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Essential Guide to Commercial Flat Roof Repair

In this invaluable guide, we will discuss step by step and in detail every aspect you need to be informed about commercial building roof repairs, from initial damages to preventative damages. By the end of this guide, you will be able to consider yourself a master in construction management and knowledgeable in the field of commercial building roof repairs. 

Commercial building roof repair is one of the most important elements of property maintenance that should not be overlooked. After all, if your roof is damaged and leaking it can cause other structural damages to occur. Over time, several incidents can occur to warrant a repair on your roof; from poor weather conditions to structural deterioration of the building. By remaining proactive, you can prevent and further mitigate any potential damages to your commercial building and thus save yourself time, money, and resources. 

Let’s work together so we can ensure you are informed on the process of commercial building roof repairs and how you can make logical and thoughtful decisions. Commercial flat roof repairs are part of our South Florida concrete repair services. 

Understanding the importance of commercial roof maintenance

Why should you know or care about commercial roof maintenance? This is incredibly important if you are a property owner or manager because the knowledge will determine your level of success and longevity of the roof for your commercial property. You want to ensure you are able to successfully protect your commercial property and preserve its property value, are in compliance with the city building codes and regulations, and you are extending the lifespan of your building. Maintaining the roof of your commercial structure is what will determine your level of success as a property manager or owner. 

What is a commercial roof? Why is it important?

The structure of the roof protects all occupants and objects inside of the building to ensure safety. It allows the occupants and all property to feel secure while living or working in the building. While this may seem like an obvious and common sense; unfortunately, common sense is not so common. Negligence of property maintenance, particularly when it refers to water and moisture is one of the most common reasons for roof failure and roof repairs. Experiencing significant weather conditions is a yearly occurrence; therefore, it is important to recognize why the maintenance of your commercial building and the roof are essential to the success of your building. 

The leading causes for roof damages, failures, and collapses is due to water intrusion. This occurs when water seeps or intrudes through the roof causing damages over a long period of time. This is especially important for South Florida because when there’s water damage, there is likely mold damage. Unfortunately, we cannot see mold damages until it’s quite too late or until a mold inspector opens up the roof to inspect the mold damages. Mold damages can be incredibly difficult to deal with as they cause the breaking down of the roof and building to happen causing significant damages to the structure. The mold can cause health issues for any occupants residing on the top floor of the building as well. 

Saving money by maintaining the roof of your commercial building

By getting involved in a preventative roof maintenance program, you could save yourself thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars by being proactive. These proactive programs typically include a professional visually inspecting the roof, the cleaning of the roof including any debris removal, and making notices of any deterioration or areas which need immediate attention. Roof construction is probably one of the most expensive and important aspects of your commercial building; thus, requiring meticulous attention. 

The cost of negligence is far greater than actively maintaining your commercial property and could also lead to liability issues in the case where an occupant is injured in the building. You want to ensure you are taking all the necessary and cautionary steps to feel secure in your building.

Conducting a thorough roof inspection

Routine inspections are essential to the maintenance and the structural integrity of your commercial building roofing system. By completing a routine inspection on your commercial building roofing system, you will ensure the longevity and success of your structure. Inspections conducted routinely can help mitigate and prevent any unnecessary financial costs. It is very important to identify and address issues as they arise & ward off any roofing issues. Identifying damages can help decrease the size of your problems on a roof and prevent them from becoming worse. 

You will also want to take into consideration the safety of the occupants of your building and ensure their well being is of the highest importance. There are also many other considerations to take into account such as insurance requirements, preserving the property value, and compliance for your building. You want to ensure you are placing the priority of the building at the highest possible level.

You will also need to get your roof inspected anytime you are completing a Building Inspection

Setting up regular routine inspections

You should always have a plan for anything in life but especially for protecting your commercial building structure and its roof. Regular maintenance is a proactive way of protecting your building and its roofing system. You can do so by:

  • Conducting consistent inspections
  • Proactively check up on the roof
  • Repairing when needed
  • Keep track of everything

Conducting consistent inspections will ensure there are no hidden surprises over the lifetime of your roof. You want to avoid any situations where the roof isn’t inspected regularly and now your building is requiring significant repairs for things like spalling, cracks, and any other deterioration. It’ll also be useful for detecting any water damages such as water seepage or intrusion. 

When managing a building, you want to always proactively manage your commercial building. When people tend to manage their building reactively, they tend to run into more problems than they can feasibly handle. Behaving reactively can lead to significant financial losses on roof repairs, roof replacements, and any other related maintenance costs. By performing your duties as a property owner or manager, as a proactive professional, you can mitigate any of those costs, ensure the safety of your occupants, and extend the longevity of your building. It’s important to have your maintenance team to consistently check up on the roof and clean it for any damages such as clearing out gutters and drains. You can also check for any small leaks that may not be actively leaking as well.

It is always better to repair your roof ahead of time rather than waiting until the last minute possible. The purpose for this is to mitigate your financial costs on your commercial property. If your roof requires repair and the need for the repairs has just been discovered, you can take the first step and repair your roof immediately. By procrastinating, you will only increase the total costs it will take to repair the structure and thus decrease the available allowance the building has available. For example, let’s say you didn’t repair your roof last year for damages but discovered the damages at the time and a hurricane hits now, you may have even more damages. Furthermore, an insurance carrier may decline your claim for the repairs if the damages were pre existing. 

Keeping track of documents is as crucial as the actual work of the maintenance and repairs of your commercial property. You want to make sure for every part of the process you are documenting all of the details and of the work conducted on the roof. It creates a track log showing the entire history of all the work done on the roof. It will show of any damages done such as spalling, cracks, or any deterioration and any actual repairs or steps taken to remedy the issues. It also serves as a legal document and track record showing the damages but also the steps taken when damages were discovered. 

Conducting a visual roof inspection

If you own or manage a commercial building, you can easily access the roof as long as it’s not a steep roofing system. You can easily conduct a visual roof inspection by walking on the face of the roof and visually inspecting any noticeable damages or areas needing immediate attention. Be sure to inspect all different areas of the roof so you can ensure your inspection has been completed thoroughly. 

Check on the gutters and drains

When conducting your inspection, an important area you can start looking at are the gutters and the draining systems. Due to weather conditions, a lot of the time these systems become clogged from outside debris. Check these areas to make sure they’re not clogged. If they are clogged, look to unclog them immediately. The purpose of this is because if they’re clogged and water cannot flow through them properly, water will just sit and collect on the top of your roof and it has no place to go except seep through the roof and into your building. 

Check all areas OF YOUR ROOF

In order to avoid any unnecessary refurbishments, you should check all areas and layers of the roof. This is especially important because it can help identify any missing shingles or parts of the roof that may be damaged which may cause an easy opening for water to enter. If ignored or not properly examined, it can be the difference between spending hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars. The great benefit about conducting a visual inspection is that they’re fast, relatively inexpensive and easy to complete and allows you to notice any issues so repairs can be conducted quickly. 

Navigating the Commercial Roof Repair Process

Comprehensive Repair Plan

For any project, you should always devise a plan with proper steps and goals you are looking to achieve. Writing out your proposed plan for the repairs will help you organize your goals, your deadlines, and finally conclude the repair process. The repair should serve as an outline for you and your management team to utilize on how to assess any commercial building roofing system repairs. Without a plan, there will be no direct timeline and the scheduling of the materials and repairs can become overwhelming.

Estimated Assessments & The Scope

The proposed repair plan by the construction company such as ours will detail an estimated assessment of the damages and the costs associated with the repairs. It will detail and outline the cost of materials, the cost for labor, any additional inspections during or after the repairs have been completed, and any additional scans made of the commercial roofing system. 

The scope of the work is an outline of the construction project for the repairs completed. It will detail all parties involved with the repairs and it is the written proposal for the contract of the roof repairs. It serves as a statement of work; where the construction company proposes the work involved in order to complete the repairs. It will detail all tasks involved in the project and how each one will be accomplished and the time table for it to be completed. The scope of work will also include drawings of the roof, providing a visual aid of the roof, which areas will be covered in the project including the dimensions. 

Permits and Approvals for Commercial Building roofs

The process of obtaining permits and approvals for completing any type of construction for a project can be a long, tedious, and complicated process. However, it is one process which is the very first step in the repair process. Without the appropriate permits and approvals from the city, no work can be completed on your roof. We can easily understand and navigate through that process by abiding by the following:

Conducting Research for Commercial Building permits

As an engineering and construction company, we prioritize research on your commercial roofing system and identifying the appropriate permits. It is a strategic and meticulous research process. Knowing which permits to obtain is incredibly important as it can save your building a significant amount of time and money in the process. We pride ourselves in our ability to achieve this for you and your project. We look into identifying the requirements and regulations for the project location. 

This typically involves identifying the specific building codes and following the requested permit application process. Through direct dialogue with municipal authorities and seasoned consultants, we gain invaluable insights into the nuances of the permitting process, ensuring we navigate it with confidence and efficiency. Armed with this knowledge, we meticulously compile all necessary documentation, from architectural blueprints to environmental impact assessments, meticulously tailored to meet the stringent standards set forth by regulatory bodies. This proactive and thorough approach not only demonstrates our commitment to compliance but also lays the groundwork for a seamless and successful project execution. Trust us to handle your construction permits with expertise and precision, setting the stage for your vision to become a reality. 

Submitting your application for commercial building roof repair

The next part of the process includes the application process and the submission of the application. After all necessary documentation for pulling the permits has been gathered, it is submitted to the corresponding city. This would include the proposed plans, a notice of commencement of the project, and necessary documentation relating to the engineer and general contractor’s credentials. 

Following up on your commercial roof repair permit

At times, the city building department may be behind on submitted applications. Following up with the city building department is as important as submitting the actual application. Following up on the application allows you to remain informed of the progress of the application and where it stands in the process. It also allows you to address, fix, or provide any additional documentation or information that may be missing or pertinent to the approval of the permit application. 

Inspections during the commercial roof repair process

After the first initial inspection where the scope of work is to be proposed and determined, an additional inspection will occur during the process of repairing the commercial roofing system. The purpose of this inspection is to ensure the repairs have started, the repairs are in line with the agreed upon scope of work based upon the plans and specifications submitted to the city building department, and compliance with the city’s regulations. This ensures repairs are being completed at the construction site of your building. 

Once the construction project has been completed, an additional inspection will take place to ensure the renovation of your building is completed and complies with the city building department. This ensures the repairs were completed, under, the plans submitted to the city and in compliance with the scope of work. Responsible licensed contractors will always update any necessary changes and inform the city building department of such changes.

Maintaining and documenting the permit and approval process

Maintaining documentation of the permit and approval process is especially important because it shows the work being completed and the process of that work. It’s also crucial because it ensures your commercial roof repair project remains in compliance with regulatory requirements and building codes.

As a construction company, it is vital to retain all relevant documentation pertaining to permits and approvals as part of the roof repair renovation. This would be applicable to the permit application and any approvals or modifications made to the original construction plans. Inspection reports should also reflect an illustration of all reports throughout the entire commercial roof repair project. Any deficiencies, findings, or corrective actions taken should be documented as well. 

By developing a comprehensive repair plan and navigating the permitting process effectively, you can ensure that commercial roof repairs are executed smoothly, safely, and in compliance with applicable building codes and regulations. This proactive approach minimizes delays, mitigates risks, and helps achieve successful outcomes for your roofing project.

Common types of commercial roof systems

Before looking into the type of roofing system, we need to know the shape of the roof. Typically, there are low slope roofs and steep slope roofs. There are very different types of each and each roofing system will vary and contain its own characteristics which make it unique in the construction industry. 

Low slope roofs

A low slope roof is one that is not steep and does not contain any shingles on it. You will typically find this style of roofing on warehouses, factories, and shopping malls. The best way to understand the roof is that it’s not very high. It’s a roof that is very low and almost flat.

Steep slope roofs

A steep slope roof is more commonly found in the residential construction industry than it is in the commercial construction industry. The best way to think of a steep slope roof is to understand the roof is steep from its highest point of the roof to its lowest point of the roof where it actually meets the walls of the structure. They will occasionally be found on apartments, townhomes, and hotel buildings. 

Types of commercial building roofs

There are different types of roofs utilized in both the commercial and residential industries each with their own advantages, disadvantages and suitability for different climates, building styles, and budgets. Here are some of the most common types:

TPO(Thermoplastic Polyolefin)

 These roofs are typically found on commercial warehouses or buildings. It’s a low sloped roof and it’s covered with a strong and reinforced sheet. It’s made to cover flat roofs and consists of polypropylene and ethylene-propylene rubber. Those two elements are combined and rolled into sheets where they can be applied to a flat roof. It is considered a cheap but viable option to protect the roofing of a structure. 

EPDM Roofing(Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer)

is another style of roofing applied in low slope buildings. It’s resilient, cost effective, and green friendly. A great thing about EPDM roofing is that the rubber roofing is recyclable so it’s not contributing to an environmental impact. 

Modified Bitumen Roofing Systems

 Modified roofs are flat roofs you’ll typically see on top of hospital buildings or large parking garage buildings. It involves combining asphalt membranes with polymerized rubber or plastic and reinforcing it with fiberglass. This creates a strong and flexible roofing material. Today, many buildings utilize this style of roofing because of its strength, resistance to water damage, and its resilience to ultraviolet rays projected from the sun. 

Metal roofs

Metal roofs are found on both low slope and steep roofs making them a very flexible option regardless of the building. You can find metal roofs on both commercial and residential structures. More commonly, they’re found on large corporation warehouses; however, they can be utilized on just about any type of structure. 

They’re also a preferable choice over your standard shingle roof because of their life span and their weather resistance. Your typical shingle roof will have to be replaced after 20-30 years; whereas, a metal roof can last you up to 70 years. A metal roof is also going to be more resistant against water, wind, and fire damages which are likely to occur in South Florida during Hurricane Season.

Liquid applied roofing

Involves the combination of polymers which creates a seamless and waterproof membrane. This style of roofing not only can be placed on the roof of a structure but it can also be placed on flooring or on balconies of apartment units. This style allows no openings to form and thus eliminates any type of water seepage or intrusion. 

Additionally, liquid applied roofing systems are often highly reflective, providing energy-saving benefits by reducing heat absorption and cooling costs. With proper maintenance, liquid applied roofing can offer long-lasting protection against weathering, UV radiation, and water infiltration, making it a popular choice for both new construction and roof refurbishment projects.

Final thought on commercial building roofs

In conclusion, a well-maintained commercial roof is essential for the overall health and longevity of your building. By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you will be well-equipped to identify, address, and prevent issues related to commercial building roof repairs. Regular inspections, timely repairs, and strategic decision-making will not only protect your investment but also contribute to a safer, more resilient commercial property. Remember, proactive maintenance is key to ensuring the ongoing success of your commercial roofing system.

Prioritizing the maintenance of your commercial roof is paramount to safeguarding the integrity and functionality of your entire building. By implementing the strategies detailed in this comprehensive guide, you’re not only taking proactive steps to address current issues but also fortifying your property against potential future challenges.

Regular inspections serve as the cornerstone of an effective maintenance regimen, allowing you to detect issues early on and mitigate them before they escalate into costly problems. Timely repairs, guided by a thorough understanding of your roofing system’s unique characteristics, are essential in preserving its structural integrity and preventing further deterioration.

Moreover, strategic decision-making throughout the repair process ensures that resources are allocated efficiently and repairs are executed with precision. Whether it’s selecting the most suitable materials for your roof type or navigating the permitting process seamlessly, informed decisions play a crucial role in the success of your repair efforts.

Ultimately, investing in the maintenance of your commercial roofing system not only safeguards your financial investment but also promotes the safety and well-being of occupants within the building. A well-maintained roof contributes to a more resilient property, capable of withstanding the rigors of environmental factors and maintaining its value over time.

In summary, by embracing proactive maintenance practices and leveraging the insights provided in this guide, you’re empowering yourself to uphold the longevity, functionality, and safety of your commercial property. Remember, the proactive care of your commercial roofing system is not just a wise investment—it’s a fundamental aspect of responsible property ownership.