If your business's building has a flat rubber roof, you may have noticed a few areas in your ceiling that are leaking water, leading you to wonder whether or not the roof should be replaced. If so, check for the following problems when inspecting your business's flat rubber roof to see if it can be repaired or needs to be replaced.
Puddles of Water
The first thing you should look for when inspecting your roof to determine the extent of its damage is the presence of water puddles. If the roof's rubber has started to thin out or storm damage has gouged out some of the rubber, there may be areas that are lower than the surface, causing water to collect.
If puddles of water are forming on your roof, the added moisture and weight could weaken the area on which they lay. Not only could they cause further breakdown of the material, but the puddles of water could run underneath the coating and cause leaks inside your building.
After it rains in your area, look carefully at your roof so you can take note of any collection of water. Then, when the rain stops and the water dries up, inspect these areas for other types of damage, such as those discussed below.
Seams Coming Apart
Once the water has dissipated from your roof, walk out onto the surface and examine the surface of the rubber more carefully. To give yourself a starting point, inspect the areas where you noticed water collecting while it was raining. Then, look to see if there are any seams in those areas.
Normally, the seams between the rubber should be tight to keep water from leaking through the roof and into the building. However, if you see any gaps, this is a sign that the rubber coating has started to pull away. Especially if the seams are located where water collects, deterioration of the subsurface of the roof may have already begun.
If you notice that several seams on the roof have started to pull apart, you could start to see more water leaks into your business's building. You may want to have a roofer inspect your roof further to determine the extent of the damage.
If you do not see any gaps in the seams, make sure you walk along each one to make sure you did not miss any minor openings. If the seams are all tight, the leaks inside your building could be caused by another issue, as described in the next section.
Rips in the Surface
Another potential problem you should check for when inspecting for damage on your building's flat roof is rips in the rubber surface. These rips could be caused by a number of things, ranging from an ice storm to debris carried by high winds that struck the roof. Regardless of the cause, any rips can create an entryway for water to run into your building and cause internal water damage.
To check for rips in the roof's rubber, start at one corner, and look carefully for any suspicious-looking lines. If you find any, use either your finger or a screwdriver and try to insert it into each one. If you are able to pull up one side of the rubber, this is a rip in your roof. Continue your inspection to see if you find any more rips.
If you only find minor damage in one or two areas, you or your maintenance crew may be able to patch the roof to prevent small leaks. However, if you find multiple areas of damage, contact a commercial roofing company to have them professionally inspect your business's flat roof and discuss whether it can be repaired or should be replaced. For more information, contact companies like Moriarty Roofing & Sheet Metal.