Common Problems in Commercial Roofing: What Minneapolis Building Owners Should Know

As a building owner in Minneapolis, one of the most costly investments you can make is your roof. That’s why it’s important that a roof be inspected regularly and promptly repaired when when needed. Because roofs can suffer from several types of issues during some point of their lifespan, it’s critical that you recognize and correct them before damage occurs. Here are some of the most common problems that commercial roofs can have.

Leaks and Moisture Repairs

Just about all types of commercial roofs can experience leak damage as well as moisture infiltration. Leaks on commercial roofs can be the result of several causes, such as improper installation, inferior adhesion and other conditions. About 95 percent of all roof leaks are caused by defective flashing.

Open Seams

Another common problem is open seams. This is the result of a roofing system starting to age or from a commercial roof that has not been installed properly. To repair this type of roof defect, a roofer uses heat welding or patches the open seam with an adhesive membrane.

Wind Uplift, Punctures or Roof Blow-offs

Commercial roofs that aren’t installed correctly can be vulnerable to wind uplift, punctures or wind blow-offs, besides other types of serious roof damage that are the result of outdoor hazards or intense storms. Roofs that have tearing or even partial blow-off are more likely to have moisture penetration issues, leading to destructive leaks.

Thermal Shock

Just about all types of roofs can suffer from thermal shock. However, EPDM rubber roofs are more at risk than other kinds. This is a condition that involves destructive UV sun rays that can cause a roof to deteriorate over a period of time. Damage from thermal shock includes roof shrinkage and cracking.

Standing Water

A standing water problem on a commercial roof can be caused by blocked or clogged drains. Before making repairs, a roofer finds and inspects the source of the water. In some cases, it’s caused from HVAC units that lack proper drainage. A roofing repair specialist also checks drains to ensure they don’t have debris and dirt before making repairs.

Standing water can also be due to water that remains on a flat roof for 48 hours following rainfall. This is a condition known as ponding water, which can cause a roof to deteriorate and eventually cause leaks.

Surface Erosion or Breakdown

There are several forms of surface erosion or surface breakdown, such as blistering, ridging, splitting and others. These can lead to further issues, including a roof prematurely aging or breaking down if nothing is done to address the conditions. Often, a roof surface erodes or breaks down because a roof is exposed to extreme weather.

Blistering is a frequent issue with asphalt shingles. Blisters on a roof are the result of air becoming trapped in the roofing membrane. This can be caused from a roof not being installed the right way. To repair roof blisters, a roofer cuts out the blistered membrane to relieve tension. Next, the area in patched with a modified cap sheet that’s torched down.

Considerations and Warnings

  • Tree limbs that overhang on a roof can scrape the surface of roof shingles, which wears away the top protective layer. Therefore, trees limbs should be kept away from a roof by being regularly trimmed.
  • Insects, birds and other critters can create a significant amount of roof damage.
  • Problems such as blistering, splitting, surface erosion and ridging are often common on BUR roof systems, although sometimes they occur in some types of single-ply systems.
  • You should have your roof thoroughly inspected at least twice a year. The best time to have this done is in spring and late fall.

Do you have a commercial roof in Minneapolis that needs repairing? It takes specific training, skills and much experience to repair a commercial roof. Don’t hesitate to call the roofing professionals at First Impressions Exteriors. In addition to specializing in roofing, we also do gutters, siding and provide a wide range of other services to Minneapolis homeowners and business owners. Please contact us.