Common Commercial Flat Roof Problems

Flat roofing systems are a popular choice for commercial properties, and for good reason. 

The pitched roofs widely seen on residential properties can place great loads on commercial buildings, potentially plaguing them with structural issues. Plus, these roof types are generally more expensive to install than flat versions due to the greater demand for materials and labor.

If you are aiming for a low-cost roofing installation for your commercial facility, a flat roof fits the bill. But commercial flat roofs can develop problems that require repairs just like their pitched counterparts.

Read along to learn about some common problems you may face with your commercial flat roof.

Ponding Water

One of the biggest and most common issues with flat roofing systems is standing water on the surface of the roof. Flat roofs have a minimum slope to allow for drainage, but they don't have the benefit of gravity like pitched roofs. Instead, they heavily rely on gutter systems to ensure fast drainage of roof run-off.

Ponding water on flat roofs usually happens when snow melts or following a heavy downpour, but the ponding should disappear after a while. If the water continues to sit on your roof, it is likely your gutters may be clogged. Undertaking a thorough cleaning of the gutters will help to get the water draining quickly again, thus preventing significant water buildup on the roof.

Roof Leaks

Sitting water puts pressure on the weak points of your commercial flat roof, increasing the risk of water finding its way underneath the roof's surface. If not caught early enough, roof leaks can cause significant damage to the roof itself and the entire property. 

If you have a leaky flat roof, you'll need to get your entire roof inspected to determine the trouble spots. Usually, flat roofs leak because of damaged or deteriorated roofing material.

Biological Growth

The high slope that a pitched roof has not only allows fast drainage of roof run-off but also prevents dirt and debris from building up on the roof quickly. The rain and wind help carry dirt and debris to the ground or the edges of the roof at the gutter guards. This reduces the chances of biological microorganisms such as mold, mildew, moss, algae, and lichen growing on your roof. 

If roof cleanings aren't done regularly, a flat roof can encourage biological growth, which makes your commercial property look unsightly while shortening the life of the roof. If you spot any microbial growths on your commercial flat roof, schedule a roof cleaning and treatment service immediately.

Commercial roof contractors offer a wide range of roof repair services to their clients. If you notice any problem with your commercial flat roof, don't hesitate to contact them.