Knowing when it's time for a commercial roof replacement
Over time, many businesses may need to replace their commercial roofs. While most commercial roofing systems are made for long-term use, many can develop problems well before their life expectancies. Issues can arise when a roof has been installed wrong, designed or manufactured incorrectly, or not properly maintained. Another reason can also be because of weather-related issues.
When considering if you need to replace your commercial roof, ask these questions first:
- How bad is the roof/how much is it damaged?
- Does it have the proper amount of insulation?
- Is the building currently occupied? How easy would it be to remove and replace the roof?
- Is the owner looking for a long-term or short-term solution?
- What is the building used for and where is it located?
- Does the building generate moisture? If so, it may not currently have the right roof.
- Can you repair the roof? Instead of fully replacing your roof, you could have problem areas repaired instead.
Signs it’s time to replace your commercial roof:
You know when it is time to replace your roof when…
Look inside for:
Places where the roof deck/ceiling is sagging
If you notice that your roof is sagging or is becoming soft in an area, this is a sign it’s time to replace your roof. Sagging is a sign of a number of potential issues, such as water damage, structural issues, deteriorating building materials, and even poor workmanship. Failure to address this issue could lead to roof collapse, water infiltration, and other issues that could impact business operations and pose safety risks.
Signs of water damage or leaking
- Water stains on the ceiling and/or walls may signal a leak, which could be caused by a crack or hole in the roof
- Dark spots and trails
- There is unexplained mould or odours
- Bubbles may indicate trapped moisture within the roof cover
Over time, the bolts and screws holding your roof components together become loose and can allow rainwater to leak into your building which can affect work areas, products or displays. Leaking will also cause excessive rusting, making the building less weather-proof and energy efficient. While leaking can be fixed if given attention in a timely manner, it is a possible warning that the roof is wearing out.
If a leakage is ignored, eventually it can become a much bigger problem, and is one of the main reasons for the shortened lifespan of a roof due to accumulation of mould and other hazardous bacteria.
Outside light shining through the roof
A worn out roof board will definitely have several patches from which daylight is coming in and this indicates that the roof has become weak and needs replacement.
Look outside for:
Visually inspect your metal roof for any rusting. You can usually see this when there is some lift-up at the overlapping edges. Metal roofs are screwed or nailed to trusses; rust at these points creates a weak spot for any water or wind.
For tiled roofs, look for areas where terracotta/cement is coming loose on your ridge (or capping) tiles.
As a rule of thumb, if 25% or more of the roof is damaged from weather it is time to have it replaced.
No matter how well you maintain your roof, eventually age will catch up with it. The lifespan of a commercial roof will largely depend on the type of roof you have installed; but once you reach the 15 - 20 year mark, it’s time to start thinking about replacement over big repair jobs.