Industrial Roofing: Identifying Potential Flat Roof Problems

Flat roofs and roofs with a low slope are a common choice for industrial roofing systems. After all, flat roofs are not only affordable, they also allow for efficient installation and have fewer potential repair issues than many other types of roofs. In some cases, they can also expand the amount of outdoor space available for use in a commercial facility.

While flat roofs come with benefits, they also have their downsides. If you have a flat roof in place or are considering this type of roof, it’s important to understand what to keep an eye out for with this type of industrial roofing. Below, we’ve outlined how potential issues can be detected thereby extending the longevity of your flat roof and the security of your commercial building.

Detecting Issues Related to Flat Industrial Roofing Systems

Leaks are one of the most common issues for any type of roof. However, it can be quite difficult to detect the source of a leak on a flat roof. Without the ability to pinpoint the origins of a leak, many commercial building owners and managers find they eventually suffer from ongoing water damage issues.

This is one of the many reasons why flat roofs should not only be installed by a professional roofing contractor with all the right certifications but also why regular roof inspections are key. A roofing contractor that possesses extensive experience installing and maintaining flat roofs will be able to identify the cause of leaks on your roof and prevent additional damage.

Here are some of the various causes of leaks that could be discovered during an industrial roofing inspection:

  • Damaged or deteriorated roofing materials
  • Cracks in the covering of the roof
  • Gaps at joints or corners of ventilation points
  • Issues with the flashing or membrane
  • Blockages in the drainage system
  • Pooled water on the roof 

Once the inspector has identified the issue on your roof and investigated the extent of the damage, they will make a recommendation for repair or replacement. 

Repairing and Replacing Flat Industrial Roofing Systems

It’s always best to catch leaks early so a minor repair can be done rather than a more expensive and time-consuming replacement. Patch repairs are often all that is needed to halt leaks or fix areas of the roof that are damaged or worn out, enabling your roof to do its job for many more years to come. 

If the damage can’t be remedied with a patch repair, a complete roof replacement may be necessary. During this process, both the roof deck and the protective waterproof membrane will be removed from the roof. Then, it will be covered with the material of your choice. 

In general, there are two types of flat roof coverings to choose from. The first is a built-up system, which is sometimes referred to as a tar and gravel roof. These names come from the fact that this system is composed of layers of either asphalt or tar combined with several modifiers. The set of layers is then placed on top of the flat roof.

Another common type of flat roof covering is a single-ply membrane, a sheet of synthetic material that is fitted to the roof. There are a number of innovative materials that have been formed into single-ply membranes. These materials allow for a resilient flat roofing system that requires minimal maintenance over time and can withstand the elements. Polyvinyl chloride, more commonly known as PVC, and thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) are two popular choices. Both of these membranes offer exceptional durability when installed properly and can last for decades.

Are you dealing with issues on your industrial roofing system or want to take preventative measures to avoid water damage? Call AMW Contracting today at 904-725-4197 to connect with a trusted local roofing contractor with plenty of experience working on flat roofs.