While big changes to our lives, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, have meant major readjustments to the way we live and work, one thing remains the same. Our buildings still require some occasional inspection and maintenance if we want to maintain an effective, operational life expectancy. One of the things you can do to ensure your commercial roof is in good shape is to keep it properly looked after.
The roofing industry is always in a position to help, but you can do your part and stay alert to possible vulnerabilities in your roof. Even though it has no moving parts, a roof isn’t a single, solid component, and the different elements of the roof carry various risks for potential damage. Here are four aspects of your roof that are particularly vulnerable.
The Pitch Pan
Some commercial roofs will require a pipe or other conduit to go through from indoors to outdoors, often for venting purposes. In some cases, it may be challenging to flash or seal this roof penetration with a simple sealant, so instead of a box filled with sealant, surrounds the pipe. This is called a “pitch pan.”
Because pitch pans stick out of the roof, they are sometimes more prone to damage. Like other parts of a roof, if a pitch pan is left undamaged, water can accumulate in it, leading to leaks and additional water damage.
Flashing is a physical barrier, either a sealant or a plate-like structure, that is applied over a seam or a joint in a roof. This is done to prevent water from gathering in these weak spots and eventually penetrating the building. However, flashing, while designed to be a protective layer, can, over time, degrade. Physical damage from storms and corrosive damage from things like moss being allowed to grow unrestricted can impact the performance of flashing.
This is a widespread problem for commercial roofs that have trees overhanging. Because many commercial roofs are flat, instead of sloped, gravity can’t naturally move water toward a gutter drainage system. Most commercial roofs compensate for this by building a drain into the roof.
However, drains, being holes, can be blocked. If this occurs with enough falling leaves, for example, water is no longer being drained quickly, or at all. If a blockage occurs, this can leave standing water, which may eventually penetrate and damage your roof.
Some commercial roofs have an additional protective layer, often referred to as a membrane, applied to the top for extra protection. This may be PVC, bitumen, or rubber-like EPDM. These membranes may be damaged by weather events like strong winds, or physical damage, such as the constant scraping of low lying branches. Regardless of the cause, a damaged membrane, similar to damaged flashing, means a protective measure is no longer doing its job.
If you want to make sure your commercial roof is in working condition, we can help. Contact Gulf Tex Roofing & Services, and we’ll assess your roof, and, if any repair or maintenance needs to be done, get it back in shape.