediately after storms or extreme weather. Our team at Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. prides ourselves on the quality of our inspections, preventative maintenance services, and long-term roof management program.  

Contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today to learn how we can help you steer clear of unwanted commercial roofing problems and costly repairs.


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