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The 10 Most Common Commercial Roofing Issues

If something is wrong with your roof, it’s almost certainly related to one of these areas


Even though more people work remotely than ever before, millions still travel to a physical work place every day. And aside from their workstation (and maybe the break room), most of these employees probably don’t think too much about the different parts of the building. But owners and property managers have to. In addition to protecting a big investment, they need to ensure that everyone and everything within a building is safe and secure. This is why if any sort of issue arises, it has to be addressed as quickly as possible, especially for a vital building component like the roof. These are the common problems commercial roofs face, and why they should be dealt with immediately.

1. Leaks


Any type of commercial roof has the potential to leak, especially those in areas that get a lot of precipitation throughout the year. Leaks can happen due to a variety of reasons, including bad adhesion, poor installation, or the lack of a proper moisture barrier. A leak always needs to be taken care of quickly. In addition to water damaging things inside the building, it can also lead to mold or rot, and even ultimately jeopardize a building’s structure.

2. Standing water


Unlike the roof of a house, most commercial roofs are flat. As a result, they can often get water accumulating in certain spots. However, if the roof is functioning properly, this shouldn’t happen. Causes of standing water are usually related to bad drainage, the build-up of debris, or just an error with the design. Clearly, water sitting up on top of a roof is a bad idea. The longer it stays there, the more pressure it puts on the roof, which raises the risk of water getting inside.

3. Erosion


Because they are constantly battling the elements, roofs wear down over time, and they often show signs of erosion. These include splitting and blistering. If left untreated, this will almost certainly shorten a roof’s lifespan, and could also lead to roof failure.

4. Shrinkage


Aside from wind, rain, and snow, there is something else that wreaks havoc on a roof: the sun. It may not seem like it, but constant exposure to harsh UV rays does a number on roofs. This phenomenon is known as thermal shock and causes a roof to expand when the weather is hot. When things cool down, the roof contracts. The more often this happens, the better the chance for shrinkage, which can lead to cracking, loosened flashings, and exposed seams. EPDM rubber roofs and those that are dark-colored are more at risk for feeling the effects of thermal shock.

5. Wind uplift


When the wind blows over a roof, the surface pressure decreases while the air pressure inside increases. This is because air seeps in through cracks and other tiny openings. As a result, there is an upward force placed on a roofing system, which is known as wind uplift. A roof that has been installed properly should have no problem dealing with this, but when the workmanship is poor, this can open the door for damage. Powerful winds can cause tearing and blow-offs, which can result in water getting inside.

6. Punctures


Anytime something – or someone – goes up on a roof, there is a chance for damage. When new equipment, such as an HVAC system, gets installed on a roof, precautions have to be taken to avoid penetrations. The same is true if a roof frequently gets a lot of foot traffic. Any additional wear and tear can hurt a roof’s membrane, as well as the underlying substrate. And if this happens, the result can be a leak.

7. Storm damage


All New Jersey residents know how harmful storms in the Garden State can be. In addition to rain and wind, we also frequently have to deal with hail. And, of course, during the winter there is snow and ice to worry about. All of that stuff Mother Nature throws at us is terrible for our roofs, including any residual effects, like fallen tree branches and other debris. The weight of accumulated snow especially can lead to a collapse, which is why a plan needs to be in place to have it removed.

8. Old age


As strong and sturdy as they seem, roofs just don’t last forever. A typical commercial roof will hold up for about 20 years before it needs to be replaced. This is why it is vital to give a roof the right care and maintenance, as this can help ensure that it has a nice long life.

9. Lack of maintenance


A roof isn’t something that should be forgotten about once it is installed. To make sure it’s doing its job as it should, it needs to be examined regularly. Often, big problems can be avoided if minor issues are taken care of early. This is why building owners would be wise to utilize a preventative maintenance program for their roofs. Yearly inspections from roofing experts will help identify any areas of concern and keep a roof in tip-top shape.

10. Poor workmanship


Never underestimate the importance of using quality professionals for roof work. So many of the above issues can be directly connected to poor installation or other shoddy work. And when you use a less-than-qualified contractor, you’re setting yourself up for leaks, premature aging, faster deterioration, or even roof failure. Roofers have to be familiar with the best practices related to installation, repairs, and maintenance, along with the right products and materials.


The worst thing a building owner or property manager can do when they spot a problem with their roof is ignoring it. If you are experiencing any of these things – or just want to be proactive – get in touch with Peck Brother Roofing. From repairs to replacements and preventative maintenance, our experts can address any roofing issue. You can give us a call at 201-791-3235 or fill out our contact form.

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101 Van Riper Ave. Elmwood Park, NJ, 07407

Phone: 201-791-3235