Fixing a Commercial Roof After a Major Storm and Other Weather Damage
What Mother Nature can do to your building’s roof, and how you can undo her damage
These days, New Jersey rarely seems to get a respite from bad weather. In winter, we’re bombarded by blizzards and frigid temperatures. In summer, we deal with intense heat. And the usually mild spring and fall often become monsoon seasons. All these elements take a big toll on buildings, especially their roofs. Although we don’t have to worry about snow or ice this time of year, there are many other reasons for concern today and in the near future.
Here are the weather conditions that do the most damage to roofs in New Jersey, and how to handle them.
Although precipitation typically hurts a roof the most, other weather conditions can also do a lot of damage, such as heat. Right now, we’re in the hottest part of the year. And while that’s great for working on your tan, the sun can wreak havoc on a roof. Strong UV rays can weaken the bonds and seals on a commercial roof. In addition, some roofing materials swell when the temperature rises. Another big factor is the humidity: When humidity rises, moisture levels go up, and that can cause rot and mold growth.
Did you know last year was the wettest NJ has been in recorded history? With a statewide average of more than 64 inches, 2018 topped even 2011 rain totals — a year when we had two tropical storms.
We’re in typically the driest part of the year right now, but fall and torrential storms will be here before you know it. And when the rain starts falling, it will find any way inside your building, even if there’s only a little crack. Many commercial roofs also collect standing water after rainstorms, and puddles can put tremendous strain on a roof’s structure.
Rain often comes with wind, and that is another potentially destructive element. Strong winds can rip shingles and tiles off roofs, and also damage the structure of protected membrane systems. Even when a roof is in the best condition to deal with gales, that won’t stop things from falling on it. Tree branches or other debris that come crashing down can cause punctures, which also make a roof susceptible to leaks.
4 signs of roof damage to look for after a storm
After a bad storm — even a brief one — it’s always a good idea to take stock of any damage. These are the things to look for on your roof:
- Damaged flashing: “Flashing” is the metal strips around the edges of your roof that secure the roofing material and stop water from getting inside the system. If the flashing is dented, bent, or pulled up, your roof is at risk for a leak.
- Cracks or blisters: Clearly, any cracks in a roof are bad news. But if you see things that look like blisters or bubbles, those are also signs of trouble. Blisters can happen when air or moisture get trapped between the roof’s membrane and deck. Blistering can also occur between the layers within the membrane. When they burst, that’s another opening for leaks and further damage to develop.
- Water stains: Sometimes you don’t need to climb onto your roof to discover storm damage. If you spot water stains on ceilings or walls, it is a big indication that you have a leak.
- Foul odors: Before you see signs of storm damage, you may smell them. When water gets inside a roofing system, it can build up and become stagnant. If you smell something unpleasant, it’s probably a good idea to have your roof examined.
What to do when your roof has a problem
Time is of the essence when it comes to roof repair after a storm. If you see water coming in, you need to act immediately, as equipment and the electrical system could in jeopardy. Calling for emergency roofing services as soon as possible will help ensure that repairs are made quickly and things can go back to normal as soon as possible.
If you notice any of the above red flags, it’s vital to have your roof looked at. Even if it doesn’t seem urgent, any lingering issues will only get worse and lead to more expensive repairs.
5 ways to prepare for a storm ahead of time
Instead of waiting for a storm to damage your roof, the better tactic is to be proactive. You can do this by following these tips:
- Have your roof inspected regularly: When a roofing system starts to fail after a storm, it’s often because existing issues were made worse by rain and wind. This is why regular inspections are so important.
- Fix the small things: Speaking of existing problems, if you spot any issues during an inspection, or any other time, they need to be addressed at once. Putting off minor repairs only increases the risk when the next storm comes.
- Keep it clean: Any extra weight can hurt a roof, so remove debris before it accumulates and compromises your roofing system.
- Put a coat on it: One of the best ways to fortify a roof against whatever Mother Nature throws at it is to apply a coating. This protects against moisture, UV rays, and strong precipitation.
- Find the right roofing company: Before disaster strikes, it’s a very good idea to establish a partnership with a roofing company you can trust. In addition to helping get your roof ready for a storm, if the worst does happen, you know you’ll be able to rely on expert emergency services.
Harmful weather can strike at any time. If you want to make sure your roof is in capable hands no matter what happens, you can count on Peck Brothers Roofing. For preventative maintenance, repairs, or a replacement, call us at 201-791-3235. You can also send an email to email@example.com.