Large distribution center with single-ply commercial roof

How to Improve the Lifespan of Your Single-Ply Commercial Roofing

Single-ply membrane roofing materials are common today in flat or low-slope commercial roofing systems on buildings like warehouses, distribution centers, retail outlets, and even restaurants. These commercial roofing materials include thermoplastic PVC and TPO, as well as thermoset EPDM rubber, which all offer a multitude of protective benefits for your commercial building. A long commercial roof lifespan is certainly among single-ply membranes’ advantages, no matter which material option you choose.

Of course, building owners and managers can optimize their commercial roof’s lifespan and ensure that they’re getting the best possible performance from their single-ply membrane roofing. Today’s blog post covers a few tips about things you can do to protect your commercial roofing investment over time.

Twice Yearly Commercial Roof Inspections Are Key

The short answer to “how can I improve my commercial roof’s lifespan?” is comprehensive roof inspections. Ideally, these are performed by a professional commercial roofing contractor twice per year—in the spring after snow is no longer a threat, and in the fall, after strong summertime storms have subsided.

If you or your in-house maintenance crew is comfortable on a ladder, there are some roofing self-inspection tasks you can complete to help maximize your commercial roof lifespan. However, if you spot signs of damage in your single-ply membrane roofing or other issues like ponding water, you should call a trusted commercial roofing contractor for help. Ignoring problems—accumulations of debris, cracked or curling sealant, standing water (aka “ponding”), blistering or cracking—will eventually equal leaks into your commercial building.

Make Sure Your New Commercial Roofing System is Professionally Installed

Any time you expand your commercial building’s footprint or add new facilities on your commercial property, it is essential to have your roofing installed by experienced and capable professional roofing contractors. This goes for single-ply membrane roofing, as well as all other commercial roofing systems and materials, including metal roofing and asphalt-based systems.

Faulty installation is one of the leading causes of commercial roofing not living up to longevity expectations. While the roofing material itself may have manufacturer warranties, you also want to be sure to ask your roofing contractor about any guarantees they offer on their installation work.

Keep Trees Trimmed Around Your Commercial Building

Fallen limbs and other debris from trees surrounding your commercial building can damage your single-ply membrane roofing in a surprising number of ways. Physical damage caused by falling or windblown tree branches hitting your commercial roof during a storm is one thing, but tree debris left to rot on your flat roof’s surface can stain and deteriorate the material beneath it.

Always keep trees close to your commercial building maintained and consider a regular clean-up regimen if you notice that leaves, sticks, or other debris tend to get stuck in certain areas of your roof.

Look for Roofing Damage After Severe Weather

Here in our Unlimited Commercial Roofing service area of eastern Pennsylvania and northern Maryland, we tend to have a full range of weather events. We can go from wind, rain, and hail in the warmer months to full-on blizzards during the winter—all of which can be detrimental to your commercial roof’s lifespan.

When your commercial building has weathered a particularly harsh storm, it’s always a good idea to make a quick visual self-inspection of your roof to check for big problems. And if water has suddenly begun leaking into your building’s interior, it’s time to call a local roofing expert for help with repairs.

Reset the Clock on Your Commercial Roof Lifespan with Restoration

In the end, your single-ply commercial roofing should provide leak-free protection to your building for decades, with proper maintenance, that is. Of the three main types of single-ply roofing, life expectancy breaks down like this:

  • TPO single-ply roofing – 15-30 years
  • PVC single-ply roofing – 20-30 years
  • EPDM single-ply roofing – 30+ years

When your commercial roofing reaches the end of the material’s predicted lifespan, it’s important to remember that you’re not necessarily looking at a total tear-off and reinstallation project. Many single-ply commercial roofs can be effectively restored utilizing elastomeric coatings or other restoration solutions. Skillful restoration essentially takes your roof back to like-new performance.

Call Unlimited Commercial Roofing to Better Care for Your Commercial Building’s Roof

Has it been a while since your commercial building’s roof has had a professional inspection? Your hardworking commercial roofing system could be damaged and getting ready to leak. Don’t put your entire commercial building at risk by ignoring the health of your roof. Call Unlimited Commercial Roofing now to schedule your FREE on-site roof inspection!