Workers replacing a commercial roof.

Are you considering purchasing a commercial building for your business? Do you already have the building but are concerned about whether or not it needs a new roof?

Concern about a building’s roofing system is common, no matter what type of business you own or operate. Your roof literally protects every aspect of your business — the staff, the equipment, the product — EVERYTHING! And unfortunately, because of its importance, not all roofing companies are completely honest about whether or not you need a complete commercial re-roof. They may try to sell you on a new roof for questionable reasons or misrepresent the facts.

But, there are actually a few ways to tell if you need to replace the entire roof. Warning signs abound, and after considering the indicators listed below you should be able to decide if you need a new roof or just a few repairs.

Keep reading for more information!

1. Sagging Spots

Your roof is going to get wet when it rains — that isn’t a secret. However, the water can collect on a flat roof (known as ponding) which can cause roofing issues such as degradation of the roofing material.

Sagging or drooping roof lines can mean that there is a leak present and that the leak has compromised the joists, rafters or sheathing. Sometimes, depending on the extent of the damage, the compromised areas can be replaced while leaving the remainder of the roof intact. However, if sagging is widespread, complete replacement may be necessary.

2. Musty Odors

Walking into a musty-smelling business is a sure sign of mold. Mold growth occurs when moisture is present, and in minor cases, can be controlled by thorough cleaning and adjusting humidity levels.

If mold is found to be the cause of the musty smell, it is extremely important to have the problem fixed right away — whether it’s a simple leak repair or an entire re-roof. Lingering moisture issues can cause major problems, including a variety of health issues.

3. Interior Water Damage

Having to place a bucket underneath a roof leak is more than just an annoyance — any business owner knows that it doesn’t look good to customers. Failing to repair the problem can lead to severe water spots and water damage that can be seen on the ceiling, walls and even the floors.

If your commercial building is showing signs of water damage, you should respond quickly. Stay ahead of major issues by periodically checking for peeling paint and water stains on the upper levels.

When and if you spot something, reach out to a professional to assess the situation. Often, if problems are addressed early on, you may be able to prevent the possibility of needing a complete commercial roof replacement.

4. Bubbles and Blistering

Your commercial roof should not have air pockets or bubbles in it. But, a damaged roof can form bubbles and blisters in the roofing membrane over time thanks to the accumulation of moisture or air that has gotten trapped underneath.

Basically, a roof blister or bubble is similar to a blister found on the skin. The ‘skin’ needs to be removed, the area needs to be cleaned, and then the bubble needs to be repaired. Localized repairs are possible, however, commercial re-roofing may be a more cost-efficient option.

Unfortunately, a recurring bubble is usually a sure sign of roof membrane damage. And since water may be invading from another area, the spot that is bubbling may not necessarily be the source of your roof’s issue.

5. Climbing Energy Bills

Even though your roof might be intact, over time it can lose efficiency. What does a roof have to do with efficiency? Well, a roof can help reflect the sun, which, in turn, can keep your HVAC unit from overworking itself.

Once your roof loses the ability to reflect the sun, not much can be done to repair it. Either a new roof will need to be installed or higher energy bills will continue to mount. (And, aside from lowering your commercial building’s energy bills, you can also feel good that an efficient roof will leave less of a carbon footprint.)

6. Clogged Drains

During the next torrential downpour, look outside to see if there is a similar amount of water coming through your downspouts. If you are noticing far less water coming through, it may be because there are sagging spots (as discussed earlier) or your roof drains may be clogged. If your roof drains have been clogged for an extended period of time, significant damage may  occur.

7. Loose Roofing Material

Heavy rains, high winds and various other extreme weather events can cause your roofing material to loosen. Ignoring loose material can lead to further roof damage, higher energy bills and, ultimately, shorten the lifespan of your roof.

If there are a lot of areas that have loose material or you’re unsure of how long the material has been flaking or loosening, you may need to look into commercial re-roofing.

8. Old Roofs

This one is last for a reason! To the untrained eye, a commercial roof may look like it’s free of any signs of damage. However, once a commercial roof reaches a certain age, there will constantly be small problems (that accumulate over time and become BIG problems).

Commercial property and building owners should weigh the cost of a new roof against the continuous repair of small problems.

If your commercial roof is around 25 years old (or older) take a hard look at the problems you’re encountering. If you find yourself encountering any of the aforementioned issues with your commercial roofing system, it may be time to correct the problems for good!

Do You Need Commercial Roof Repair?

Hopefully you have a clearer idea as to whether or not you need commercial re-roofing services. If you are still on the fence about this decision or think it may be better to speak with a commercial roofing contractor about a roof inspection, that’s okay!

TEMA Roofing Services is your local roofing expert for commercial roof maintenance and replacement. We won’t push you into buying a new commercial roof that you don’t need. Instead, we will share information and do what we can to repair your commercial roof until you’re ready to make a complete change. Contact TEMA today to find out about our services!