Maintaining your roof can be a pain. With so many life obligations, from running a business to your personal life, it’s hard to add another thing to your plate.
When you neglect to maintain the roof on your commercial building, things can turn very ugly, very quickly. Before you know it, the standing water that’s been pooling for a few months has now made its way into your building, and your once easy maintenance routine has now turned into a costly roof leak repair bringing dangerous black mold along with it.
ODD Roofing has been performing professional commercial roof maintenance for business owners just like you for nearly 3 decades now, as we’ve seen the worst of the worst. However, we also know that these worst-case scenarios are often preventable by regular maintenance.
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably curious about maintaining your commercial building’s roof, and I’m glad you’re being proactive! By the end of this article, you will be an expert in all things commercial roof maintenance, and hopefully, you’ll be able to make a well-informed decision and learn how to proceed with getting your commercial roof maintenance scheduled. Let’s get started!
The 3 Types of Commercial Roof Construction
There are 3 main types of roof designs used on commercial buildings which include:
- Flat roof commercial construction
- Low-slope commercial construction
- Steep slope commercial construction
Flat roof commercial construction is very common, it allows an engineer or an architect many options for mounting rooftop mechanical equipment. Also, reduced structural requirements that often come with steep-sloped commercial construction. With the newer single-ply roof systems today, this type of construction requires your local commercial roofing contractor to slope your roof using tapered insulation. This eliminates any ponding water on your commercial roof. The tapered insulation also provides your building with a higher R-value which will help make your commercial building more energy-efficient. This tapered insulation will impact the overall cost of the roofing construction.
Low slope commercial construction is where the engineer or architect has designed the commercial building so that the roofing structure has a positive slope built into the construction of the roof framing. This slope creates positive drainage and allows the water to properly run off the rooftop. The downside to low-slope roofs is that it is not always a good fit for all the different types of commercial roofing materials that building contractors install on them.
For example, a low slope roof where someone has installed a metal roof and has rooftop mechanical equipment such as HVAC units or even skylights is typically NOT the best option. Choosing an inferior roofing material will result in early roof leaks and create maintenance issues that another commercial roof system would not have on this type of commercial low-slope roof construction.
Steep slope commercial construction roof on a commercial property is identical to residential steep slope construction. The most common construction types on steep slope commercial roofs are a gable roof or a hip roof. Gable and hip roofs on commercial buildings are constructed with metal or wood trusses. Steep slope roofs can also be constructed with custom wood framing too. The most popular roofing materials installed on commercial steep slope roofs are standing seam metal roofs, screw-down metal roof systems, metal shingles, Spanish tile, and any of the 4 different asphalt shingles.
How Can I Maintain My Commercial Roof?
With the different types of construction and materials that are used, the maintenance for each of these different types will vary depending on a few factors: The type of roof construction, the type of roof material, and the condition of the existing roofing materials.
If you have a steep slope roof, performing maintenance one time a year is generally recommended. If the building has gutters or any other special condition that might increase to 2 times per year. With a flat or low slope roof depending on the roofing materials we generally recommend having maintenance performed 2 to 3 per year. If the roof has multiple drains, through-wall scuppers, or multiple rooftop mechanical units we may recommend 3 to 4 times per year.
Other things to consider are the age of the existing roofing materials, the amount of tree coverage, and foot traffic on the roof. The older a commercial roof gets the more it will expand and contract due to climate changes. This thermal movement often causes things to come loose as the roof ages. Older roofs require a little more TLC to get the most out of them.
Tree coverage and high foot traffic can impact the performance of your roof if it is not accounted for. We also see building owners neglect their commercial flat roofing because they can’t see the roof. Drains and through-wall scuppers get clogged causing all kinds of roofing issues. Unfortunately, workers that service rooftop mechanical equipment drop tools or screws and then step on them, this is why high foot traffic has to be accounted for when creating a solid maintenance plan for your commercial building.
How Much Does Professional Commercial Roof Maintenance Cost?
It depends on the type of commercial building that you want to have roof maintenance performed on. Here are the questions we need answers to provide you with the exact cost:
- Is it a steep slope roof with shingles or a metal roof or is it a low slope or flat roof with a single-ply or modified bitumen roof system?
- What is the total square feet of the roof area?
- How many drains, penetrations, or mechanical units does it have on the roof?
- What kind of condition is the existing commercial roof system in?
However, on average commercial roof maintenance costs between .15 cents per square foot to .30 cents per square foot. So, to perform roof maintenance on a 20,000-square-foot building, you would be looking at somewhere between $3,000 and $6,000 depending on the specific factors of the building and the existing condition of the commercial roof system.