When it comes time to do repair work on your Bethlehem roof, you have two options. You can either call a roofing contractor to do the work for you or you can do the repairs on your own.
A common problem with roofing repairs is that people tend to ignore them. Of course, if you are ignoring a problem, you don’t have to deal with it at all. However, as with most household problems, the longer you let them go, the more severe they become. If you have a leak in your home or see water damage on the ceiling, it’s time to do something about it now. You don’t want to wait until the leak gets worse or until the whole ceiling is damaged. However, this is what most people do.
Choosing a Bethlehem Georgia Roof Installation Contractor
Now that you know that you must tackle this job, you need to see where the problem actually is coming from. If you are going to try to tackle this job on your own, then it’s time to do some investigating. The roof cavity is the best place to start. Check for signs of a leak, water stains, mold or moisture damage. Oftentimes, this may be in an attic area or around a chimney.
Roofing professionals are called professionals for a very good reason. They are skilled at their given profession, which in this case would be roofing. They know what needs to be done to fix a roof properly and they also have the tools and equipment to do the work. Also, a professional roofer is used to working on roofs. Their chances of falling and hurting themselves are much less than if you attempt to try it. There are many accidents each year by people who are not in good health attempting to climb on roofs to do the job themselves.
When choosing a professional, however, don’t be too hasty in making your decision. As in any profession, there are going to be variations on roofing companies. While some will be more expensive, some will cost less, but this doesn’t mean that they are going to do a good job. On the other hand, you must use good discretion and ask questions to make sure you are getting what you pay for.
A professional roofer should come to your property and take a look before giving you an estimate. Once the estimate is done, you should receive a copy of an invoice that lists each cost separately. This is important for when you compare various contractors. You want to make sure that the estimates you are receiving are for the same work and materials.
Roof Replacement - With Asbestos Present
The two most common types of roofs for commercial structures are flat and pitched roofs. Each has their advantages and disadvantages for construction, and also their own challenges for leak repair.
Flat roofs are popular for commercial roofing because of their inexpensive design and the ability to house large mechanics, such as industrial air conditioners, upon the level surface. However, the flat design suffers when it comes to rain and snow, making most repairs related to weather leakage. Thankfully, patching a leak is a relatively straightforward task.
For the first step, a professional will need to locate the leak. That sounds elementary, but if your building has a BUR flat roof (Built-Up Roofs, the "tar and gravel" style) this might be the first big challenge as BUR roofs are notoriously difficult to find leaks. Single-Ply roofs (rubber membrane roofs), on the other hand, because of their seam sealed design make finding leaks easier. However, punctures and cracks are also more common.
After the damaged area is found, a professional will sweep the area of extra debris (BUR roof gravel can break loose over years of weather exposure) and then cut a patch around the leak as uniformly shaped as possible. Using that cut out area as a guide, the repairman will cut a replacement patch. The important part here will be to cut enough replacement pieces (or shingles) to build up all of the layers of the roof. BUR roofs can have many layers, as that is their core design. Here the benefit for the Single-Ply roof, being literally a single layer, will come into play with much less repair materials needed. Once the layers are replaced with the new cut shingles, a larger shingle will be cut to place overtop the patched area and sealed to prevent leakage through the cut seams.
Pitched roofs have a slope of more than 10 degrees to the horizontal surface. Although less common than flat roofs for commercial buildings, they are still used, especially in areas of heavy snowfall. Leaks on pitched roofs can come from problems with the shingles or tiles, but also in the flashing or valleys. Flashing is the sheet metal used around structures on a roof, such as chimneys, that is designed to force water down and away from seams. Valleys are lead lined areas found on multiple pitched roofs used for water runoff creating a gutter effect where the two pitches meet.
If you do live in an area of extreme weather, repairing a pitched roof will be considerably more difficult in the bad months, especially for the safety of the repairman. Usually he or she will look under the roof on the interior to find the leak, and then where the leakage is will determine the repairs.
For damaged shingles, a shingle ripper will be used to detach the shingle from the roof. Most are held by four or more nails (depending on the type of shingle). Then a new shingle will be slid into place, nailed down, and sealed. Clay or rounded tiles will require the chipping away of the securing mortar, tile replacement, and then reapplying of the mortar. If the flashing or valleys are damaged, the professional will have to determine whether the area can be patched or requires replacement. For cracks, flashing tape can be adhered to the roof to prevent further leakage. However, in more severe damage, the entire flashing or valley may need to be removed and replaced.
Do not hesitate to seek help for leakage repair as the more the area is exposed to the elements, the more advanced the repair job will be. If you think your roof may have a leak, contact a commercial roofing repair specialist or a commercial roofing company near you.
7 Essential Tips for Commercial Roofing Maintenance and Protection
Commercial roofing is a critical but often overlooked part of successful business operations. A building's roof shields it from the elements, helps to maintain a comfortable indoor climate, and protects the people and assets inside. Proper maintenance and regular inspections ensure that this important covering continues to do its job without having an adverse impact on profits.
Check for Problems After Extreme Weather
Surface damage caused by weathering or environmental hazards is usually most visible after heavy rain, high wind, or snowfall. Visual signs, such as standing water or bubbled materials, often signify trouble. Flashing, the material that protects the seam between the structure's walls and its cover, should be inspected for loose or missing sections.
Schedule Regular Inspections
Biannual inspections are the best way to keep commercial roofing in optimal condition. A professional examination is recommended, although some building owners check for damage and then call their contractors for an in-depth diagnosis. In best practice, inspections are scheduled in early spring and late fall, just after the harshest seasons.
Stay Alert to Signs of Water Damage
Neglected repairs eventually manifest inside the building. Stained ceiling tiles and discolored walls may indicate deteriorated or damaged decking material, while bulges or cracks could signify more extensive damage. Discolored or rotting window frames also suggest moisture or water damage that may be roof-related, as do signs of mold on the inside or outside of the structure.
Keep Gutter Systems Clean and Clear
The gutter system carries water away from the building. Clogged gutters or drainpipes often prevent proper drainage, causing rain and moisture to accumulate in certain areas. Systems should be cleaned twice per year, although storms and high winds sometimes necessitate more frequent cleanings.
Elevate or Remove Nearby Trees
Overhanging trees pose several hazards. Dead or storm-damaged branches may fall, puncturing or scratching the roof. Trees also drop leaves, pine cones, sap, and other debris onto the surfaces beneath them, often contributing to deterioration. Property owners should regularly remove dead branches threatening their buildings and keep healthy limbs trimmed so that they do not touch the structure.
Ward off Summer Sun
Harmful UV rays may decrease the lifespan of traditional commercial roofing, and hot sunny days typically increase energy costs. Cool Roofs are cost-friendly solutions. Coatings and single-ply membranes offer protection to flat coverings, and pitched types benefit from light-colored tiles or coated metal. These products can decrease rooftop temperatures by 50 to 60 degrees during summer.
Invest in a Commercial Roofing Maintenance Plan
Many contractors offer maintenance packages to extend the life of a structure's cover. These programs typically include regular inspections, as well as other preventive care services such as resealing. A maintenance plan provides peace of mind, and it makes it easy to detect problems early, minimizing unexpected expenses in the future.
The life expectancy of commercial roofing materials ranges from 25 to 40 years, or more. Proper maintenance, timely repairs, and the right preventive care are the most cost-effective ways to maximize the performance of a structure's covering.