Why Do Commercial Roofs Weather Out Too Soon?

The combination of moisture, ultraviolet (UV) rays, and negligence can take a toll on any roof, but commercial roofs face unique challenges. They're often larger than residential roofs, so they're more exposed to the elements.

Poor installation, faulty materials, and lack of maintenance can also lead to a shorter commercial roof lifespan.

Let's discuss the most common reasons commercial roofs don't last as long as they should and what you can do to prevent it.

Pooling Water:

Commercial roofs are usually flat or low-slope, which means they don't shed water as well as pitched roofs. It can lead to pooling water, which is a problem because standing water is one of the leading causes of roof damage. It can cause the roofing material to deteriorate, and it can also lead to leaks.

You can prevent pooling water by ensuring your gutters and drains are clear and in good condition. You should also have a regular maintenance schedule to check for and fix any leaks or other problems.

Hail Damage:

Hailstones, whether big or mall, can cause severe commercial roof damage, especially if it's an asphalt roof. When hail strikes the surface, it can break and damage the asphalt granules. It exposes the fiberglass matting, leading to leaks and other problems.

To combat the damage caused by hailstorms, hire a commercial roofing contractor for a regular roof inspection. If you wish to eliminate the occurrence of damage, consider investing in hail-resistant roofs. Although expensive, they will provide long-term protection for your commercial building.

Wind Damage:

Wind roof damage is common during hurricanes and severe thunderstorms. High winds can tear off shingles, loosen gutters, and damage the flashing around your roof. If you live in an area prone to severe weather, it's essential to have your commercial roof inspected regularly.

You can prevent wind damage by having your roof anchored to the building. It will help keep it in place during high winds. You must also regularly and thoroughly check your gutters and flashing to ensure they're not loose.

Thermal Shocks:

Sudden and intense changes in temperature can cause your commercial roof to crack or break. It is especially true if the temperature change is drastic, such as going from a snowy day to a scorching day. The contraction and expansion of the roof can cause the material to weaken and break over time.

During a regular commercial roof inspection, your contractor will look for buckling, cracking, and leaking signs. Keep an eye on parapet walls, chimneys, curb flashings, and pipe penetrations.

Excessive Snowfall:

Snow appears light and airy; however, when accumulated on your commercial roof, it can add up to 20 pounds (per cubic foot) of additional weight. That's a lot of pressure for your roof to bear! Plus, the continuous thawing and freezing can cause the formation of ice dams. These ice dams can back water under your shingles and into your building.

You can deal with this by ensuring your roof's gutters and downspouts are debris-free to drain water away from your building correctly. You should also remove any accumulated snow on your roof to lighten the load.


Regular commercial roof maintenance can extend the life of your roof and prevent weather damage by about 25 years. Therefore, proper inspection and repair are crucial to maintaining a safe and functional roof.

Xpress Exterior Design, LLC, serving Nottingham, MD, provides high-quality commercial roofing services.

We have an experience of 50 plus years of commercial roofing. If you have a roofing emergency, contact us and get a free estimate to begin with.

Related posts

6 Signs Of Poor Window Installation

Key Takeaways:

Continue reading

8 Scary Things Roofing Contractors Notice During Bi-Annual Inspections

It's that time of year again. It is time for roofing contractors to visit all the homes in their...

Continue reading

Warm Or Cool Roof Design? What’s Best For My Home?

What's the best roof design for my home? That's a question many homeowners in Pennsylvania,...

Continue reading