Unforeseen roofing issues can have a huge impact upon your business and can cost you a significant amount of money and time.
One of the most discussed topics on our website is proactive preventative measures, simply because this is the best course of action for professional commercial organisations.
In this article I have included the 10 most common industrial roofing problems to look out for and what you can do to prevent them.
Understanding the impact that these industrial roofing problems may have on your roof, and how to avoid them, could save you a lot of money, time, and minimise any downtime due to inaccessibility.
Top 10 most common industrial roofing problems
1 – Poor maintenance
Poor maintenance is possibly the most common topic we discuss on our website, and that’s because it’s the main source of problems for industrial and commercial roofs. The most frustrating aspect of poor maintenance is that it’s really simple to put preventative measures in place.
As far as we are concerned there aren’t any really good excuses for poor maintenance, especially when industrial roofing contractors just like us offer planned preventative maintenance programs.
2 – Winter & extreme weather
Unfortunately there’s not a lot you can do to prevent the winter and extreme weather. However, there are things you can do to minimize the impact these conditions will have on your roof.
In summary, the main conditions you will want to keep an eye out for are:
- Extreme temperature changes – this can result in melting ice and snow, which in turn creates a lot of water, which can lead to water ingress and overflowing guttering
- Extreme wind – can result in loosening of roofing materials and collection of debris, leading to leakages and overflowing guttering
- Heavy rain and snow – if your roof is already in a poor state of maintenance heavy rain and snow fall can lead to severe water ingress
The key to preventing problems and preparing for the winter is to organise regular roof inspections to ensure your roof can deal with the most extreme circumstances. It is also important to make sure that visual checks take place immediately after extreme weather conditions.
3 – Lack of gutter cleaning
As with most gutter and roofing problems that we come across it’s quite easy to prevent them with roof inspections and planned preventative maintenance. However, most people don’t fix things until they are broken or until there is no other option.
Throughout the year, and especially in the winter time, your gutters become a source of concern for roofing maintenance. The wind, rain and extreme weather conditions result in leaves, branches, stones, dirt and debris being washed into your guttering, which will block and choke your gutters.
The best course of action is regular cleaning and inspection of your guttering. However, over time as your gutters go unchecked with a lack of ongoing maintenance, instead of a simple clean and inspection you can expect more relatively expensive repairs and in extreme cases a full gutter replacement.
4 – Leaks and water ingress
Water leakage is a very strong indicator of a need for roof replacement or repair. Generally, water leakage and damp areas within the roofing area are caused by missing or damaged roofing materials. On the ceilings and walls look out for damps spots and discolouring, which is likely to be early signs of water ingress and is usually a result of a roofing issue.
As soon as this is spotted it’s absolutely critical to contact your industrial roofing contractor.
5 – Seagulls and birds
For commercial property owners and tenants, seagulls can be a headache, causing many challenges and problems including:
- Picking at roofing materials
- Debris from nesting including sticks and branches
- A mess from droppings
Their nests and debris can also restrict the flow of water on your roof causing overflow issues and increase risk of water ingress.
If your property is prone to attracting seagulls, the key is to prevent seagulls landing on your roof all together.
6 – Asbestos
As the concern for asbestos roofing increases it’s ever more important to ensure that you know what you are dealing with. As soon as asbestos is mentioned it usually strikes fear into people due to the known extreme health dangers associated with it.
If you think asbestos containing materials are present, but you don’t have a record of the location, the best course of action is to arrange a roof survey and inspection.
If you are unsure about anything it’s important to not disturb your roof and get professional help.
7 – Standing or ponding water
Ponds of water on your roof can be a sign of a build up of debris or an indication that the drainage is inadequate or blocked.
Left without inspection this can lead to water ingress and gutter overflowing.
8 – Poor installation and workmanship
One of the issues we come across quite frequently is where a previous contractor has attempted to repair a job but it has been performed incorrectly.
Unfortunately this can result in a full roof replacement and even more expense and upset for you and your business.
9 – Damaged rooflights
When we are called out for a commercial or industrial roofing issue the problem is typically due to defective and damaged rooflights.
Although the estimated tenure of a rooflight is 20-30 years, they become fragile between 15-20 years. This is mainly due to the UV light attacking the outer layer of the roof light.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the main reason rooflights don’t last as long as they should is because a regular maintenance and inspection programme is not in place.
Look out for:
- Brittleness and tearing
- Loose fittings and fixtures
- Water ingress
10 – Build up of debris
Over time due to wind, rain and nesting birds debris will collect on your roof. This may include leaves, sticks, branches and small stones.
As this collects and builds up on your roof it can lead to the restriction of the flow of water.
Clearing your roof of dirt and debris will ensure the proper draining of water.
The all-in-one solution: Preventative maintenance
If you’ve read this far there should be no doubt in your mind that the recommended method of prevention is found in taking proactive preventative measures. This could be in the form of scheduled roofing inspections and/or a full planned preventative maintenance programme.
A proactive approach to roofing maintenance can save you money, time and reduce the risk of a premature roof replacement.
Source: Jamie Morton, Industrial Roofing Scotland