Flat Roof Replacement - Commercial Roof Replacement

Symptoms Requiring Flat Roof Replacement

It’s difficult to know when you need to give your flat roof some attention, after all, out of sight, out of mind. Firstly, it’s very important to have a roof inspection semi-annually if possible, so that you can feel secure in the knowledge that your roof is in good shape to keep your building safe. It’s common to find problems before they grow and get out of hand, so you can minimize and roof repairs needed and the costs that go along with them. Commercial structures often get roof inspections more frequently as the law requires in most locations. Issues can be missed at times, however, or serious issues can begin soon after an inspection. And when a repair will not be enough, you will need a commercial roof replacement.

Here are some very common symptoms you may encounter that would indicate you need a flat roof replacement:

You Have an Old Roof
A flat roof can last from 20, 50 to 100 years (depends on a type), so if the age of your roof approaches that number, it’s time to consider a commercial roof replacement. A roof with a membrane will likely not last as long. So watch for the seals to break down as the roof ages. When that happens, you will start seeing other issues that are noted on this list.
When there is ever any doubt about the age of your roof and you know it has been a long time, it’s a good idea to get a commercial roof replacement.

You Find Leaks
Water damage is a serious issue. Not only can it cause structural damage, affect the way you use your internal space, and threaten everything you have inside, but it can also produce mold, decay sheetrock, rust out supports and pipes, rot the infrastructure, set electrical fires, and more. A leaking roof is a sure sign of punctures in the roofing material or compromised seams and flashing. Repairs may be enough to take care of the problem but it’s more likely you will need a flat roof replacement.
Over time, leaks can spread, and mold can reach highly toxic levels before you even know there is a problem. Black mold is incredibly harmful and even dangerous, especially for children, the elderly, and those with certain respiratory conditions. But even healthy adults can suffer lasting effects from mold exposure.

High Energy Bills
Water leaks are a major problem but air leaks can also affect the space. Air can flow through compromised seams, poorly insulated areas, and gaps around vents and piping. The air escaping causes you to lose heat in the winter and cool air flows out during the summer when you need air conditioning. This means you’re letting the heat out in winter and letting the air conditioning out in summer. So if you start noticing your bills rise for no obvious reason, check the roof.

Visible Damage
You should be able to spot obvious visible damage with a roof inspection, but it is a small problem during the inspection and grows soon after, the issue could be missed. Check the roof for seams that are coming apart, flashing separating from the structure, and blisters forming under the roofing material surface.
Assuming the roof is not too old, and these problems are caught early, you may be able to get away with a roof repair, but otherwise, you might need a flat roof replacement.

Tear-Away or Roofing Over
Before you completely rule out a commercial roof replacement due to the cost and choose to go with a roof repair that is beyond patching up, know that there are two kinds of roof replacement. Tear-away or tear-off roofing is when the existing roof is torn completely in favor of a new roof to be built in its place.
The tear-away roof is a challenging process for many flat roof situations. The adhered membrane or layered asphalt material must be torn apart, which is a great deal of work that sometimes requires reheating it so that it becomes malleable enough to work with. This is, however, the more costly option to flat roof replacement, or even for a sloped roof.

Another solution is to repair the seal issues and any other noticeable problems on the existing roof layer, take care of any blistering and then install a new membrane layer or BUR sheeting over top. However, a new overlaid membrane is not as ideal as BUR would be. Roofing over has some limitations, and you are essentially postponing an inevitable tear-away flat roof replacement at some point.

Roof Repair or Commercial Roof Replacement?

After assessing the extent of the damage and figuring in the age of the roof, we have to determine if it is worth the roof repair to make it last several more years. The roof membrane, and even more so for BUR roofing, can be very easy materials to repair, especially as compared to some sloped shingle roofing materials. It normally involves cutting the blisters away and resecuring the material with adhesive and caulk. Seams that are coming apart simply need additional tar and sealant to re-engage them, and flashing that is falling away is easily replaced.

With very isolated damage and a recommendation to repair your roof by your roofing professional, like All Roofs, you can save some money and take care of your roof with a solid repair. But if you have an old roof that is starting to break down, consider a commercial roof replacement instead. The same should be the case if the damage is excessive and spreading.
Contact All Roofs Commercial Roofing for a professional roof inspection and a quality flat roof replacement. Call us for a free estimate.