How Much Damage Can Storms Really Cause To Commercial Flat Roofs

Although Florida is widely known by its bright and bubbly nickname “sunshine state,” it boasts a legendary reputation for excessive extreme weather. Tropical storms, tornados, hurricanes, and heavy rain usually accompany the annual (but often dreaded) hurricane season. These extreme weather conditions are not always kind to our roofs. Hurricanes can cause immeasurable commercial roof storm damage to a flat roof. That’s why investing in quality flat roofing material and periodic maintenance is crucial.

Wind Uplift

While commercial flat roofs are not sloped like residential homes, high winds from a storm can still damage them. Wind uplift is one of the most destructive forms of storm damage on flat roof membranes. It occurs when wind finds its way underneath the roofing materials due to increased pressure. 

When strong winds hit a flat roof, the pressure above the roof becomes greater than the speed of the wind. This pressure bears down on the roof membrane’s edges, exerting an upward force that lifts the edges from the rest of the membrane. If the membrane isn’t properly secured or has lost its adhesion over time, the edges may be severely damaged by strong winds, and the roof membrane could ultimately fly off the building.

Typically, high winds on a flat roof leave behind other collateral damage. Hurricane-force winds can blow off or displace things such as antennas, satellite dishes, and other roof-top items before the wind attains a speed that will damage a solid roof system.

Wind Scouring

Another problem likely to impact your flat roof system is wind scouring. This scouring happens when a powerful gust of wind pulls off the granules from the roofing membrane or depletes the gravel added as a surface component on built-up roofing systems.

While there may be no tale-tell signs of damage caused by strong winds, wind scouring can significantly compromise the performance and longevity of your commercial flat roofing. Unless you get a reliable roofer for a roof inspection, repair, and maintenance, the damage may only be noticed once it has worsened beyond repair.

Your roofing system may start to deteriorate a lot faster than expected. Ultimately, you’ll experience roof failure that leads to your commercial building requiring a roof replacement.

Water Damage

Tropical storms and heavy downpours can cause extensive flat roof damage. Whether it’s a lighter rain sustained over several years or a flash of heavy rain for several minutes, rain-related damage is common. Water damage on a flat roof may come from pooling water or structural damage. 

As you know, roofs are designed to allow water to run off the roof and into the gutters efficiently. Flat roofs are not actually flat; they have a shallow slope to support water drainage. 

If a roof has a design flaw, it may create depressed areas. Water may pool up in these areas during heavy rain, standing there for hours on end until it evaporates. This prolonged period gives the water more time to find cracks and progressively seep in, causing damage. If your roof has structural damage, this pooling problem can cause more severe damage. 

Pooling water may cause leaking or rotting, which may lead to a host of other problems, affecting your entire building.

Signs of Commercial Roof Storm Damage

After a storm, the last thing you want to do is to ignore your roof. As your commercial property’s first line of defense, your roof bears the brunt of every storm and bout of bad weather. When a storm passes, it’s worth getting a flat roofing contractor to check if there’s any damage and what steps can be taken to fix the issue as soon as possible. 

Take immediate action if you spot any of the following signs of commercial flat roof damage:

  • Stripped flashing
  • Curled or frayed edges
  • Roof leaks or water damage
  • Punctures or penetrations
  • Malfunctioning drainage system
  • Wood rot
  • Water pooling

Develop a Relationship with a Professional Commercial Roofer

When your building’s roof sustains storm damage, you don’t want to be caught without recourse. The damage may be more severe than it appears. And if the problem is left alone, it can cause extensive damage to your commercial building.

 Prompt response is essential for preventing further damage and ensuring your business operations aren’t interrupted. That said, you need to have an established relationship with a professional commercial roofer so that they can be there in an emergency. While your roofer won’t be able to work in extreme inclement weather, they should prioritize making the repairs as soon as possible.

No matter what type of roofing material is on your commercial property, having a backup plan will save you time and money in case of an emergency.

Your Trusted Fort Lauderdale Commercial Roofer

PSI Roofing is here for you when your commercial building’s roof sustains storm damage. We offer 24/7 emergency roof repair with a 4-hour maximum emergency response time. Our roofing experts are qualified to make repairs to any type of roof. Contact us today for prompt commercial roof repairs in Fort Lauderdale.