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The 7-Minute Guide to Commercial Roof Repair: Fast Facts and Actionable Advice

Posted on April 29, 2023

Estimated Reading Time : 8 Min.

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The 7-Minute Guide to Commercial Roof Repair: Fast Facts and Actionable Advice

As a business owner, you know that commercial roof repairs can be a daunting and time-consuming task. That’s why we’ve created this quick and informative guide to help you find effective solutions to your roofing issues. In this article, we’ll discuss the causes and signs of commercial roof damage and offer actionable advice for addressing these problems. We’ll also share tips on how to find a local commercial roof repair company to help you restore your roof to prime condition.

This guide is meant to be a brief overview of the topic, not a comprehensive manual. If you’re experiencing issues with your commercial roof, we hope this guide will give you the information you need to take swift and effective action.

Causes of Commercial Roof Damage:

Commercial roofing systems differ from residential roofs in that they’re usually made of rubber membranes, such as TPO, modified bitumen, and EPDM. While these roofing materials offer durability, longevity, and energy efficiency, they are also susceptible to damage and leaks. Damage to commercial building roofs and the materials they’re made of can result from several factors, including:

  1. Ponding Water

Commercial roofs are often flat to provide better energy efficiency for the building’s interior. However, one significant disadvantage of flat roofs is water pooling. Due to their minimal slope, water has no way to drain off a commercial flat roof, leading to water leaks that require repair or even entire roof replacement.

Ponding Water

  1. Wind Damage

Commercial roofing systems like TPO, EPDM, and modified bitumen are lightweight and more vulnerable to wind damage than heavy materials like clay tiles, metal sheets, and asphalt shingles found in residential settings. Strong winds can tear or rip apart roofing membranes, allowing water to seep into the roofing deck and cause leaks. This can lead to an expensive situation for business owners, who may have to pay for costly commercial roof repairs to fix the leaks.

commercial roof repair

  1. Roof Punctures

Roof punctures are another common cause of commercial roof damage. These can occur when roofing contractors leave behind tools, machinery, nails, screws, or other debris on the roof, or when the wind blows debris onto the roof. Roof punctures can damage the roofing membrane, creating holes or cuts that compromise its waterproofing and insulative properties. Moreover, roof punctures can let water, dirt, or pests into the roofing system, causing more damage.

Roof Punctures

  1. Exposure to Elements

Flat roofs are constantly exposed to the elements, which can cause various types of damage. Sun, rain, snow, hail, and temperature fluctuations can lead to fading, discoloration, cracking, bubbling, or peeling of roofing materials over time. Additionally, exposure to sunlight can cause thermal expansion and contraction of roofing materials, leading to warping or cracking.

  1. Age-related Wear and Tear

As commercial buildings’ roofs age, they become more prone to damage, which can be caused by material deterioration, temperature changes, and expansion and contraction, among other factors. Failing to address damages in a timely manner can cause roofing materials to age and deteriorate faster, necessitating commercial roof repairs.

The Top 5 Indicators of a Leaking Commercial Roof

  1. Water Stains on the Ceiling and Walls

Brownish water stains on the ceiling or walls are a visible indication of a commercial roof leak. The ponding water on a flat roof can cause moisture to seep through roofing materials and decking, resulting in water stains. These stains can be accompanied by mold or mildew growth, which can degrade your building’s structural integrity and aesthetic appeal. Moreover, if left untreated, mold or mildew can spread throughout the building and cause health problems for occupants. Addressing these signs promptly can help maintain your commercial buildings’ curb appeal and avoid high roof replacement costs.


  1. Standing Water on Your Roof

Flat roofs are often susceptible to water accumulation due to their minimal slope, which can result from clogged gutters or drains or damage to the flat roof materials. This can cause rapid deterioration, ultimately resulting in leaks and other issues. Failure to address pooled water on your roof’s surface and allowing it to accumulate can lead to significant commercial roof repair needs.

  1. Increase in Energy Bills

Flat roofs are generally considered energy-efficient due to their ability to reflect and absorb sunlight. A sudden increase in energy bills could indicate water seepage in your current roofing system. Water penetration can cause a loss of insulation and air leakage, forcing heating or cooling systems to work harder than necessary.

If you notice a spike in your energy bills, it’s worth having a professional inspect your commercial roof for potential leaks. Promptly addressing roof moisture issues can prevent further deterioration of your roofing system and help keep your energy bills under control.

  1. Damp or Musty Odor

A damp or musty odor in your building is an unpleasant and concerning sign of a roof leak. This smell is not only unpleasant but also a health hazard, as mold and mildew growth is common in areas with excess moisture. Mold and mildew spores can cause a range of health issues, such as respiratory problems and allergic reactions. Addressing the issue as soon as possible is crucial to prevent the growth and spread of harmful mold and mildew throughout your building.

  1. Visible Damage to Your Roof

Visible damages like cracks, punctures, holes, and warped membranes indicate damage to your commercial roof. Roof damage can occur due to various reasons, such as aging, severe weather conditions, lack of maintenance, or improper installation by other roofing contractors . If left untreated, visible damage can worsen over time and compromise the integrity of the roof, leading to more significant problems like leaks and structural damage. Regular inspections and prompt repairs can help protect your roof from further damage.


How to Repair Commercial Roof Leaks:

When it comes to repairing commercial roof leaks, it’s crucial to ensure the process is done correctly and professionally, as your business relies on the integrity of your roof. While some minor repairs can be carried out by DIY enthusiasts, it’s always recommended to consult with a professional roofing contractor, as they have the necessary skills, tools, and experience to preserve the sanctity of your commercial roofing system.

Here’s a brief overview of the process for repairing commercial roof leaks:

  1. Locate the leak: The first step in addressing a commercial roof leak is to pinpoint where the water is entering. To do this, thoroughly inspect the roof for visible damage, such as cracks or holes, and look for signs of water damage inside the building, like water stains on walls or ceilings. A professional roofer can help accurately locate the leak, ensuring the issue is resolved effectively.
  2. Assess the damage: Once you’ve identified the leak, it’s essential to determine the extent of the damage. This will help you decide whether it’s a minor issue that can be repaired independently or if it requires the expertise of a professional roofing contractor. Remember that, in most cases, it’s better to rely on a professional to prevent potential complications or further damage.
  3. Prepare the area: Before beginning any repair work, make sure the area is clean and free of debris, such as leaves or dirt. Additionally, ensure any standing water has been cleared away and that the surface is dry. A clean and dry surface is essential for proper adhesion of repair materials and sealants.
  4. Apply a roof patch: If the damage is minor and you’ve decided to proceed with a DIY repair, use a roof patch designed specifically for commercial roofing systems to address the damaged area. Make sure the patch is large enough to cover the entire section of damage, and the surrounding area. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application. Keep in mind that it’s often best to consult a professional roofer for guidance or to carry out the repair to ensure the best results.
  5. Seal the area: After repairing or replacing the damaged area, it’s essential to seal it to prevent future leaks. Use a commercial roof sealant and apply it evenly and thoroughly, covering the entire repaired section. A professional roofer can help ensure the correct sealant is used and that it’s applied correctly for lasting protection.

Performing commercial roof repair yourself can be tempting, but it’s important to remember that your livelihood depends on the integrity of your workplace. Therefore, it’s always best to prioritize professional assistance when dealing with commercial roof repairs

commercial roof leak

Factors Consider When Choosing a Commercial Roofing Contractor

When you’re finding a commercial roofing contractor for your repair needs, it is crucial to do your research beforehand. Commercial roof repair jobs are considerably more challenging than residential roof repair ones, and hiring an inexperienced or unlicensed contractor can result in exacerbation of the problem and costly repairs. Consider the following factors before hiring:

  1. License and insurance

  2. Reputation

  3. Expertise and skill level

  4. Warranties provided

Preventative Maintenance for Commercial Roofs

Regular preventative maintenance is essential for extending the lifespan of your commercial roof and avoiding costly repairs or complete a roof replacement. Consider implementing the following practices to maintain the health of your roof:

  1. Schedule regular inspections: Have a professional roofing contractor inspect your roof at least twice a year, ideally in the spring and fall. This will help identify any potential issues before they become more significant problems.
  2. Keep your roof clean: Remove debris, such as leaves, branches, and dirt, that can accumulate on your roof and lead to issues like ponding water, mold growth, and clogged drains.
  3. Monitor drainage systems: Ensure that your gutters, downspouts, and drains are clear and functioning correctly to prevent water from pooling on your roof.
  4. Address minor issues promptly: If you notice any signs of damage or wear, such as small fissures or punctures, address them immediately to prevent them from escalating into more significant problems.
  5. Maintain records: Keep detailed records of your roof’s maintenance history, including inspection reports, repairs, and replacements. This can help you track your roof’s condition and plan for future maintenance or roof replacement.
  6. Protect your roof from foot traffic: Limit access to your roof and use walkway pads or designated walkways to prevent damage from foot traffic.

By following these preventative maintenance practices, you can keep your commercial roof in optimal condition and extend its lifespan, saving you time and money in the long run.


The Role of Business Owners in Maximizing Commercial Roof Lifespan

In conclusion, maintaining your commercial roof is vital for the safety and longevity of your building. At our company, we always emphasize the importance of regular inspections and immediate repairs of commercial roofing systems to property owners. In our experience, it is wise to be proactive and identify any signs of damage early on, such as cracks, leaks, or warped membranes. Addressing these issues promptly with professional commercial roofing services can prevent major disruptions to your business operations and keep your establishment in top shape. Don’t wait until it’s too late – contact an experienced commercial roofer to schedule a consultation and ensure your roofing system is in the best possible condition.

Trustworthy Commercial Roofing Services in Tulsa, Oklahoma

If you’ve noticed damage on your commercial roof in or around Tulsa, Oklahoma, you can trust A. Fricker Roofing & Waterproofing to get the job done right. Our team of experienced roofers service all of Tulsa County and are led by owner and founder, Austin Fricker. We are motivated by our commitment to family values and a desire to provide honest and reliable roofing services to businesses in the region. We are equipped to handle all types of commercial roofing systems, including TPO, EPDM, modified bitumen, and ballast roofing. We offer free in-person consultations and provide easy commercial roof repairs and replacements. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and get your roof back in top shape.