Tips for low slope roofs

October 07, 2013
 Tips for low slope roofs

Low slope roofs, or commercial roofs, don’t have much in common with residential roofs. They both protect buildings from the elements and they both wear out over time and require maintenance, but that’s about it when it comes to similarities. Because commercial roofs are different from residential roofs, it’s important to know a few things about them if you own or are thinking of purchasing a commercial building.

Pooling water

Ideally, your commercial roof was designed in a way to minimize some of the problems with low slope roofs. If you purchased the building from somebody else, you’re stuck with whatever roof the original owner had installed. Some commercial roofs are completely level, or have areas that aren’t sloped enough to allow for water runoff. Water will pool up in areas that have no slope and will, not surprisingly, cause damage on your roof.

Fortunately, there are ways to build in a slope when you are reroofing. The most popular way to do this is tapered insulation. Layers of insulation that are thicker at one end than the other are placed down beneath the roofing material to create a slope that will send water off the roof. As a bonus, the extra insulation will reduce energy costs.

Commercial roof maintenance

Just as residential roofs need periodic inspections and maintenance, so do commercial roofs. With a low slope roof, it’s important to have regular inspections to check for pooling water. Other problems that might arise are flashings that are slipping, layers of roofing material no longer flat and secure, layers peeling, or roofing material shrinking away from the edges of the building.

It’s crucial to have your commercial roof periodically inspected and to have maintenance done when needed. Cutting costs when it comes to your commercial roof will only cost more in the long run when you not only have to pay for an entirely new roof, but to repair water damage inside your building as well.

Choose a good contractor

As with any type of roofing work, you’ll want to hire the right contractor to do any work with your commercial roof. A good roofer will be registered with the Better Business Bureau and have a good rating. Make sure that your contractor is experienced with low slope roofs and not primarily a residential roofer.

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