Your roof is more important than you think – commercial roof damage can cost you more than you think.
A roof is one of the most important parts of a commercial building. It keeps the interior space dry and protects it from the elements. Commercial roof damage can lead to water damage, exterior building damage, electrical issues, and even personal injury to the building’s occupants.
That’s why it’s so important to keep your building in tip-top shape by regular inspections and routine maintenance for your commercial roof. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the reasons why you’ll want to keep your commercial roof in good condition and how regular maintenance can help prevent costly surprises down the road.
Commercial roofs are often overlooked, but they’re just as important as the rest of the building.
We get it – it’s easy to forget about the roof atop your commercial building. After all, it’s out of sight and, frankly, not very exciting. Most building owners and property managers tend to focus more time and energy on the parts of the building that their clients and occupants see every day like the exterior, signage, landscaping, entryway, and interior spaces.
The fact is that your commercial roof is just as important – if not more important – than any of those other features. A leaking or damaged roof can lead to any number of costly issues for your business, many of which you may not have considered. That’s why it’s so important to keep your commercial roof in good condition.
By partnering with a commercial roofing contractor who regularly inspects and maintains your roof, you can prevent the sorts of costly surprises listed below.
Some of the items that covered as a part of a regular maintenance routine include:
- Inspection of the roof for signs of damaged surface/membrane, drainage components, and leaks
- Examination of the flashing and seals around vents, chimneys, and other roof penetrations
- Clearing debris from the drainage system
- Immediately repairing any damage found
- Replacing missing or damaged roofing materials
Your roof is more complex than you may think. Some issues require a highly trained expert to identify.
An experienced commercial roofing contractor like Mint Roofing has a team of experts equipped with the knowledge and experience necessary to keep your roof in good condition.
What sort of damage can a poorly maintained commercial roof cause?
A leaking or poorly maintained roof can lead to several problems for you and your business:
Damage to inventory
One of the most common types of damage from leaking roofs is to inventory. Water leaks can damage your inventory and its packaging, rendering it worthless, whether from mold, water damage, or other forms of destruction.
Damage to the interior building structure
Walls, ceilings, and floors are all susceptible to water damage from a leaking roof. Depending on the type of construction, damage may not be evident until water has had time to seep through to the visible surface. By then, the damage is done.
Damage to furniture, fixtures, and decor
Furniture, fixtures, and decor are easily damaged by water from a leaking roof. The damage may not be evident immediately.
Electrical shorts and damage to electrical equipment
A leaking roof can lead to electrical problems like short circuits and power surges. If you have electronics in your building that are sensitive to moisture or humidity, it’s best to have a professional inspect your roof for leaks before making any changes or repairs.
Electrical issues are often the first indication of a leaky roof, occurring above the ceiling or behind walls where leaks tend to do damage first.
Increased risk for electrocution
Not only can water leaks damage electrical components, but they can also increase the risk of electrical shock or electrocution. Areas not typically associated with water use (like kitchens and restrooms are) may not have ground-fault circuitry to protect against electrocution.
After a severe roof leak and flooding, even cleaning up can put workers at risk if electricity is not shut off.
Personal injury to occupants and patrons
A leaking roof can lead to personal injury if the leak is over an area where people walk or gather. Acoustic panels and tiles can disintegrate when wet and saturated, falling on anything and anyone below.
Even the smallest of leaks can lead to wet spots on the floor, which can be a slipping hazard for your employees and guests. Insurance companies hate that.
During the winter months, a roof that is not draining correctly during freeze-thaw cycles can result in ice over walkways and parking lots – same result as above.
Damage to manufacturing, packaging, electronic, and other service-related equipment
Like furniture and fixtures, leaks can also do lots of damage to equipment critical to the operation of your business, school, or church. If not covered by insurance, these can add to the cost of repairs and downtime.
Higher likelihood of developing hidden mold and mildew
Mold and mildew can be a hidden danger because they don’t always appear where they are easily seen. As soon as there is water intrusion in your building, mold could begin to grow almost immediately if not appropriately treated by professionals.
Mold spores can spread through the air, so they are easily inhaled and cause health problems for people already sensitive to them.
Mildew will leave your building with that damp, musty smell that can be next to impossible to eliminate.
The best way to prevent mold and mildew is to ensure your roof doesn’t leak.
Destruction of essential documents and records
Water can also cause damage to important documents and records. If you have an extensive amount of critical financial or personnel records that are not archived digitally (and backed up off-site), a water leak can be disastrous.
Documents and records that are damaged by water may not be able to be restored, resulting in lost time, money, and even legal complications.
Stains or damage on the building’s exterior
If a roof is not draining correctly, the water will eventually find its way down to the exterior of the building and cause unsightly stains. These can be difficult – and expensive – to remove.
In some cases, the staining may be so bad that it discolors parts of the building or even causes portions of the exterior to crumble.
Water damage doesn’t always come in the form of obvious leaks.
If the water runoff from a poorly maintained roof is not properly diverted away from the building, it can quickly wash away the landscaping that surrounds it. This can be very costly to replace or repair. It will also happen again with the next heavy rainfall.
Partial or total roof collapse
The most severe consequence of a leaking roof is its potential to cause a partial or total roof collapse. This can happen very quickly and can be catastrophic for the business or organization housed in the building.
A commercial roof that is not maintained correctly can result in a partial or complete roof collapse in a commercial building, resulting in severe injury or death of employees, residents, or patrons.
There’s a simple way to prevent all of the above – Prevention.
Water damage can cause various problems in a commercial building – both inside and out. It can ruin inventory, damage equipment, and create a hazardous environment for guests and employees. In addition, it can lead to expensive repairs or even the need for a complete roof replacement.
Keeping up with regular roof maintenance and fixing issues while still small is the best way to mitigate the cost and disruption a roof leak can cause.
A routine maintenance contract like Mint Roofing’s TopSite Preventative Maintenance Program is a simple, cost-effective way to ensure your roof is well maintained and repaired as soon as issues arise. The result will save you time, money, and minimize disruption to your daily business operation.