Flat Roof Repair or Replacement: Which Is Right For You?

The integrity of your roof is your first line of defense in staying protected from the elements and keeping down costs. No matter the nature of your business—from store to stadium—a leak will cause headaches.

When damage occurs, choosing between a flat roof repair or replacement is a major business decision that can affect your company both now and in the long run. It is essential that you have a great roof maintenance plan to prevent minor problems from becoming major expenses. Or, in the best case scenario, from arising at all.

But even best efforts can’t always prevent a leak, jeopardizing your ability to serve your customers. Keep reading to make sure you’re considering everything you should before deciding to repair or replace your flat roof.

a flat roof

What’s Your Budget?

Before you can even consider your options, you need to understand your budget.

A flat roof repair typically costs $300-500, whereas a replacement can cost several thousands of dollars, if not more.

Do you have insurance that will offset some of the costs of replacement? Can you delay a major expense for a year or more without affecting your business? What solution makes the most financial sense for you at the moment?

How Old is Your Roof?

The lifespan of every roof varies due to weather, location, and maintenance routine. However, a typical flat roof will last at least 10-15 years.

When considering flat roof repair vs. replacement, factor in the age of your roof and its prior maintenance history.

A roof near the end of its lifespan may survive a repair, but will probably need more work done in the near future. You may be spending more money in the long run by not opting for a replacement now. A newer roof, however, is worth trying to repair.

If your roof is less than 10 years old and in good condition generally, consider all your repair options before deciding to replace it.

What Caused the Damage?

Leaks are a problem regardless of their origin, but understanding their cause can help you determine whether a flat roof repair or replacement is more appropriate.

Damage from debris blown by the wind or a hail storm—provided the damage is confined to a small area of your roof—can be repaired.

If the root cause of your roof leaking is age, repairing the affected area may be a waste of time. Around 12-15 years into their use, roofs typically spring these kinds of leaks.

A good maintenance plan will preserve your roof as long as possible, but at some point you can expect to have to incur the cost of replacing it.

How Long Since Your Last Flat Roof Repair?

A quality repair should last a long time and restore the integrity of your roof. If you’re contemplating a second repair for work done within the last year, that’s an indication that either the work was done improperly or that your roof needs a more permanent fix.

Choose your contractor wisely or you risk wasting money and compromising your business. Though the industry has made improvements, the Better Business Bureau reports that unsatisfactory workmanship is the number one complaint from customers about roofing professionals.

Remember: You may save money in the long run investing in a cost- and energy-efficient new roof instead of repeatedly trying to repair your current one.

Repair or Replace? Trust the Experts

Protecting your roof is essential to your business and shouldn’t be left to chance. Our team of professionals is ready to assist you with all your roofing needs.

We want to learn how we can help you. We will work with your company every step of the way with professionalism and courtesy. Contact us today to start the process!

5 Essential Commercial Roof Maintenance Tips

Most commercial roofs are flat and require attention throughout the year to avoid potentially costly and inconvenient issues. Proper roof maintenance will keep your roof in great shape.

Your roof protects your business and adds value to the overall structure of your building. Maintaining the integrity of the roof itself is paramount. It should perform well, last a long time, and look good too.

image of flat roof from above

If you want a flat roof that is damage-free and issue-free, try these five essential tips for commercial roof maintenance.

1. Ponding Prevention

Water can be a serious threat to your roof. Sound waterproofing techniques and regular maintenance are essential for water damage prevention.

Ponding is the word used to describe the pooling of water in low spots on your roof. This usually occurs when the roof’s surface has been saturated by rain or snow. If pooled water does not evaporate within 48 hours, it’s considered ponding. When left unresolved, it can spell disaster for your roof.

Ponding water damages your system by:

  • Magnifying damaging UV rays
  • Encouraging the growth of algae
  • Accelerating heat aging

All of these factors cause membrane degradation and can lead to roof failure.

Ponding can be resolved by:

  • Building up low spots
  • Installing hoppers
  • Using an automatic pump
  • Utilizing proper waterproofing techniques

2. Address Blisters, Cracks, and Ridges

Blisters can occur when moisture or air is trapped in roof layers. This causes the roof layers to separate and leads to membrane damage. Blisters are problematic because they can:

  • Cause loss of gravel and other protective surfacing
  • Cause fatigue cracks in the membrane
  • Reduce lap coverage

Cracks and Ridges

Ridges and cracks most often occur along joints and seams in the roof. They can be caused by:

  • A bad roofing job
  • Excess surface stress
  • Fluctuations in temperature

Smaller cracks can be repaired with kits, while larger ones may need professional roof repair.

3. Address Heavy Snow Accumulation

Heavy snow is a serious threat to any flat roof and should be removed before it reaches a depth of one foot. If heavy snow isn’t addressed quickly, it can cause:

  • Joint and seam stress
  • Leakage
  • Roof collapse

Rooftop snow removal can be extremely dangerous and is best done by a professional.

4. Remove Debris and Vegetation

Because they are flat, commercial roofs tend to accumulate a lot of debris. This debris includes paper and plastic litter, in addition to plant matter such as twigs and leaves. This accumulated debris holds in moisture and acts as a sort of mulch in which plants can grow.

Small trees, bushes, unwanted vines, and weeds can quickly compromise roof integrity. Debris accumulation should be part of regular roof maintenance.

5. Clean Out Drainage Systems

Drainage systems allow excess water to run off of the roof before it becomes an issue. When debris causes blockages, water can back up and pool on the roof. For this reason, all gutters, drains, hoppers, and scuppers should be cleaned out at least a couple of times a year.

Diligent Roof Maintenance Prevents Costly Problems

Proactive maintenance is the key to maintaining commercial roof integrity and function.

For more information on our roofing services, explore our blog. For a free quotecontact us today.

How to Start Preparing for a Commercial Roof Replacement

Throughout the years, roofs take quite the beating. Whether they’re weighed down by snow, barraged by branches, or whipped around by strong winds, roofs stay strong for you.

picture of a roof during replacement

Sadly, everything wears down and must come to an end, and roofs are no exception.

Get ahead of the curve! Do you own a business or other commercial property in Milwaukee and know it’s time for an upgrade? Stay on top of your roof before it comes crashing down around you.

Read on to learn how you can prepare your business for a commercial roof replacement.

Have Your Commercial Roof Replacement Assessed by the Experts

Before you sign on the dotted line to get a full roof replacement, it would be good to educate yourself on all your options.

Thankfully, you can get away with small fixes for general wear and tear over the years. You only need a full commercial roof replacement if it has been severely damaged or left unreplaced for over 20 years.

A great way for them to assess your need is by utilizing infrared technology. Why replace something that isn’t damaged? Using this cutting-edge tech, a roofer can pinpoint exactly what areas have been damaged beyond repair. Talk to a Milwaukee roofing expert to know more about how this technology can save you money.

Have a Contingency Plan in Place

The show must go on! You probably won’t want to halt your business while construction workers are loudly replacing your roof.

Sit down with your roof contractor. Ask him or her whatever you need to get a clear picture of what it will look like inside the building during construction. Decide from there whether it’s at all feasible to continue business as usual throughout the process.

If it’s not possible, start thinking about a contingency plan.

If it works for your business, perhaps have your staff work at home while the replacement is underway. Do whatever you can to ensure your staff has everything they need to continue their work during this time and feel safe as they do it.

Be Ready for Anything

Murphy’s law is more than a saying—anything that can go wrong, will! Why not be one step ahead of it?

When you prepare your budget for your commercial roof replacement, set aside at least 5% of it for anything and everything that may go wrong. Call it your “Murphy’s Law Fund.”

One Final Checklist

  • Be sure you have enough space for the workers to park and have access to their vehicles.
  • Keep walkways clear, and move anything obstructing a high traffic area.
  • Speak to your building manager to see if it is necessary to disconnect building alarms—the vibrations can trigger them!
  • Post ample warning signs.
  • Remove anything hanging on walls.
  • Continue to communicate with your construction manager to see what else you need to prepare.

Time for an Upgrade

Having a proper roof is important not only to the integrity of your building but to the integrity of your business.

If you haven’t had anyone take a look at the roof, then it might be time for an upgrade. Don’t wait. Contact us and let our team of Milwaukee roof experts inspect it and give you a rundown on what needs to be replaced.

5 Ways Our Commercial Roof Insulation Saves You Energy Costs

Looking to cut costs on next year’s spending?

You may be assessing your research and development efforts, or considering a cut to your marketing dollars. But, a more cost-effective solution is available in a place you probably haven’t thought to look—the roof.

man installing roof insulation

Investing in commercial insulation for the roof of your office building is one of the best ways to lower spending and raise working conditions.

Insulation can provide a more consistent flow of heat and cooling, and a better level of moisture protection, all while lowering your office electric bill.

Here’s an in-depth look at the five main methods this roofing improvement saves money.

1. Control Heat Levels

Office buildings tend to be more vulnerable to rising heat levels because of the amount of glass on the windows.

Normal glass is weak against heat coming and going. This irregular flow is hard for the air conditioning system to keep up with, which means a little help from the roof is much needed.

Attacking heat levels with commercial insulation keeps a regular air flow throughout the day. No matter what climate your building is in, the proper insulation ensures you control the inside environment much better.

2. Stay Cool

Once you have established a norm for operating your air conditioning throughout the day, you can confidently keep everything cool.

Most facility managers think they will end up raising the electric bill if they overdo their cooling efforts. This is not the case with proper insulation. You no longer have to worry about cold air escaping or working harder, because the outside heat is under control.

3. Protect Against Moisture

Speaking of hot and cold air, don’t forget the benefits of fighting off the moisture that can happen when these two elements meet.

Insulation keeps moisture to a minimum thanks to the control you have over hot and cold air flows. This is crucial in preventing a leaky roof or moisture damage.

When hot air gets trapped in the roof, it turns into vapor and can lead to bigger problems for your roof and in your building. The more proactive you are in reducing this risk, the more money you save in the long-run by not having to spend time and money on expensive fixes.

4. Seal Air Leaks

The roof isn’t the only place air can turn into moisture and harm your office. It is, however, one of the most vulnerable points of entrance for air to get into your building and cause damage. From there, air leaks can attack the integrity of your walls and doors.

As such, better commercial insulation ensures better quality of the entire infrastructure.

5. Regulate Ducts

Although insulating a roof is one of the best ways to regulate airflow, there will still be some air coming and going from your building.

Don’t worry, it will be at a much lower rate, which means your ducts won’t have to work as hard to control what gets in and out. The roof becomes the main point of support for the longevity and quality of other systems.

Everything then comes together to work more efficiently with less energy. It saves you money and boosts your confidence in the environment control of your office.

Consult the Milwaukee Commercial Insulation Specialists

Stop spending money where you don’t need to. Instead, make the investment that can change the way your building operates from the inside out.

Funding commercial insulation for your Milwaukee building pays for itself in the long-run. It will save you a significant amount of energy costs and prevent major damage from happening to the structure of your office.

Start saving money and spend it smarter. Contact us today to talk about your insulation options!

5 Reasons It’s Important to Waterproof Your Roof

A lot of commercial buildings in Milwaukee weren’t built with waterproof roofs.

Did you know that just a few small leaks can cause some serious damage and health hazards in your building? Waterproofing your roof isn’t something you should put aside.

a waterproofed roof

There are many reasons you need to have a waterproof roof, but the good news is, it’s not hard to do.

What’s a Waterproof Spray Coating?

One of the best ways to waterproof your roof is to spray it with a waterproof coating, usually made of acrylic, urethane, or silicone.

The coating is sprayed over the roof, around pipes, and along other equipment on the roof. The spray seeps together and forms a layer of protection over the roof so there are no little leaky spots left over. It even gets into those hard to reach areas.

A waterproof spray coating is easier to apply than other waterproofing methods, and it comes with a lot of added benefits too.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons it’s important to make sure your commercial building has a waterproof roof.

1. It Prevents Damage

A lot of leaks go unnoticed until they create extensive damage. Some leaks aren’t visible because the water leaks into places you can’t see, like the walls or ceiling. By the time you find them, they may have caused enough damage to require expensive repairs. The roof may even need to be entirely replaced.

Even if a leak is obvious, the water could damage some valuable property, like computers, printers, or important paperwork.

A waterproof roof keeps your walls, ceiling, carpet, and equipment dry.

2. It Saves Money

When you have a waterproof coating over your roof, you don’t have to keep paying for roof maintenance repairs. A good waterproof covering can last up to ten years, so your roof will stay in good condition for long periods of time.

You also won’t have to pay for as much air conditioning with a waterproof roof.

It sounds weird, but many of the waterproof coatings actually include ingredients that reflect the sun. So, a good amount of heat is bounced away from your building. This keeps the building cool even on hot days.

3. It Keeps Employees and Customers Happy

Because the building isn’t as hot, everyone inside can stay comfortable.

When employees are comfortable, they are more productive. When customers are comfortable, they are more likely to hang around, which will increase your business.

4. It Expands the Life of Your Roof

Applying a waterproof spray to your roof lets it last longer. The spray doesn’t just protect the roof against leaks, it protects the roof against all other weather elements, like rainstorms, strong winds, and intense heat.

It keeps the color on the roof from fading too, which means you don’t have to repaint it as often.

5. It’s Easy to Install

Most waterproofing has to be installed on business days, but business days means you and your employees are working too.

Louds thumps on the roof and construction sounds are special kinds of annoying.

A waterproof spray coating is quick and easy to install, and it won’t bother everyone inside the building either. You can keep going about your workday without getting distracted.

Your Commercial Roof Should Be Waterproof

Waterproof roofs keep your roof in good condition so you don’t have to worry about the next fix. It takes a load off your shoulders and helps everyone inside stay comfortable and productive.

If you don’t have a waterproof roof yet, it’s time to get one. Contact us and we’ll help you take your Milwaukee-area commercial roof to the next level!