In cities that experience harsh weather, such as Chicago does in the winter, many commercial businesses may find themselves wondering what they can do to make sure their roof is in top-quality condition. After all, if your commercial roof isn’t waterproof or isn’t in good condition, it can quickly spell disaster for your business. Even small leaks have the potential to damage inventory!

So, if you own a commercial property, no matter if you’re in Chicago or another city with harsh weather, here are some tips you’ll want to keep in mind.

Signs commercial roof needs replaced

Keep an eye out for signs that your roof needs replaced. Watermarks on the ceiling or smell of mold could indicate that there is a leak somewhere in your roof. Sometimes it can be hard to spot leaks with flat roofs since you might not always be able to see the underside of your roof.

Also, you should look for signs that the roof isn’t sealed properly anymore. This could include bald spots on some of the shingles or shingles lifting. You’ll also want to watch out for signs of blistering on your shingles.

Repair or replace

Replacing a commercial roof can be expensive, but there are times when you can repair a roof instead of replacing it completely. If the roof is newer and you haven’t had other problems, it could be easy to fix a singular problem without replacing the entire roof.

However, depending on how bad the damage is, keep in mind that the affected area will likely develop other leaks over time. If the leakage isn’t isolated to one singular area, it is better to replace than to repair. Most commercial roofs will need to be replaced after 15 years.

Leaky commercial roofs

If your commercial roof only has a small leak, you might wonder whether or not you want to spend the money to get it repaired. After all, you could just place a bucket under the leak and call it a day!

However, if you’re noticing an interior leak, that most likely means that your roof is in pretty bad condition and is only going to continue to deteriorate. A small leak can quickly cause structural damage to your office building. So, no matter how small that leak might seem, you’re going to need to get it repaired.

Commercial roof materials

Most commercial roofs are made of single-ply membranes, which are sheets of rubber and synthetics that are adhered to the insulation. Single-ply membranes roofing has proved to be durable, effective, and energy-efficient. It also does well in a variety of climates.

Other commercial roofs might be made of asphalt or metal. And if your office is located in a historical building, your roof might be made out of materials that are meant to preserve the architectural history of the building while providing modern functionality. A commercial contractor can determine what roofing option is best for your building.

Finding a roofing company

When it comes time to get your roof repaired or replaced, you’re going to want to find a reputable roofing company. Do a search such as “flat roof repair chicago” to locate a roofing company near you.

Make sure to do your research and to look at several contractors before settling on a contractor. Most commercial contractors will offer you a free quote on what it will cost to fix your roof. You’ll also want to look at online reviews or to ask the contractor for references, to determine what others have to say about that company.

Preventative maintenance tips

There are also some proactive steps you can take to ensure that your commercial roof stays in good condition. Make sure to keep the roof clear of any debris, such as leaves and branches. You’ll also want to make sure to clean the gutters.

Also, schedule regular inspections. During an inspection, a contractor will look for any weak spots or other signs of damage on your roof. It could be especially beneficial to schedule an inspection before the winter, especially if you live in an area that gets lots of snow and ice. Some contractors will even come out after every storm.

Final thoughts

Taking care of a commercial roof is different than maintaining a roof on a residential home. Flat commercial roofs require more maintenance and inspection because of structural factors. So, find a contractor in your area that can inspect your commercial roof regularly, and don’t hesitate to replace your roof if needed!