A man looking at a ceiling with water spots from a serious roof leak.

Roof replacement is expensive.

But, that’s what you get if you don’t do regular maintenance for your commercial roof. Flat roofs are less expensive to install than pitched roofs, but they’re more prone to water damage, punctures and infiltration (which can reduce lifespan). That’s why it is especially important to make sure you’re taking care of your building’s flat roofing material.

If you’ve been falling behind on your regular inspections and flat roof maintenance, here are some telltale signs that you need to contact a commercial roofing contractor and get back on track – otherwise, you can end up needing costly repairs or a new roof.

1. Seeing Water Pools and Ponding

Even though water doesn’t roll off a flat roof the way it does a sloped roof, it’s never a good sign when you have water pooling on your roof surface. When water starts to pool on your roof, serious damage can happen. While water on your roof immediately following a rain storm is not a major cause of concern, regular ponding (for 48 hours or more) can mean risking damage to your building.

While there are roof coatings that help mitigate ponding water, the best thing to do is address the cause of the problem. When you notice standing water on your roof for more than a day after stormy weather conditions, usually there’s one culprit to blame…

2. Clogged Gutters and Drainage Systems

If a blockage in your drainage system develops, water can’t flow off of your flat roof, leading to the ponding water we mentioned in the previous paragraph. While you might not consider a drainage system as part of a healthy roof, it’s essential to not let debris (like leaves and tree branches) build up and clog your pipes.

3. Blisters

Blisters are bubbles of air that form under the roofing membrane and they can hurt the overall integrity of your commercial roof. If blisters are causing roof membranes to split, you need flat roof repair. Sometimes water intrusion causes blisters, but blisters can also be caused by sunlight and heat.

4. Loose Membrane or Flashing

If you notice parts of your roof flapping in the wind, you should be concerned; it could be your roofing membrane or it could be flashing that has separated. Either way, this seriously compromises your roof’s integrity and leads to premature flat roof replacement.

Contact a commercial roofing company to replace the damaged membrane or flashing, and if you’re quick enough, you can avoid more expensive and time-consuming repairs.

5. Loose Fasteners

Weather conditions cause fasteners to come loose, which can lead to gaps where water can penetrate your roof. Loose fasteners are typically spotted during a roof inspection but can be difficult to see by the untrained eye. This issue is a sign that your roofing membrane is going to need to be replaced down the road, and if not addressed, can lead to water intrusion.

6. Water Spots and Roof Leaks

Water spots on your ceiling are never a good sign; it usually means you have a leak on your hands. If you do have a roof leak, then your commercial roof is damaged and in need of repair by a professional roofer ASAP to avoid further damage.

Roof Maintenance Tips to Extend Your Flat Roof’s Lifespan

Whether you have an EPDM or PVC flat roof, it’s important to be proactive when you see signs of damage. Failing to do so can lead to costly repairs and complications in your business operations. Get the most out of your roof, and keep it in good condition, by following these maintenance tips.

Clean Your Gutters and Drainage Systems

As we mentioned earlier, blockage in your drainage system invites larger issues. Regularly make sure that they’re clear of debris, check their condition and clear away anything that can cause a clog.

Apply Roof Coating

Roof coatings can slow the effects of harmful UV rays on your roof membrane and protect it from harsh weather conditions.

Schedule Regular Roof Inspections

A professional roofer can spot small issues and address them before they become major, more expensive problems later on. You should have inspections every year – once in the fall, and once in the spring. Another added plus is that professional inspections can take into account any roof warranty that may be in place.

Take Care of Damage ASAP

The longer you let issues go, the worse they get. To avoid costly repairs, you need to contact a commercial roofing company as soon as you notice a problem. (Don’t go the DIY route.)

A Quality Roof Comes From Quality Maintenance

No matter what type of roof your commercial building has, it needs regular care. Your building is your most important asset, so make sure it’s protected.

Find a commercial roofing company that offers responsive flat roof maintenance and 24-hour emergency roof repair services (like we do here at TEMA Roofing). TEMA has experience in all types of commercial roofs: from Bitumen and EPDM roofs to TPO and more. If you’re looking for a partner to keep your roof – and your commercial business – operating at peak performance, contact us today. We’ll give your commercial roof the proper care that it needs.