Commercial buildings often have flat roofs, making it harder to keep the roof from leaking over time. The flat roofing material has more chance of things damaging it, and often, contractors dealing with HVAC and other services on the roof walk over the same areas, creating a higher potential for punctures in the material.
Flat roofs need to be inspected regularly for damage and leaks. A commercial roofing contractor can go over the roof and check for any areas that are peeling or damage that could cause a leak. Once the problem areas are identified, the contractor can determine whether the roof can be repaired or if the entire roof will need to be replaced.
If the damage to the commercial roofing material is isolated to a specific area, the contractor can often replace part of the roofing material, but that can depend somewhat on what material was initially installed on your roof.
One of the most common commercial roofing materials used on flat roofs is a rubber membrane that is layered over several layers of insulation material and a base that supports the roof structure. The membrane can be rolled out on the roof, and then the seams of the material are sealed to each other with a material that is a lot like tar but is engineered to work with the rubber membrane.
The membrane is often brought up on the roof's sides along the edge to create a smooth transition from the roof to the sidewalls that run along the edge of the roof to hide all the mechanical equipment on the roof of the building. The transition allows water to run down the sidewalls and off the roof more efficiently.
Damage to the roofing material along these edges is harder to repair, but the commercial roofing can be cut back to the flat part of the roof and a new piece of membrane can be added to the sidewall but with the seam on the flat portion of the roof. The positioning of the seam allows for better sealing and a lower chance of a seam failure from stress.
Leaks in the flat portion of the roof are easily repaired by cutting out the roofing material that is punctured and adding a large patch over the area and sealing it to the roof. If the patch is done correctly, it can last as long as the roof does, but it is vital that the sealer is applied correctly and the patch is flat along all the seams when it is complete.
For more information, contact a commercial roofing service in your area.