Your commercial roof is more than a protective feature on your building, it’s an investment in your business. Just like any investment, you want to get the best return possible, and getting the best ROI on your commercial roofing system means extending its life as long as possible. Commercial roofing replacement can be expensive, and it’s often necessary when repairs can no longer be made, but you can extend the life of your roof by understanding the things that greatly impact it.
Weather is arguably the biggest threat to commercial roofing systems. Whether we’re in the dead of winter or summer, or the mild seasons of spring and fall, certain environmental factors can greatly affect the lifespan of your roof:
- Storm damage: high winds and falling debris can damage commercial roofing during severe storms. Storm damage can range from minor to major, with the most severe damage requiring extensive repairs. Always have damaged roofing systems repaired immediately. Waiting to repair a roof can lead to extensive damage not only to the roofing materials but also to the structure and spaces below.
- Heavy rain + improper drainage: one of the most important things commercial building owners can do is make sure that there are adequate gutter and drainage systems on the roof, which allows water to move safely away from the building. Heavy rain can cause pooling water (especially on flat roofs) which can decay and weaken roofing materials if left to stand over long periods.
- Excessive Heat: during the summer months, excessive heat and sun exposure can cause roofing materials to swell, expand, and shift. This can open up small holes that allow water underneath the structure. Extensive exposure to UV rays can also weaken roofing materials over time. The best way to prevent heat damage is to make sure you have proper insulation and a good ventilation system under the roof.
- Ice and Snow: ice and snow buildup on a roof can cause undue stress on the structure and lead to water damage if it’s not cleared away. It’s best to invest in ice and snow removal if heavy snow is expected during the winter months.
Other Things that Reduce Commercial Roofing Lifespans
- Failure to perform regular maintenance and inspections
- Animal nests and insects
- Moss and algae growth
- Falling branches from trees placed too close to the building
How Long Should Your Commercial Roof Last?
This depends on the type of materials used. There are many different commercial roofing systems, but most will last anywhere between 15-30 years before having to be replaced.