You know how critical the role of a commercial roofing system is to your building’s overall structural integrity. But it, too, needs protection from the elements. This is especially true during the storm season.
The next major storm that passes through can leave in its wake one of these three conditions:
- Complete removal of the protective membrane
- A breach in the protective membrane
- Permanent deformation of the roofing materials
Any of those scenarios result in an expensive roof repair project, something you can’t afford right now. Because storms happen every year, you need comprehensive protection from the elements that won’t break your budget or require an overhaul of your commercial building.
Protecting your commercial roof from storms begins with preventive maintenance. If you make sure your roof is clean, well-maintained, and free of leaks, you’re off to a good start. Below are some other ways you can help keep it protected:
- Hire an experienced commercial roofer to inspect your commercial building every year or two for damage that may have occurred due to ageing or neglect.
- Ensure your roof is strong enough for the kind of weather it’s exposed to. Asphalt shingles, for example, aren’t designed to withstand high winds and heavy storms.
- Use commercial roof coatings that protect and beautify your building at the same time.
Flat Roofs Must Be Waterproofed
Flat roofs are particularly vulnerable to damage when intense storms hit during the summer months because they heat up under direct sunlight, creating a thermal expansion in the roofing materials. Repairing a damaged flat roof is an expensive undertaking that’s best avoided by investing in commercial rubber roof coating that will protect your building for years.
Sloped Roofing is Prone to Storm Damage
High winds and falling debris can also damage asphalt shingles and other types of sloped roofing. Before the next storm season arrives, make sure any weak areas on the roof are repaired as well as any gutters and downspouts that may be clogged or blocked with debris.
Protecting Tile and Slate Roofs
Tile roofs are popular for commercial buildings because they’re durable and attractive. They can stand up to strong storms if appropriately installed – but only if their waterproofing system is maintained regularly. There’s no excuse not to, considering moisture intrusion causes more damage to tile roofs than wind-driven rain itself.
Slate roofs, too, can stand up to storms if their waterproofing system is in good working order. They’re also more fire-resistant and energy-efficient than other roofing systems.
Reinforce your EPDM Roof
EPDM rubber roofs are easy to install, durable and attractive. They can also withstand high winds if they’re correctly reinforced. Start by applying a commercial-grade silicone sealant around the perimeter of your building’s roofing membrane. Also, consider installing a metal drip edge flashing along all eaves and rakes, as well as at any penetrations – including roof drains and roof vents. The flashing should be no less than 24 inches in width and overlap the membrane by at least two inches.
Commercial roof coatings can also help prevent wind damage to your building’s EPDM rubber membrane, as well as seal leaks which may allow water infiltration over time. This helps ensure the optimum performance of the waterproofing system.
TPO Roofs Need Protection, Too
TPO roofs can also take a beating during heavy storms. This is especially true if they aren’t correctly installed and maintained. Then again, even if they are properly installed and maintained, TPO membranes can still suffer significant damage from hail impact.
For the best protection against wind-driven rain, use a commercial-grade sealant to bond the seams and all penetrations in your TPO membrane together. Also, consider installing metal drip edge flashings over all eaves and rakes.
Cut or Trim Trees Nearby
If your commercial roof is exposed to strong winds during storm season, then you need to take steps to protect it. One of the most effective strategies is to remove all trees within a hundred feet of your building. If that’s not possible due to property lines, cut back overhanging branches at least six feet from the roof.
Even small branches and twigs can cause significant damage to your commercial roofing system during heavy storms, so don’t ignore the presence of trees in proximity to your commercial building.
Dealing with Rooftop Equipment
Some commercial buildings have rooftop equipment, i.e., HVAC. The problem with this setup is that it can be damaged easily by a strong storm, causing a major headache and expensive repairs. A solution is to install special roofing anchors that secure rooftop equipment while making it more wind resistant.
Ask your HVAC installer for details on how to protect your building from the effects of storms. In fact, ask everyone you work with – from your roofing contractor to your roofing supplier – how you can help keep your building safe.goog
Your Location Matters
Some locations are more exposed than others. For example, roofs of buildings near the beach or in hurricane zones tend to get hit more often and harder than those in inland locations. Roofing professionals determine which areas of your state are more likely to experience windstorms, so it makes sense to work with them in adding protection to your commercial roof.
Prevent Instead of Fix
Make sure your commercial roofing system is in good shape and will stand up to the worst Mother Nature can throw at it. If you neglect it, you’ll be faced with a costly repair project – perhaps even having to replace your roof entirely.
While residential roofs don’t cost that much to repair or replace, the same can’t be said about commercial roofing. It’s much more expensive, given the size and scale of most commercial buildings.
The thing about storms is that they don’t spare anything – even the most durable or expensive roofing material. So, you’re only option is to give your roof an added layer of protection to have a fighting chance against the storm.
Prevention is your best option. Of course, it’ll cost you money, but a little upfront will go a long way to protect your investment in a commercial building. After all, there’s no way to control or stop storms – the best you can do is prepare for them.
Whatever your commercial roofing material, you can’t afford to wait until the end of the season to address damage, no matter how minor. The next storm that comes along could be too much for your roof to handle. Call a commercial roofing contractor now and protect your building from storms before they happen.