There are two kinds of damage to a commercial membrane roof. One is surface damage to the membrane and the other is moisture damage to the roof underneath the membrane. Ideally, you'll get inspections from a commercial roofing contractor often enough that surface damage doesn't have a lot of time to cause extensive moisture damage to the insulation boards and roof structure below.
However, moisture damage on flat roofs is fairly common, especially when there is a drainage problem. Here's a look at dealing with moisture damage on a flat commercial roof.
Test For Moisture
If your roofer finds membrane punctures, they might check under the damage to see if rain soaked down to the insulation boards. Otherwise, they might do a moisture test occasionally. Moisture tests are also done before new roofing is put on. These tests can be performed in different ways depending on how much of the roof is being tested and the reason for the test.
Commercial roofing contractors might use moisture meters, infrared cameras, or core testing that removes a sample of the roof to be analyzed. When the results of the tests are back, they'll know where water damage is located and how much damage there is.
Fix A Drainage Problem
If water is puddling on the roof after it rains, the roofing contractor will identify the reason. There could be a clogged roof drain or the problem might be an improper slope. The roofer can fix both of these problems easily so rain drains from the roof quickly and is whisked away through the roof drain.
Replace Wet Materials
If the roofer discovers there is moisture damage under the membrane, the membrane in that area is cut out so the wet insulation board and decking can be removed. Dry decking and insulation board are put on and covered with a patch of membrane material. The patch is glued or heat-welded to the surface membrane to form a tight bond that keeps rain from getting under the edges of the patch.
Keep Up With Roof Repairs
Damage to membrane roofing should be repaired promptly. When a commercial roofing contractor makes a scheduled roof inspection, they look for problems like seam gaps, blisters, holes, and cracks that could allow rain to leak under the membrane. These problems should be repaired as soon as possible to seal the membrane and keep out the rain. By keeping up with minor repairs, you have a good chance of avoiding costly and extensive water damage to your roof and building.
For more information on commercial roof repair, contact a contractor near you.