How HVAC Units Can Affect Commercial Industrial Roofing

Kathleen Maxwell


For industrial building owners, roof failure is not an option. If an industrial roof fails, it could create a serious safety hazard for workers or damage expensive equipment. To prevent commercial roof damage, industrial roofing contractors must take special care to secure any equipment that will be housed on the roof.

The HVAC system, in particular, can present risks for industrial roof systems. Here are some common issues with rooftop HVAC systems that we often find.


HVAC units vaporize water in order to cool buildings down. A properly functioning HVAC system will release the vapor into the air around it, but broken units may cause the vapor to condense into water. Left alone, pools of water can build around unreliable HVAC units and leech into the roof membrane. This can cause leaks, mold build up, and can damage roofing materials. 

Improper Installation

HVAC contractors are trained on the ins and outs of the systems they install, but some don’t always know everything about commercial industrial roofing. In the course of their work, HVAC contractors can cause damage to a roof, leading to leaks or punctured roofing materials. To prevent this, it’s important to have someone specialized in industrial roofing on hand during HVAC installation. Installation becomes even more complicated on certain specialized roofs. Metal roofs, for example, require additional equipment to support HVAC equipment and keep the building waterproofed. Because of the potential for damage, it’s even more important for someone with an industrial roofing background to be present when the HVAC contractor is working on installation. 

Damage from Foot Traffic

Rooftop HVAC systems should be serviced regularly to function properly. This means that technicians will be regularly walking along the building’s roof. Over time, foot traffic on an industrial roof can damage the roof membrane. To minimize damage and keep technicians safe, it’s important to have roofing contractors install reinforced walkways on industrial roofs.  

Weather Damage

Storms and heavy winds always present risks to roofing materials, but rooftop HVAC equipment can worsen the effects of bad weather. If an HVAC system is not properly secured, it can be shifted by the wind and damage the roof. Performing routine inspections before and after bad weather events is the easiest way to protect your HVAC system and your roof. 

Though there is potential for damage with a rooftop HVAC unit, with proper consultation with an industrial roofing company, these systems can be safe and effective. If you’re looking to install an HVAC system on your commercial industrial roof, don’t hesitate to contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today for wisdom!

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