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All You Need to Know to Stay High and Dry

Flat roofs are a common choice for businesses because of their cost-saving design. Without the right drainage, they’re flushing their money away.


Have you noticed that very few commercial buildings have a visibly sloped roof? That’s because business people are financially savvy. They know that a flat roof is a cost saver. This design needs upkeep of other kinds.


No flat roof is 100 percent level, of course. There’s typically a subtle slope to allow for efficient drainage. Not every business is savvy enough to make drainage and maintenance a priority. This kind of oversight makes a roof less than watertight, leading to pools and leaks that can seriously impact your operations. Today we’re taking a look at all the things you have to factor into your drainage plan, and the literally high price your business may have to pay if you overlook them.


Weather is a constant issue for businesses


Here in New Jersey, we rank 14th in the nation for rainfall. That works out to 45 inches a year or 3.6 inches a month.


Snow is another reality for our state. It doesn’t just magically disappear when the weather warms up. Heavy snow just becomes more water and adds to drainage issues. Worse, it may freeze to become weighty ice. Liquid from rain and thawing snow can pool, adding enough extra weight to cause structural damage, so call a professional to protect yourself.


Even the sunniest weather can lead to drainage problems for your roof in the future. This may sound odd if there’s a dry spell with no rain.


The fact is that ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause their own kind of damage even on cloudy or overcast days. The UV and heat can crack and split a roof. So can the expansion and shrinking which may result in some roofs as temperatures shift from warm to cold.


When the sun leaves and the rain or snow arrives, the damage the UV and heat have left behind are open doors for water to damage your roof and the wider structure.


These environmental factors add up to costly drainage issues for your roof. How costly? Let’s say a whole roof replacement is required. The average cost of replacing a residential flat roof can run between $8,000 and $11,000 (for a 1,500 square foot living space). The average commercial building in America measures over 18,000 square feet, so just imagine the replacement costs for a business in a worst-case scenario!


Why drainage is so important and how to do it right


Keeping gutters and drains clear of debris like leaves, dirt, gravel, and other seemingly harmless obstructions is important. This eliminates blockages and back-ups that can create standing water: a breeding ground for mold and algae which only hurt your roof. Keeping watch for discolored patches on the roof will reveal where these problems are.


Overflowing gutters can also present problems for your exterior walls as the overpour soaks the structure. Some flat roofs use scuppers to avoid this, but like every solution, they have their pros and cons.


Cracks, weather-beaten materials, holes, and exposed areas are danger magnets if your drainage isn’t enough. Even if you can’t see any pooled water on your roof you may still have problems: the moisture could simply have seeped into the structure to cause problems inside.


The outer covering of your roof is a membrane designed to keep water out. Splits there can quickly expose your roof insulation, but there are other often-overlooked gaps which may be escaping your attention. Drains, pipes, gas lines and other small structures that pass through your roof into the main building create their own gaps in the structure, creating an easy target for water. We can help you make these potential moisture entry points as watertight as possible.


Professional roof maintenance is your best investment to avoid risk scenarios and an expense that will save you far more money in the long term.


Be prepared to minimize and prevent drainage problems


Being proactive and informed are the two ways to make sure small issues don’t become big problems. Every roof will need to be replaced eventually, but when it needs to be replaced is a number you can extend with routine care.


Check-ups may only need to be carried out once or twice annually depending on the materials of your roof and the location of your business (proximity to trees may require more attention to your roof’s drainage).


With a little time spent on maintenance, you’ll be protected from the worst all year round. We’re here to provide the absolute best in roof maintenance service. The reality of roofing is that not every leak can be fixed the first time.


There are contributing factors like walls, windows, AC units, and more that all play a part in problems. The important thing is to take that first step and find out how much maintenance you currently require before you need a lot more.


A comprehensive roof inspection with Peck Brothers will let you know exactly where you stand and what steps to take. We take a creative approach to roofing solutions. From repair and replacement to maintenance and disaster response, you can count on us to literally keep you covered. Give us a call at 201 791 3235 or email

Corporate Headquarters

101 Van Riper Ave. Elmwood Park, NJ, 07407

Phone: 201-791-3235