The average lifespan of a flat commercial roof is around 40 years with proper maintenance. But various factors, including the quality of the installation and the materials used, can make it likely that you’ll be replacing your commercial roof a lot sooner.
Weather damage is also a major concern in hurricane-prone Louisiana. After all, you rely on your commercial roof to keep your customers, workers, products, and any equipment safe from external elements.
But what are some of the key signs that you might need a new commercial roof? Let’s take a look.
1. Interior Damage
One of the most obvious signs that you need a new roof for your commercial property is interior damage. Going up to check on the state of your roof isn’t always possible. But you’ll soon see if you have water spots, sagging stains, or mold growth in your commercial building.
These types of roof damage signs often start with brown watermarks on the ceiling. As a commercial property owner, it pays to keep an eye out for such marks as these show that your roof is leaking and needs attention.
2. Cracks, Bubbles, and Blisters
Repairing roof damage such as small cracks with patches is possible if you catch them in time. But larger cracks, bubbles, and blisters call for a full replacement.
This is because visible roof damage can lead to further problems in the future. For example, water can get inside large cracks and bubbles to cause leaks, internal water damage, rot, and more. Replacing your commercial roof before the damage gets too severe can save you a lot of money in the long run.
3. Loose Materials
Over time, the roofing materials that protect your commercial property may start to loosen. This can happen for all kinds of reasons, but often older roofs or those exposed to harsh weather are more likely to experience loose materials. And when this happens, it’s only a matter of time before the roof starts to get more damaged.
For example, if the membrane of your commercial roof isn’t sealed well or the seal has broken, water can get underneath the membrane and cause water damage as a result. If you notice that a large section of your roofing material is coming loose, it’s time to call in a professional commercial roofing company for a replacement.
4. Gaps in the Seams
Loose materials aren’t the only visible signs of damage to your roof. Damage to the commercial roof parts that make up the surface structure – including holes and gaps in the seams – is also something to worry about.
If you catch these issues as soon as they start to appear, it’s more likely that repairing this roof damage is enough to keep any problems at bay. That said, if the gaps in the seams are large or your commercial roof is covered in holes and gaps, you’re sure to need an entire replacement.
Commercial roofs can start to sag after a lot rain in a short amount of time. Since Louisiana experiences heavy rainfall all throughout the year, this is something you’ll need to keep an eye on.
In extreme circumstances when the water doesn’t evaporate after a day or two, ponding can occur. This is when water collects in the sagging sections of your roof. Although regular commercial roof maintenance can fix this problem, leaving it for too long can cause your roof to crack and rot.
As you would expect, this can lead to issues such as mold and algae throughout your commercial building. But it’s also dangerous for the stability of your flat roof. If ponding and poor drainage are recurring problems for your commercial roof, you may need a replacement.
6. Worn-Out Materials
It’s normal for older roofs to wear out, especially if you haven’t kept up with a regular commercial roof maintenance schedule. And even if you have taken good care of your roof, there’s not much you can do when it starts to age and the materials begin to wear down.
A worn-out roof is easy to recognize as the membrane will start to thin, look cracked, and become discolored. If you notice any of these signs, replacing your commercial roof is likely your only viable option.
7. Unpleasant Odors
Unless you’re in the habit of checking your commercial roof and internal structure often, signs of damage might go unnoticed for a while. But one sign that’s harder to miss is a foul smell in your building, especially since it’s often obvious to everyone who works there.
If you or your workers notice that your building smells damp or musty, you likely have a problem with mold. Trapped moisture, ponding, cracks, and broken seams could all be behind this. But to be sure that your roof is the issue, you’ll need to ask a commercial roofing contractor to inspect your roof for you.
8. High Energy Bills
As well as protecting your commercial property from rain and other adverse weather conditions, your roof is your building’s main defense against heat and cold. But if there’s insufficient insulation in your roof, it’s much harder to regulate the interior temperature of your building.
More airflow coming in from outside, cold zones, drafts, and more are all clues to poor insulation. But the biggest sign is often energy bills that are much higher than they should be. Cracks and leaks in your roof can also mean that your roof isn’t working as it should, leaving you with no choice but to compensate by adjusting your HVAC system.
But by replacing your commercial roof, you can better protect your building and lower your energy bills too. What’s more, many new commercial roofing systems are energy-efficient, so you’ll notice an even bigger impact after a replacement.
Signs That You Need a New Commercial Roof
As this list shows, many different signs can indicate that you need a new commercial roof.
While some are easier to spot than others, it’s clear that the best way to stay one step ahead of any potential issues is to check for various types of roof damage on a regular basis.
Are you thinking of replacing your commercial roof? Feel free to contact us here at Allied Xteriors for more information or to request a quote!