If your building’s flat roof is experiencing a leak, you will have to decide quickly whether to make repairs or replace your entire flat roofing system.

No two roofs are the same, which makes the decision to repair or replace your flat roof a difficult one. Having a commercial/industrial flat roofing expert inspect your entire roof will give you an accurate evaluation of the health of your flat. Here are the key factors in their assessment:

Repair vs. Replace

Severity and Percentage of the Flat Roof That is Damaged
There is no perfect equation to determine if your roof needs to be repaired or replaced. Even concentrated damage can become severe enough to require your flat roof to be replaced. Wide spread damage, if minor, could be repaired without further risk to the roof.

Incorrect Installation of Flat Roof
Depending on your flat roofing system simple tears, cracks or blisters can be a quick and easy fix. But if your roof was installed incorrectly, then it could cause damage to the exterior components of the flat roof system overtime including flashings, ventilation, membrane, etc. The decision to replace your flat roof system could save you from frequent costly repairs and upkeep.

End of Lifespan for Flat Roof Materials
The lifespan of your flat roof system varies depending on the materials that were used. The suggested lifespan of these materials is always an estimated average and not guaranteed. Environmental factors and upkeep can shorten or extend the life of your flat roof system. Having a roofing expert inspect your flat roof will confirm the remaining lifespan of the materials. If your materials are nearing the end of their lifespan, then leaks and damage to your flat roof will become more frequent. Replacing your flat roof system will be more cost effective in the long run then the need for constant repairs.

Each of these factors plays a role in deciding whether to repair or replace a flat roof system. If damage is minimal, or confined to a small area, a repair may be sufficient. However, if there is wide spread damage, or if your flat roof materials have reached the end of their lifespan, a flat roof replacement may be the only option to keep your business safe and dry moving forward.

Damage to flat roof systems is a common concern for all property owners and managers as repairs and replacements can be costly and time consuming. The number one way to reduce the risk of damage is to be aware of the common causes of leaks and develop a plan to avoid these risks.

Common Causes of Flat Roof Leaks

Delayed and Avoided Maintenance and Repairs
This is the number one cause of all flat roof leaks and damage. Proper inspection of a flat roof could reveal blistering, rotting, and deterioration of flat roof materials (flashing, membrane, seals, equipment, sheathing, etc.) that should be addressed immediately to avoid leaks and further damage. Regular Inspections can increase the Longevity of your Flat Roof, more details in this article.

Exposure to Severe Weather
Sun, water, and ice are all factors that become more impactful if your flat roof has experienced shifting or loss of gravel covering, exposing the roof’s membrane.

Standing, Pooling, and Ponding Water
The long-term presence of collected water on your roof increases the risk of a flat roof leak.

Plant Growth
Standing water can create an environment for plants to sprout and take root on your flat roof causing leaks and damage.

Incorrectly Installed Roof-Top Equipment
Installing HVAC, skylights, vents, etc. without proper consideration for the maintenance of your flat roof can cause leaks and damage at the seams of the equipment.

Have a Maintenance Plan

Many premature flat roof replacements can be avoided with proper care. Routine maintenance is required to keep your flat roof in the best condition to protect against harsh Southern Ontario weather. To help prevent maintenance related issues, we highly recommend that your business make flat roof maintenance part of your regular building management. Inspections, repairs, and routine care can all help maximize the lifespan of your flat roof. Read: “Top 5 Warning Signs Your Flat Roof Has a Leak”, to learn how to perform a thorough inspection of your building that could help you catch a leak before it spreads.

If the need for a flat roof repair or replacement should arise, make sure to enlist an expert industrial commercial flat roofing company. Whether it is an installation or repair, it is imperative that it is done properly the first time. Mistakes, shortcuts, and poor craftsmanship can lead to continued leaks and damage that require repairs and replacement long before the natural lifespan of your flat roof should have ended.

For a free flat roof inspection, or to schedule a consultation for a flat roof repair or a flat roof replacement, call Crown Industrial Roofing today at 416 744 7788.