3 Top Causes of Flat Roof Damage (And Avoiding Them)

There are countless potential causes of damage to commercial roofing systems. While most people tend to point towards hail strikes and extreme wind as the usual suspects, much of the flat roof damage inflicted on your business is created by these three top causes. Here’s a break down of each hazard, plus how to address it.

Roof Hazard #1: Ponding Water

One of the most powerful forces in the world is torrential rain, but standing water offers its fair share of rooftop trauma. First, ponding water can accelerate the corrosion process, slowly degrading the top layer of your roofing materials. If the excess moisture isn’t allowed to drain properly, water seeps into any cracks or fissures it can find to create interior roof damage, which can be very expensive to remedy. To fight this rooftop hazard, make sure your roof has sufficient draining and have your system checked annually for degradation. Silicone, polyurea, or an emulsion coating are also very helpful for waterproofing your rooftop.

Roof Hazard #2: Foreign Debris

You’d be surprised at the variety of debris that wind can toss up on your roof. Debris can easily become stuck on your rooftop and adhere to the material. This can deteriorate any painting and top layer material after a while, which speeds the development of leaks. Some roofing materials are better at resisting these “cling-on,” but most elastomeric coatings are particularly effective no matter what flat roof type you have.

Roof Hazard #3: Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation

UV rays are the most constant degrading force that damages your roof each day. The radiation degrades paint and weakens the integrity of roofing material. On top of that, UV rays that penetrate into the interior of your building corrupt conditioned air and force your HVAC system to work harder to compensate. You can fight this energy waste by making your rooftop more reflective. Specialized paints and several types of roof coatings (especially acrylics) can help you accomplish this.