Common Commercial Roof Problems

commercial roof problemToday’s blog post covers common roofing problems, building on top of previous blog posts about when to inspect a roof and why regular roof maintenance is essential. Our overview of some common roofing problems also complements a recent post about hiring the right roofing contractor.

Roofing is an expensive investment. Ongoing roof maintenance or repairs can be a hassle. Additionally, since roofing is so costly, it often does not stay at top-of-mind for many building owners. But a roof will have problems at some point, and when those issues do arise, catching the damage early can help you avoid pricier roof repairs or even roof replacement. Doing so can also help keep your roof warranty going strong. From that standpoint, it can be helpful to know some common problems your commercial roof will likely face.

Naturally, some roofs will have problems that are proper to their type of roofing system. For instance, a metal roof can have costly, ongoing battles with rust. Flat roofs will be at greater risk to damage from ponding water than low slope roofs. But all roofs have some issues that they will experience in common.

Typical Roof Problems Effecting Commercial Building Owners

    • Leaks and moisture. All commercial roofs are prone to the damaging effects of leaks or moisture infiltration. In fact, if even a small roof leak is left alone, it could lead to much bigger problems that could be avoided if the leak were addressed. Roof leaks can spring up from many causes. These can include a roofing system not being properly installed, poor adhesion, an appropriate moisture barrier not being properly installed under certain kinds of roofing such as modified bitumen roofing, or moisture seeping under a roof surface. Aside from water falling into a building space, roof leaks or moisture infiltration under a roof surface can lead to rotting, mold, or other problems depending on the underlying material composition.
    • Lack of roof maintenance and roof repairs, when they are needed. All industry experts agree on the importance of having your roof regularly inspected and maintenanced. Like other valuable things that experience wear-and-tear over time, a roof will have fewer problems if early-stage damage, problems, or signs of trouble are headed off quickly. A regular roof maintenance program will keep your roofing problems at bay and be a strong preventative against big roofing issues or needs making an unwelcome appearance. Elsewise, a roof will encounter problems, have those problems remain untended and become even more damaged and impacted, and eventually fail or be destroyed.
    • Ponding water. This problem is a common headache on virtually all commercial flat roofs. It is also noticeable sometimes on sloped roofs that have flatter slope configurations around their perimeter or that “flatten out” in certain areas. Ponding water can be a sign of deeper trouble: debris build-up on a roof, improper drainage from HVAC units or gutters, or overall poor-quality configuration design. Over time, as water gathers into an existing pool of water on a roof, the pool of water exerts stronger and stronger pressure on the roof surface. If left untended, the pooling water’s pressure can be strong enough where the roof surface is compromised and water infiltrates into the roofing components below. Other factors, such as thermal shock and heavier precipitation, can speed up a roof’s decay or exert more powerful, downward pressure on the roof surface, making it more likely for water to infiltrate and do its damage.
    • Roof shrinkage and cracking. For virtually all roof types, thermal shock can be one of the most common roofing problems over time. Roofs such as EPDM rubber roofs can be at greater risk than other roof types, though. Thermal shock refers to the deteriorating effects of the sun’s powerful, harmful UV rays upon a roof over time. In temperature extremes, the sun becomes even more extensive in how much it affects a roof. The sun’s energy causes the roof to expand in hotter periods, and causes the roof to contract once it starts to cool down. A roof that has a dark-colored surface will also absorb heat from the sun than its lighter-colored counterparts, which further contributes to deterioration. In time, thanks to the sun’s influence, a roof can experience shrinkage, cracking, surface crazing, loosened roof flashing, and even more exposed seams, depending on the roof’s type.
    • Various forms of surface erosion or breakdown. Some common instances of surface erosion or breakdown include blistering, splitting, ridging, and other conditions. They can lead to other problems such as accelerated roof aging or breakdown if left unheeded. In many cases, roof surface erosion or breakdown can be pinned down to roof weathering that has been caused by outdoor extremes. However, on roofs that are made up of sheet products, poor installation or workmanship can lead to these problems or others such as roof wrinkles or fish mouthing.

Roofing Services

Our professional commercial roof contractors provide:

  • Roof maintenance & repair
  • Inspections & leak detection
  • Energy efficient roof systems
  • Complete roof replacement
  • Roof life-extending solutions
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  • Roof blow-offs, punctures, or wind uplift. When a commercial roof is poorly installed or gets poor servicing, it becomes at risk for blow-offs, billowing, puncturing, wind up-lift, or other forms of severe roof damage often caused by powerful storms or outdoor hazards. Roofs that are made of sheet products or can be at risk for exposed seams or open laps can be strong candidates for this sort of damage. If a roof experiences partial blow-off or tearing, it can be at greater risk for moisture penetration and then resulting, damaging leaks.
  • Poor product installation or workmanship. Naturally, one of the most common roofing issues is not tied necessarily to the roof’s performance itself, but how a contractor installed the roof or serviced it. Poor installation, roof installation in less-than-ideal climate or temperature conditions, use of wrong products for a particular roof type, and other contractor-related issues are just a few ways of how shoddy contracting work can be blamed. Poor contractor performance can lead to accelerated roof aging, premature roof wear, roof leaks, rapid roof deterioration, or more immediate roof failure. Making sure a qualified, reliable contractor works on your roof is essential.

National Commercial Roofing Company for Your Needs

With Choice Roof Contractor Group, you can be sure that your roofing problems will be handled with care and precision every time. Our members must commit to quality before they join, and they go through Conklin’s in-depth warranty certification program for strengthening their expertise.

Choice Roof Contractors use Conklin roofing systems, which have been a staple in the commercial roofing industry for over 40+ years. Here are a few signs of how Conklin products can be a good fit for your needs:

  • Installed on 2+ billion square feet of roofing in the United States
  • Only roof products to be backed by non-prorated warranties for up to 20 years
  • Provides 100-percent seamless, waterproof, and adhered roof protection for decades
  • ENERGY STAR®-certified roofing systems
  • Can pay for themselves in 5-7 years with tremendous energy savings
  • Highly reflective of sun’s rays and beats back deteriorating effects of the outdoors
  • High thermal emittance value and hurricane-force wind resistance
  • And so much more

For more information on how our preferred contractors stand out with these high-performance roof systems, give us a call at 800-670-5583. We will be happy to give you a free local roof estimate.


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Written by: Ian Myers
Ian Myers
Ian was the very first team member brought on by the original co-founders of the Choice Roof Contractor Group to assist with nationwide growth. Since then he has written 120+ blog posts and provided excellent support to the roofing contractors in the group. Through his multiple roles in the commercial roofing industry, he has gained tremendous knowledge in the sector.