Your commercial roof needs replacing when it leaks, buckles, splits or blows off in a storm. These are the obvious signs that the roof needs replacing. How about the not so obvious ones? The signs your commercial roof needs replacing, which don’t even occur to you? After all, you’re busy running your business, and the roof should be the least of your concerns.

At Chaffee Roofing we often see roof damage which goes unnoticed. With this in mind we’re putting together this post to help clients spot the not so obvious signs of when a commercial roof needs replacing.

The 4 not so obvious signs your commercial roof needs replacing are:

  1. Utility bills going up
  2. The roof is older than you think
  3. Staining areas on the roof surface
  4. Small bubbles and blisters

Let’s take a closer look at each point.

4 Not So Obvious Signs Your Commercial Roof Needs Replacing
Image: Doug Wilson @ flickr.

Utility bills going up

We all see increases in our utility bills from time to time. The problem is when you notice a consistent rise over many bills. As flat roof systems begin to fail and start leaking more often, the underlying insulation can become compromised, especially when the underlying insulation is fiberboard. This can mean that your once energy efficient roof system is no longer keeping energy inside the building as the insulation gets soaked and loses its “R” value.  As a result, your heating and cooling systems are going to have to run more often to keep up with the demand.

In addition to higher heating and cooling costs, this is also going to increase the cost of the roof project down the road, because wet or damaged insulation will need to be replaced. This is one of the many reasons why replacing a roof is recommended before the roof system completely fails.

The roof is older than you think

This is a more common problem than most people realize. When it comes to capital improvements, 10 years ago can feel like 10 months ago!

The roof may predate the tenant in the building. What may have been a fine roof when they moved in is not so good today. Improvements in technology, material production and even in the skills of the installer, can make a huge difference.

Commercial roofing has a fixed life span. Roofs over 15 years old may need replacing, especially if the roof system was installed with a thinner membrane or wasn’t installed properly.

When buying a building, or taking on a lease, always check the installation date of the roof.

Staining areas on the roof surface

4 Not So Obvious Signs Your Commercial Roof Needs Replacing
Ponding Water

Carry out an inspection of the roof. If you see a lot of water stained areas, which are usually darker than the surrounding area, this is where water has ponded. Ponding water is usually the result of 1 and/or 2 issues: The building settling over time or the underlying insulation getting wet and shrinking.

Not much can be done about the building settling, but preventing the insulation from getting wet is crucial to the success of any roof system. Patching holes and defects as they arise is very important, regardless of how important or, unimportant the space is below.

More often than you would imagine, people will tell us that a certain area of the building has leaked for years, but it wasn’t an important space, so they never did anything about it. On these areas, not only is the insulation soaked, but the structural decking can be compromised as well. As a result, the ponding water areas are far more extensive.

4 Not So Obvious Signs Your Commercial Roof Needs Replacing

Small bubbles and blisters

Splitting at the joints, or holes in the roofing material, are easy to see.

It’s the smaller signs of deterioration, such as bubbles and blisters, which are not see easy to spot. A lot of blistering on a commercial roof is not good. It is a sign that the roof is reaching the end of its life and may need replacing.

An expert will look for smaller signs such as bubbles and blisters. Arrange for an inspection if your roof is an old one.

Call us

Commercial roofs give a long life of service.

The older they get, however, the more likely faults will occur. At Chaffee Roofing we recommend regular inspections of your commercial roof. You should be aware of possible problems and how to prevent them

Call us today for solutions to your roofing problems.

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