Flat roofs are special in many ways, one of the features that you need to pay attention to being that they are more sensitive to the accumulation of debris than pitched roofs.
The dust, dirt, feathers, twigs, leaves and other debris carried by the wind tend to settle on flat surfaces, then the accumulations absorb and trap the water from the air and cause damage to the roof surface underneath. Commercial roofing Denver CO experts confirm that the only way to prevent the issue is to clean the roof at regular intervals, at least every six months and to include additional cleaning sessions whenever necessary, after storms or other forms of severe weather. Here is how to do it right:
- Stay away from your pressure washer – however tempting it may be to use the appliance, the strong jet of the pressure washer might damage the roof, so you should not use it;
- Sweep the roof first – dust turns to mud when it comes into contact with water. To avoid that, always start the cleaning process sweeping the roof with a broom to eliminate dry debris;
- Wash and rinse the roof – use a soap and water solution or a mild chlorine solution to remove the remaining dirt from the roof, then rinse the roof thoroughly to remove any chemical residue;
- Clean the gutters – the roof cleaning process might send debris to the gutters, so when you are done cleaning the roof surface, always clean the drainage pipes.
Although the lifespan of a roof can be of several decades, depending on the materials chosen, this does not mean that, as soon as it is installed, you can forget about it, on the contrary. In order to have a roof in good shape for a long time, you must take care of it.
Although some maintenance operations are easy to perform and can even be done by building owners/ managers, it is best to contact a commercial roofer and create a maintenance plan. This way, you will not forget when the time comes for the periodic maintenance, because the roofing company is obliged by contract to come and do its job.
By leaving the roof in the hands of skilled commercial roofing Denver CO professionals, you will not have to worry that you may void the warranties or your insurer may refuse to compensate you if disaster strikes and your roof gets damaged. Hiring roofing professionals to perform regular maintenance is the obligation of the owner. If you do it, you cannot be accused of neglect. Besides, your roof will remain in good shape, your business will be protected, you will enjoy peace of mind and keep the roofing repair costs low.
If you ever doubted the benefits of a regular commercial roof inspection, imagine yourself inside your commercial property, never sweeping, never cleaning trash, never moping the floors etc. With such neglect, your customers will avoid you and you may not have a business for very long… So, why would you think neglecting your roof is any different?
If the roof fails to protect you, you will lose comfort, money and precious time. Besides, the reputation of your business may be affected too.
A commercial roof should be inspected by professional roofers twice a year. This way, problems will have less time to develop and you will be able to avoid costly repairs and other associated problems. Besides, your proactive attitude will be essential if you ever need to make an insurance claim (insurance companies do not cover damage caused by neglect, so you will have to make proof of regular roof maintenance).
You can get free inspections from commercial roofing Denver CO companies, because most of them use these inspections as opportunities to connect with potential clients, to present their offers and prove their availability and professionalism. You are not obligated to sign a contract with the roofing company that offers you a free inspection, but you have the chance to discuss this possibility.
Flat roofs are strong, sturdy structures that provide many benefits over traditional, sloping roofs, but just like pitched roofs, flat structures also need to be regularly cleaned to maintain their strength and durability. Here is some tips from flat commercial roofing Denver CO pros:
- Get the right protective equipment – personal safety is essential for any work performed at height, so whenever you climb up to your flat roof to clean it, make sure to wear non-slip work boots, work gloves, clothes that are comfortable, but not too loose and also use properly anchored harnesses to prevent any fall;
- Be sure that the roof is safe to step on;
- Use the right cleaning technique – the cleaning method should be chosen based on the condition of the roof and the material that it is made from. If you are unsure how to do it, ask for the advice of a roofing contractor, but most flat roofs can be cleaned with a broom or with a pressure washer;
- Pay attention to the gutters as well – the cleanliness of the pipes that ensure that your flat roof is not affected by water ponding is also very important. Pay special attention to the gutter pipes and the downspouts that direct the water away from the roof – you can easily clean them using a scraping tool and a brush.
Inspecting the roof once you buy a building is of utmost importance, because you must make sure that the building is protected and the roof has no hidden problems or vulnerabilities that may impact your comfort and peace of mind.
So, you must start by finding a reliable Denver contractor and schedule an in-depth inspection.
The commercial roofing Denver CO inspection specialist will do the following operations:
- Closely examining records and talking to other building’s occupants, in order to find information on leaks or other problems they can remember about, which will help them to assess the condition of the roof, as accurately as possible.
- Carefully inspecting the roof’s interior system.
- Inspecting the building envelope.
- Inspecting the rooftop (based on the information from the original plans and specifications), which will include a general look-over, followed by marking the identified damage.
- Inspecting the roof perimeter and the roof field (most leaks occur on the roof perimeter -base and counter flashings, gutters, roof penetrations etc.)
- Identifying signs of poor roof design, construction or installation
- Filling a report, detailing the problems that have been found. The report will also include options for fixing the problems.
If you are in the process of getting a new commercial roof in Denver, you probably have lots of questions. The best source of information is the roofer who will install your new roof for you – here are some of the topics that you should ask your roof specialist about:
- Building permits – most roofing projects require building permits. Find out about the documents that your commercial roof needs, about the related costs and procedures;
- Materials – there are many different materials available for commercial roofs, the best choice depending on the climate, the type of your commercial activity, your budget and the expected longevity. Ask your commercial roofing Denver CO pro to tell you about the pros and cons of each solution;
- The installation procedure – each material used for commercial roofing is installed using different tools, accessories and fastening methods. Ask your roofer to tell you about the procedure used for the material that will be used to build your roof as well as about the time needed for completing the process;
- Care and maintenance – some materials only need to be inspected and cleaned regularly, while others need to be protected with special coatings. Talk to your roofer about these procedures as well.
If rain water reaches the inside of your house, it is too late to think about prevention, so you will have to be quick and focus on performing some repairs to minimize the damage.
If the problem seems rather minor and appears after an abundant torrential rain, you might be lucky: your shingles may be in good shape and the leak may be only temporary and related to a clogged pluvial system. This scenario is not so frightening and it requires you to clean your gutters and downspouts from debris. To prevent such problems, you should clean your pluvial system regularly, at least twice a year, or to install gutter guards, which will allow you to ignore this maintenance operation for a longer time.
On the other hand, if the water leak is caused by problems with your shingles, the necessary repairs can be more complicated and you may need to call a leak repair commercial roofing Denver CO professional. However, there are a few quick ways to repair some minor problems on your own, but make sure you are skilled enough, have the right tools and protective equipment to work safely at height.
Replacing missing or damaged shingles/ tiles
Missing or damaged shingles/ tiles represent a breach of the water tightness of your roof and must be replaced as soon as you notice the problem. You can do this yourself, if the damage is limited to only a few shingles. Just make sure you follow a professional commercial roofing tutorial, to avoid causing additional damage.
Flashing is made of metal and it will corrode in time. When it does, it needs to be replaced because, considering that it protects roof valleys and surrounds other roof penetrations, flashing is essential to prevent water infiltrations.
When it comes down to commercial flat roofing, business owners have a lot of options that they can usually consider. Some of them might involve standard roofing products and materials that are quite common, while others could, for instance involve a custom made metal panel roofing system that can deal with specific stressors – such as ensuring that a more stable temperature is maintained throughout the building.
Nevertheless, EPDM roofing is considered by many to be one of the best types of flat roofing available, and for very good reason:
- This type of rubber roofing is excellent for extreme conditions, being able to keep the temperature in your building quite stable even if the weather outside is bad.
- EPDM is rated at a durability level that suggests a lifespan of around 30-50 years.
- It’s recyclable and eco-friendly.
- Like all types of rubber, it’s flexible. But EPDM is also extremely durable and resilient, so you won’t have to worry too much if the weather gets bad and you experience hail storms, for instance.
So, next time you want to consider replacing the roof on your commercial building, consider asking your thrifty commercial roofing Denver CO contractor about the specific benefits of using EPDM to cut costs, increase energy efficiency and raise the long term durability of your roof over the next few years and decades.
Any commercial building is a big investment from the start, and every owner should make sure that it is in good shape, regularly.
Usually, scheduled commercial roofing Denver CO inspections and maintenance begin with the roof verification, because commercial roofs are constantly exposed to the weather and structural movement. Identify in advance the minor problems before they get worse. What to Check:
- Start with the exterior structural components, like the drip edges, chimneys, vents, fascia, and decking, for missing components or rotting signs. These areas usually get affected by leaking. If your building has a flat roof, you should also look for blisters in the membrane granular loss, ponding and holes.
- The interior roofing damages occur when the interior components are neglected for a long time. The most common damages are the ones caused by the leaking, but the source isn’t always easy to spot or above the damaged area. Flat roofs are the most vulnerable to leaks and surface degradation. Also, check for other structural damages, like mold, mildew, and rot.
- Visible damages are the easiest to repair. In this case, look for any structural deformations, standing water, clogged gutters and downspouts or debris. Metal roofs should be checked for corrosion and bent and wood shingles should be inspected for signs of mildew, mold or warping.
As far as the roofing materials are concerned, their choice depends on several factors such as the purpose for which the building is used, priorities, or budget.
The most popular option currently available on the market, thermoplastic polyolefin roofs have many benefits. Apart from being non-toxic, TPO is also very flexible, and therefore it can be easily molded around the shape of the roof. Due to the fact that they are heat-welded together, TPO membranes are more resistant than glued ones. In fact, TPO roofing warranty periods can range from 10 to 35 years.
TPO is a single-ply roofing system that is also very reflective. Due to this fact, inner temperature can be controlled more easily during the hot season, and it works well with buildings which do not have any air-conditioning systems installed.
The thickness of a TPO roofing system can vary a lot in terms of thickness. This is another detail that makes TPO a highly eligible material for your roof.
A properly built TPO roofing system plays an essential role in a building’s protection against weather conditions. To ensure the best results, it is very important to make a proper estimate with the help of TPO commercial roofing Denver CO professionals.