If your commercial building has a flat roof, you may be wondering when to replace it. There are no hard and fast rules, but the following are signs that you need a roof replacement.
1. Ponding Water
Ponding water refers to any standing water on the roof that doesn't properly drain off through the drains and gutter systems on the roof. If the ponding water is developing in newly formed sunken areas, the base material of the roof, below the protective membrane, has suffered damage. In this case the entire roof system may be due for replacement, particularly if ponding is occurring at multiple sites on the roof.
2. Age Deterioration
A flat roof is typically designed to last an average of two or three decades, depending on the exact material and how well it is maintained. Older roofs may begin to deteriorate quite rapidly. Potholes may form on built-up asphalt roofs, while membranes may begin to break down on membrane roofs. If your roof is approaching its expected average lifespan, then it makes more sense to replace it rather than try to constantly repair it.
3. Extensive Membrane Damage
Membrane roofs will occasionally suffer tears or punctures, but if you are repairing more than one or two of these a year, it is time to have the deck inspected and to fully replace the membrane. It's also a sign that it's time for a new roof if all of the membrane seams are failing, which means they are pulling up or developing gaps at the seams. A failed membrane provides no water protection, so failure to replace it will lead to extensive leaks and damage inside your building.
4. Blisters and Bubbles
A flat roof should never develop blisters or bubbles, as these indicate that the membrane is no longer adhered properly to the base. Moisture will collect under the blistering membrane and lead to leaks inside the building. At a bare minimum the damaged membrane needs to be replaced, but there may also be damage to the roof base that has lead to an increased chance of membrane blistering.
5. Uplift Damages
Uplift occurs when wind lifts up the flat roof or the roof membrane from below. The cause can be due to poor building design, but it is often the result of improper installation or an aging roof. Once the roof lifts up, it needs to be replaced. Strapping can be installed at the time of replacement to minimize the chances of future issues with uplift.
Contact a flat roof replacement contractor at a company like AAA Affordable Roofing for more help.