3 Questions To Ask About Your Commercial Roof Repair Needs

Posted on: 16 July 2015

Many commercial buildings feature flat roofs as a means of optimizing internal space, but these structures can present questions not commonly associated with ordinary residential roofing needs. Here are three questions you should have ready for your building's commercial roofer.

1. "Why Is Our Flat Roof Flooding?"

A flat roof can easily become a flooded roof due to the fact that it can't simply shed water the way a sloped design can. With no natural way for the water to run off, the roof is completely dependent on its system of drains, gutters, and downspouts. The longer that pool of water remains on your roof, the more damage it can do as leaks form and structures become corroded or eroded, necessitating extensive commercial flat roof repair.

The first time you see water pooling on your flat roof, have the roof inspected for drainage issues. You may have clogged or damaged drains that need to be either cleaned out or replaced. If the drains are all right but the roof itself is sagging inward, you may need to have it replaced with a properly level surface. This would also be a smart time to have the roofer check for cracks, mold infiltration, and other signs of potential leaks.

2. "Can You Do the Work Without Disturbing Our Occupants?"

If your building houses residential tenants, hospital patients, office workers, or retail shops, roof repair work can arouse some hard feelings between you and your occupants. You might assume that roof repair inevitably means massive disruption of the everyday routine in and around the facility and that your only alternative is to put off important preventative maintenance and repairs until the roof is ready to collapse. Fortunately, that doesn't have to be the case. 

Ask your roofing company whether it can schedule its work at the time most convenient to your clientele. If you're re-roofing a high-rise apartment, perhaps the contractors can do their job during the day, when most occupants are at work. If the building houses a retail complex, maybe it would be better to do the roofing work after closing hours, or at least without blocking the customer parking lot. If the facility is a medical center, find out whether your roofer can set up the necessary heavy equipment away from the emergency room entrance. A good roofing company always keeps its customers' convenience and best interests in mind.

3. "Can a New Roof Coating Lower Our Energy Bills?"

If your facility's flat asphalt roof is parched, weathered, pitted, and cracked after years of exposure to the elements, your first instinct might be to call the roofer and have it patched up as you've done in years past. But before you sign on for another round of routine flat roof repair, ask yourself whether your energy bills have been going up significantly. If they have, then it may be worth your while to ask the roofer about the possibility of covering the whole thing with a single-ply "cool roof" membrane that reflects heat and UV rays, making your indoor temperatures easier and cheaper to manage.

Cool roof membranes are made of space-age plastics such as thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) or PVC, and they're usually either a brilliant white or some other light, highly reflective color. The material comes in large sheets that are laid down over the existing roof surface and then bonded together, creating a seamless, waterproof surface. By bouncing heat away from your roof instead of absorbing it, you may be able to slash your operational costs.

Ask the right questions about your commercial roofing needs, and you'll get answers that help you prevent flooding, reduce your energy usage, and maintain a more user-friendly environment for your occupants during repairs. For more information, contact a local roofing company that offers commercial flat roof repair.