The two broadest categories of roof are sloping and flat, although for commercial roofs, flat is the ongoing standard.
Each type of roof requires different forms of maintenance. It’s important to be cognizant of the needs that your particular category entails, as a properly maintained roof will last longer and will ensure that your building is adequately protected, resulting in significant cost savings.
Flat Roofs: The Better Option
Water is much more likely to pond on an older flat roof, so it is important that flat roofs are inspected for pooling after a significant rainfall. Any pooling water should be removed within 48 hours to avoid permanent damage to the roof, although it should be noted that it’s best to have your roofing professionals do the inspection. Going on a roof yourself can be dangerous to yourself and hazardous to your roof.
New or refinished flat roofs, if installed correctly by a reputable flat roofing contractor shouldn’t see an ongoing issue with pooling, as your roofing company will have installed an antiquate drainage system.
Large industrial flat roofs may have several hundred feet of flashing surrounding the perimeter of the roof. This flashing should be inspected twice yearly and following major storms, as flashing is particularly vulnerable to being damaged by winds. It is important that damage flashing be replaced, because it is designed to project joints, which can leak if not in proper condition. Damaged flashing can be replaced in sections, so you won’t be left having to repair large sections of your roof if damaged, saving you both time and money.
As well, an adequate level of ballast (i.e. gravel) may be used on some flat roofs. Ballast protects the roof from the elements and also needs to be maintained.
As is also the case for sloped roofs, gutters and downspouts which should be inspected on a regular basis to ensure water can flow and drain properly. Just like in your home, natural debris can buildup in your commercial building’s gutters, and the only way to ensure they’re working properly is to do regular checkups.
Sloped Roofs: The Older Option
It’s uncommon today for a roofing company to suggest installing a sloped roof, as they’re costly and cause more problems than flat roofs do. A sloped roof needs to be inspected more often than flat roofs to determine if any areas are broken or worn out.
Any cracks around daylighting or other protrusions should be identified and sealed using the proper outdoor-rated sealant or caulking.
Many of the maintenance techniques described here may seem relatively simple, however, it is important that these tasks are completed properly to ensure leaks are eliminated and the problems don’t worsen. If you are concerned about problems with your roof, contact our team today! We’re fully equipped to carry out any of the maintenance measures described here, and any other issue your roof might face.