You’re going about your day, answering emails, and enjoying your morning coffee. Then, your phone starts to ring. It’s one of your employees letting you know that the roof is leaking again.
It’s a scenario many commercial property owners find themselves in at one point or another. Leaky ceilings or other signs of water damage can
- Derail your business
- Cause work delays
- Lead to long-term structural damage
- Create hazards for people inside.
If these problems are reoccurring, it’s a clear sign that your roof may be in need of repair.
Don’t panic. While a malfunctioning roof might seem scary, there are plenty of solutions available to you.
Not sure where to start when it comes to flat roof repair? Our comprehensive guide to commercial roof repair will have your building up and running and no time so that you can focus on what is important to you.
When Is It Time to Repair My Flat Roof?
It’s easy to lose track of maintaining your roof in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. While it’s a good idea to get your roof regularly inspected, there are some key signs that your flat roof is in need of some repair.
- Standing Water 🌊 – It’s completely normal for a flat roof to have some standing water after rainfall. However, a properly installed flat roof is designed to have water drain or quickly evaporate. If you notice pools of water on your roof several hours to days after rainfall, it is a good indicator that your flat roof is not functioning the way it is supposed to.
- Water Stains 💦 – Have you or your tenants been noticing brown or yellow stains forming on the ceilings and walls? This is a tell-tale sign that your building is suffering from water damage. When your roof isn’t functioning properly, it can allow moisture to seep in. This can cause huge structural problems later on.
- Your Roof Is Old 👴🏼 – Most flat roofs are not designed to last longer than 25 years. If your roof is older than this, then it may be time for a full flat roof replacement. If not, you may be able to get away with a flat roof repair.
- Leaking Ceiling 💧– If your ceiling is dripping, there’s a good chance you have a leaking flat roof. This could end up seriously damaging the structure of your property, and it is important to take care of it as soon as possible.
- Your Energy Bills Are High 📈 – Energy bills going up for no visible reason? Your flat roof may not be insulating your building as much as you would like. A roof inspection can help identify any cracks or weak spots that may be letting in air and making your HVAC system work overtime.
Repair vs. Replace
So, you’ve identified some problems. How do you know whether a repair will fix the problem or if you have to replace the entire roof?
If you have a relatively “young” roof with a problem in a specific area, chances are that a repair might be right for you.
Repairs have plenty of benefits. They are typically able to be completed in a timely manner. For many property owners, the biggest draw is how much cheaper it usually is to repair a flat roof than it is to purchase new flat roofing systems.
While we’d all rather have to deal with repairs rather than a flat roof replacement, sometimes a replacement is necessary. If your roof is over 25 years old or has damage on over 30% of its surface area, you may, unfortunately, be looking at a full roof replacement. While a replacement is more time-consuming and expensive, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that your roof is covered for the next few years.
How Much Will a Flat Roof Repair Cost?
Flat roof repair costs are typically one of the biggest concerns for commercial property owners. The truth is that the cost to repair a flat roof will vary widely depending on the type of roofing material you use and the type of damage your roof has sustained.
The average flat roof repair typically totals around $700 for materials and labor costs. However, depending on the severity of the problem, you might be looking at a repair cost that is closer to $1000.
For context, a full flat roof replacement could cost anywhere between $2500-$10,000, depending on the roofing materials used.
Can I Repair a Flat Roof By Myself?
If you are a thrifty property owner, you may be interested in the idea of doing a DIY flat roof repair. While we understand the inclination, hiring a professional will save you a lot of time, stress, and money in the future. Certain types of flat roofing materials require expert knowledge and installation in order to keep your building safe from the elements.
How to Choose a Roofing Contractor
If you’ve never hired a roofing contractor before, the sheer amount of options might feel overwhelming to you. Luckily, there are some clear things to check for when you need a professional flat roof repair.
It’s helpful if you know what type of flat roof your building has. That way, if you have, say, a TPO roof, you can find a professional roofing company that specializes in that type of roofing material.
If you do not know what kind of roof you have, a roofing professional should be able to assess your roof and determine what type of material was used. Before beginning repairs, it’s a good idea to check to see if they have experience working with that specific type of roof.
Many roofing companies are willing to offer free quotes and estimates so that you can compare the cost of repairing your roof before making a decision.
What to Do When Your Roof Needs a Repair
So, your roof is leaking. You know it needs to be repaired, but what do you do in the meantime? Here are some simple steps you can take while you wait for your roofing professional to get to you.
1) Clean Up Water
If your ceiling has sprung a leak, you have a problem that needs to be taken care of. The first step is to make sure you clean up any water that may be dripping. Not only will this help protect your floors and other surfaces from water stains, but it will also allow you to avoid creating a slipping hazard.
Ideally, tape off the area and place a bucket underneath to avoid water landing on the floor.
2) Find The Source of the Leak
If you can, take some time to look at your roof and see if there is an obvious sign of damage. If you cannot see anything amiss, you can wait for a professional roofer to help diagnose the problem.
3) Perform a Temporary Patch
If you are able to locate the source of the leak, you can perform a temporary patch to tide you over until a roofing company can help.
Clean the area thoroughly, being sure to remove all water and other debris. If your roof has a blistered spot, cut it open and remove the damaged material.
You can then use a small amount of roofing cement to patch the affected area. Be sure to cover the cement with a small piece of fiberglass mesh for extra waterproofing. Add more cement on top of the mesh, and then cover it with gravel. This should keep your roof safe until a professional can arrive.
4) Call a Trusted Roofing Contractor
Contact your local roofing contractor as soon as possible in order to avoid further damaging your roof by exposure to the elements.
Tips for Flat Roof Maintenance
Want to avoid having to make costly repairs in the future? Having a maintenance plan can help extend the life of your roof.
Because flat roofs can easily collect debris, regularly sweeping and removing leaves and sticks can help avoid letting them turn into mulch that can damage your roofing material. Similarly, if you live in a snowy area, it’s a good idea to hire someone to remove snow and ice to help ensure that it doesn’t build up and cause unnecessary pressure on your building.
It is a good idea to schedule a yearly roof inspection to make sure that everything is functioning as it should be.
Talk To a Trusted Roofing Expert
Want to learn more from a roofing expert? Our team at Durashield can help answer your questions about your commercial and residential roof problems. As your trusted commercial flat roof repairs, we work hard to make sure that you have a durable roof that can handle all seasons. Our knowledgeable team will help you create a roofing system that lasts for years to come.
Contact us today to set up your free roof inspection!