As a commercial property owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that the property is safe for employers, guests and passersby. Maintenance is one of the biggest priorities and responsibilities that a property owner will face, and it is essential that any issues that may arise are fixed in due course. Failure to repair your property will not only risk the safety of those within the building, but it can also cause further, more serious damage in the years to come.

Due to the adverse weather conditions that we unfortunately face in the UK, there are many different issues that could cause concern to the interior and exterior of your property. One of the most damaged areas of a commercial property tends to be to the roof system, with heavy downpours and difficulty cleaning the area contributing to damaged cladding. We have put together a comprehensive guide to all of the possible commercial roof damage that can easily be fixed with professional maintenance and repair services.

Types Of Commercial Roof Damage

Many of the issues that will be covered in this guide, can easily be found and repaired as long as regular maintenance is carried out. When you know how to acknowledge that something doesn’t quite look right, it can become easier for you to respond quickly to fix the issue before it worsens. There is nothing worse than knowing your properties damage could have been fixed at a small fee, if only you had caught the issue beforehand. Here we will go through the different types of roof damage and how you can visually tell when its time to call in the professionals. This guide will cover the following:

drilling roof

Rips in EPDM Membrane

One of the most common types of commercial roofing is EPDM rubber, due to its exceptional water-resistance, as well as its ability to reflect UV light to keep the temperature inside the property at a comfortable level. While this material may be beneficial on roofing systems, it can also cause damage to other external materials or in worse case scenarios, internal systems, if not maintained properly. Ripping of the EPDM rubber membrane is one of the most common damage signs in roofing systems, and without repairs, can cause leaking and mould growth. With a rip in the rubber system, it means that the seals are no longer watertight, and the benefits discussed above will no longer apply to the property.

Unlike other materials used for roof systems, EPDM rubber industrial roofing sheets are fairly easy to fix and comes at a lower price than its alternatives. While you will need to replace the entire sheet that has been damaged, it does not mean that you need to replace the whole roofing system. This makes it a very straightforward project and will take little time to repair, and costs will remain low. Without identifying this issue and contacting professionals as soon as possible, the damage could worsen, and you could find yourself having to pay out for a whole new roofing system and repairs to internal damage. If you have damage to your roofing system that can not be fixed by a repair, then you may wish to replace the roof materials completely. Nationwide has some examples of different roofing materials, along with their benefits, so we suggest having a quick read.

rubber roof

Roof Cracking or Blistering

Another problem that occurs on membrane roofing, along with other roofing material, is cracking and blistering. When moisture enters a layer of the roofing system, it commonly causes blistering, which is one of the most dangerous issues due to its ability to cause internal damage to your roofing structure. The bubbling effect happens when the moisture inside the roofing layer is heated by the sun and therefore, expands the small pockets and stretches the membrane. In some cases, when the heat has been extreme, and the blister rises, cracking can also occur. This cracking often looks like alligator skin, and is most commonly known as alligatoring.

Unfortunately, when you see cracking or blistering of the roofing materials, then there is no other way to repair the issue than to have the sheets removed and replaced. However, there are ways in which you can minimise the risk of bubbling and cracking through regular maintenance. As mentioned previously, ensuring the seals are airtight and not ripping or lifting at the seams, can help you to reduce the risk of the blistering. Durable roof coatings can also help in this instance, as the coating protects the roof system from downpours, ponding water and mould, making it less likely to cause damage.

While bubbling can cause concern, especially if the material begins to crack, there are times when you may not need repairs until the system begins to worsen. In most cases, the roofs sheeting can be left alone until it worsens; however, if the following gets noticeably worse, then you will need to contact a professional:

  • The surfacing is starting to come off the blistered area
  • The membrane is beginning to crack
  • The blister is near to the seam
  • The blister is in an area of regular foot traffic

Without repairing this issue, it can cause cracks to worsen, and internal cracking to occur if the structure becomes wet due to leaking. Angie’s List has a helpful guide to internal roof cracking, the different causes of the cracking and how to fix the issue.

cracked rubber roof

Ponding Water

With the heavy rain that the UK sees too often throughout the year, many commercial properties face damage by ponding water. This is an issue that is most often found on flat roofs, as the water has nowhere to go, often settling in a small dent or slight curve in the roofing system. Ponding water can cause severe damage to the external and internal structure of your property that can end up costing you a fair amount of money. There are two ways that you can try to prevent this from causing problems to your property; the first is to have a coating sprayed onto the surface of the roofs cladding, and the second is to keep an eye on the roof and your guttering system with regular checks and maintenance. Maintenance can include gutter cleaning and repairs, which can help with the flow of water and reduce the risk of it forming ponds that lead to damage. For further advice on how to prevent flooding on flat roofs, B&Q has a helpful guide on how to reduce water flooding on your roof system.

Interior Water Staining

Staining on the interior of your property is a good indication that something isn’t quite right with your roofing system. Not only does it look unappealing to your employees and potential clients, but it can also cause further health and safety problems. When stains occur, it often means that there is a water leak somewhere in the roof, which can lead to mould growth. Mould can cause a whole host of health issues such as illnesses associated with your lungs, as well as increased risks for those with asthma or severe allergies. Mould can also create a foul smell throughout your property, making it unpleasant to work in or visit, so it is vital that you have issues with mould and roof staining fixed before they worsen.

Due to stains indicating that there are problems with the roofing system, neglecting the issue could cause the roof to collapse when left untreated. The first step to assessing this issue is to contact a professional that can help you identify what is wrong with the roof. This can help you to know how to repair the problem before it worsens, fixing the issue both internally and externally to ensure no further nor future damage is caused.

stain on roof

Cut Edge Corrosion

Many modern commercial properties have metal cladding, not only on the roofing system by also on the external walls. There are an abundance of benefits to having metal cladding installed on your roofing system, such as the following:

  • Protects your property – metal cladding shields the internal materials of the property from the weather, making it less likely for leaks and other issues to occur.
  • Low maintenance – being very sustainable, metal cladding requires little to no maintenance, making it a cost-effective solution for those on a budget.
  • Lightweight – the material is lightweight, making it ideal for placing on commercial properties without damaging the exterior.
  • Aesthetically pleasing – metal cladding looks sophisticated and modern, so can work as protection as well as decoration.
  • Environmentally friendly – once you have finished with the metal cladding, the sheets can easily be recycled for other uses.

Although there are many benefits to metal cladding, there is one big disadvantage that can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of the cladding and how it looks. As metal cladding is manufactured and then cut on-site, it means the protective layer on the outside of the cladding is removed, and the edges are exposed. This can lead to something commonly known as cut edge corrosion, which not only changes the appearance of your property, but can cause damage in the future.

Cut edge corrosion is essentially where the edges of the cladding rusts, which can worsen as it moves further inwards. There is a simple solution to this problem, and all it will require is for the cladding to be coated with a professional solution to give it an extra layer of protection. This can be arranged with the GOCO Services team, who are working hard throughout the pandemic to provide high-quality services, while incorporating the government’s safe guidance to keep our team, and clients protected. To find out more information about the benefits of metal protective coatings, take a look at our previous article.

cut edge corrosion roof

Protecting Your Property From Damage

It is always vital that you protect your property from all forms of damage, whether it be the exterior or interior walling or roofs. Keeping up with maintenance can help you to acknowledge when there are issues with your property and the quicker you find and repair any problem, the less expensive it is likely to cost. One of the best ways to ensure your property is well maintained is to have regular cleaning of your facilities exterior. If you have any issues with your roofing system, and would like some advice, then please do not hesitate to contact the team.