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Roof Repair Considerations for Commercial and Industrial Buildings

Your roof is one of the biggest investments you’ll make for your business, so it’s no surprise you want to make it last. A well-installed roof can last decades, but only if you take care of it with routine roof repairs and maintenance.

You may be wondering if your commercial or industrial building needs roof repair, but where should you start?

To help you evaluate your roof repair needs, we created a list of questions to review before reaching out to a roofing contractor. In addition, we outlined important factors to consider for roof repairs and what to look for in a roofing contractor. Keep reading to learn more.

Do You Need Roof Repair? Consider These Questions

How old is your current roof?

Installation, preventative maintenance, and materials are all key factors in determining how long a commercial or industrial roof will last. On average, you can expect your roof to last anywhere between 20 to 45 years if you have one of the following commercial roofing systems:

  • TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin): 22-30 years
  • PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride): 20-30 years
  • EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer): 22-35 years
  • Butler MR-24 Standing Seam Roof System: 45+ years
  • Asphalt System: 20-40 years

Climate also plays a major role in roof longevity. For example, changing seasons bring extreme temperature fluctuations that can put wear and tear on your roof. Heavy winds, rains, and snow can also weigh on your roof, requiring you to make minor repairs throughout the years to maintain its durability and extend its lifespan. 

How is your roof constructed?

Knowing the material and system type of your roof will help you determine when to expect needed repairs. For example, while an asphalt roof is cheaper upfront compared to a metal roof, it can be more prone to damage and require more maintenance.

Keeping a close record of overall repair expenses can also help you determine if your current roofing system is the right fit for your company. It’s no secret Wisconsin weather is very temperamental - If you’re spending more than expected on the yearly maintenance of your existing roof, replacing it with our Butler MR-24 metal roof system, which is designed to expand and contract under changing temperatures, maybe a better option.

Are you looking for a new roof? Use this checklist to understand and identify the most critical considerations for optimal roof installation.

When did you last repair the roof?

Even a high-quality roof installed by professionals like us at A.C.E. Building Service needs attention now and then. Spotting potential issues is the key to avoiding costly repairs, or worse, an entire roof replacement.  

If even the smallest roof leak is left unattended, it can eventually lead to major water damage inside your building. Investing in small repairs upfront can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

The best way to stay ahead of major repairs is to schedule annual roof inspections with a professional roofing contractor or general contractor. They can give you a reliable assessment by looking for visible roof damage and checking the condition of every component of your roof.

Keeping a detailed record of the original roof plan, inspection reports, and yearly repairs can help you stay on a preventative maintenance schedule.

Can you see visible roof damage?

There are many red flags a contractor may notice during an inspection. If any of these are spotted, it’s important to take them seriously. These issues will not disappear, so the sooner you take action, the better.

  • Blistering or bubbles in the roof membrane. This can occur when too much heat or moisture seeps into the roofing structure and is particularly common with flat commercial roofs.
  • Noticeable pooling and standing water may mean something is blocking the roof drains. The extra weight of the water puts stress on the building and can cause accelerated degradation of the roof surface. 
  • A compromised or damaged roof flashing. Flashings are equally as important as the roof surface itself. A compromised flashing will allow wind, rain, and moisture from built-up snow to enter your building.
  • Damaged seals around any pipes, vents, or external systems that penetrate the roof. These flashings are the most common entry point for leaks. They are often installed improperly and they are constructed with petroleum-based materials that break down over time from UV rays.
  • Punctures, cracks, and tears from extreme weather like wind, hail, and ice storms. If you encounter a storm, it is always recommended to inspect your roof for any visible damage. If you’re not sure what to look for, call a professional. Most roofing professionals offer roof inspections free of charge.

See the side-by-side differences in roofing installation in our new checklist: Re-Roofing Checklist: 9 Critical Considerations for Proper Roof Installation.

Do you have any leaks or water damage?

There are issues you may notice on the inside and outside of your building that may indicate a roof leak.

  • Interior ceilings in office or industrial buildings may become stained and sag.
  • Dark spots or peeling paint on interior walls.
  • An unusual odor or mold growth along interior walls, corners, and ceiling panels. Be sure to also check slower traffic areas like storage rooms for an odd odor that may indicate a mold problem from a slow leak. 
  • Vegetation and plant growth on your commercial roof may be a sign of insufficient drainage. This could also be a sign that areas of your roof have developed cracks where dirt and water have accumulated.

Paying close attention to these signs can help you pinpoint which areas of your roof are damaged and should be carefully examined.

Do you want to give the exterior appearance of your building a facelift? A roof might help!

The exterior of your business is the first thing your customer sees, so it must make a good impression! Your business’s curb appeal will suffer if areas of your roof are fading or pieces are cracked or missing. Making needed repairs can help the overall look and appearance of your building.

What Should You Consider for Roof Repairs?

The following are some overall key points to consider for commercial roof repairs. Remember, a little preventative maintenance upfront can save you a lot of money when compared to the cost of an undetected leak that leads to catastrophic roof failure.  

  • Look for a trusted and professional roofing contractor or general contractor to assess exactly how much repair work is needed.
  • Evaluate money-saving options—spending more money upfront on sturdy materials and reliable repairs may save you money in the long run.
  • Maximize the return on your investment and extend the longevity of your roof with preventive maintenance.
  • Plan for future needs—is your current roofing system doing an adequate job protecting your business and employees? Keeping a close record of repair expenses can help you gauge if your roof is the right choice for your location and climate. 
  • Know when to repair vs. replace your roof. The older your roof gets, the more susceptible to damage and wear it becomes. 

Use our re-roofing checklist to compare contractors and learn what to look for when you start your re-roofing project. 

How to Choose the Right Roofing Contractor for Roof Repairs

After answering all these questions, you may be asking yourself: How do I choose the right roofing contractor? It’s important to do your research and find a contractor who can understand your company’s needs, can work with your budget, meet your deadlines, and work as a team player.

Pay attention to the following details while making your decision:

  • You want a contractor who will stay in constant communication throughout all aspects of your project, so strong communication is key. If a contractor doesn’t answer your phone call or emails, keep looking.
  • Don’t always go for the lowest bid. While it may be tempting to purchase the least expensive option, low costs do not always result in quality deliverables. Make sure the estimate clearly defines what work will be done from assessment to clean-up and understand what you’re getting. Remember the age-old phrase “you get what you pay for.”
  • Check for reliable references that specifically include other commercial or industrial buildings in the area.

If you are considering a re-roofing project, take a moment to view and download our Re-Roofing Checklist: 9 Critical Considerations for Proper Roof Installation. You’ll walk away knowing what to look for in re-roofing services, and how to find the right re-roofing contractor for your project. 

A.C.E. Building Service offers commercial and industrial construction services with a reputation of reliability, trust, fairness, and honesty. If you need repairs on your commercial roof or a full roof replacement, A.C.E. will give you a fair and affordable assessment. Please give us a call and help us give you some peace of mind knowing you have a strong roof over your head. Look no further—A.C.E. has you covered!

Topics: Reroof, commercial construction, Industrial Construction

Written by Chris Herzog

Chris is a graduate of The University of Wisconsin - Platteville where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Management. In addition, he is a LEED accredited professional (LEED-AP). He began his career with A.C.E. in 2005 as an estimator/project manager and later held the responsibilities of business development and marketing before assuming the role of President in 2021. In addition to the overall management and leadership of the company, he continues to build relationships with clients, serves at the board level in several community organizations, and ensures that the company's core values are upheld and at the center of every project.