A Complete Guide to Fixing Hail Damage for Commercial Roofs
March 17, 2022
Flat roof contractors often are engaged in flat roof repair, and if the problem is beyond repair, they will be flat roof replacement contractors. Flat roofing Toronto is subject to the vagaries of hailstorms, and they can be a big problem for any commercial business owner. It doesn’t matter how severe the hailstorm is; even a small storm can impact the watertight integrity of a roofing system. Hailstorms take no prisoners, and when your building is in harm’s way, the damage will come as sure as the sun rises. Commercial roof repairs are costly and can be a distraction from your regular course of business. One of the paramount reasons you need an excellent professional roofing contractor to help with repairs for the problems caused by hailstorms.
Factors that Worsen Hail Damage on Commercial Roofs
The material used for a commercial roof can be susceptible to damage. If you have an aluminum roof, you can expect dents to be prevalent after a hailstorm. Different materials will be prone to reacting differently – if your roof is made from an asphalt compound, you can expect punctures to develop after a hailstorm.
A roof will age like anything else and will degrade over time. A hailstorm will accelerate the damage as damage builds on a roofing system. The roof’s ability to protect your commercial structure will be impacted through a combination of age and damage that a hailstorm will cause.
Size and Density of the Hailstones
When Mother Nature is hurling baseball-sized hailstones at your roof, it is the equivalent of using a 10lb sledgehammer to pound on your roofing system. Your roofing system wasn’t created to withstand that type of pounding, and it will succumb to the intensity of the hailstones and density therein of the stones. One thing to remember about hailstones, they have jagged little edges that can be the worst thing for a TPO or EPDM system because the systems will sustain punctures where water can enter without fail.
The wind is certainly a co-conspirator to the damage that hailstones do to a roofing system. The speed and intensity that the wind blows will direct hailstones, and the force with which the wind blows will certainly aid hailstones in the damage they do to a roof.
Barriers can be a significant help when faced with a monumental hailstorm Trees, awnings, and other barriers can limit potential damage to your commercial roofing system as they will absorb the brunt of the force from the hailstones.
What to Know About Hail Damage on Commercial Roofs
Signs of Hail Damage
- Damaged gutters will show the impact of a hailstorm, and you might not be aware of it unless you get on a ladder and take a bird’s eye view. Large dents will be the signs you are looking for after a hailstorm but don’t forget; small pock-mocked indentations will also signify that the gutter has been damaged by hail.
- Damaged siding and windowsills will reveal hail damage, and it looks like this: dents and dings that weren’t present before the storm are damage indicators. Look for piercing in the metal windowsills and siding; they will be entry points for water to get in should you neglect to repair them.
- After an intense hailstorm, damage to air conditioners and outdoor furniture will show up. They will present themselves as deformed grating on the air conditioner, pock mocks or pitting on patio furniture. Should you see your air conditioner with indentations in plating, call your insurance company and make a claim.
- Damage to decks and painted wood surfaces will self-evident when you inspect them visually. Painted surfaces and decks will appear to have a polka dot pattern as the paint where the hailstones have impacted will be removed from that spot.
- Don’t forget to check the roof vents and other features, like a skylight, for damage. The metal vents will show a depression where the hailstones have made an impact, and your skylight will show cracks if the hailstorm has been extremely severe. Once the vent is dented, it can develop into a crack – another entry point for water like a cracked skylight.
What to Look For
A hail storm has blown through your area, and the hard work begins. You must assess the damage that has been sustained to determine your next course of action. Extreme damage will require professionals to remediate the problems your roof and ancillary items have sustained. Here are some of the things to be on the lookout for when taking stock of the damage the hailstorm has wrought on your premise.
- Circular dents are common after a hailstorm, and they appear uniformly across the entire roofing structure. Also, if the storm has been an intense blast on the roof, circular dents will be prevalent there. It is the same for composite roofs, wood and metal roofs alike.
- Missing shingles are another feature of hail storms’ damage to a roofing system. It starts with high winds that are part of a hailstorm – the wind will loosen a shingle’s grip – pulling up the nails that affix the shingle to the roof – and the hailstone will knock the shingle askew or entirely off the roof.
- Discolouring or colour streaking of the shingles is equivalent to the hailstorm giving your roof a black eye. The colours can run the spectrum from black, red, yellow and white. Damage is inconsistent and so too is the discolouration of the shingles on the roof.
Functional vs Cosmetic Damage
If you have cosmetic damage on the roof an expensive repair is not in the cards at this time. But, functional damage can demand immediate action and here is why: functional damage has a significant impact on the roof’s integrity to perform and can lead to structural problems that need attention. If you have functional damage, contact a roofing contractor right away for all the repairs that are necessary to restore your roof’s functional quality. Like the discolouration of shingles, cosmetic damage is like a black eye, hard to look at but in no way a danger to the homeowner/business owner.
Minor nicks and dents can lead to big problems down the line, and it is essential to be vigilant when looking for issues that require solutions. A small slit in the seam of a TPO or EPDM commercial roofing system can be a complete roof off restoration if not sealed promptly. In the case of a cosmetic problem, it could affect your business reputation when customers arrive, and they see that the roof looks like it has been through an intense weather attack.
Damage Requiring Emergency Repair
After a hailstorm, you will know when you need an emergency repair – the signs you see will dictate the demand for a contractor on-site right away. A thorough inspection will yield all the details you need to get moving with repairs. As mentioned above, commercial roofing systems can crack or have seams split, and that is when water will enter. But, not always will the opening be visible to the untrained eye. You may think all is well, but when you see water stains on ceilings, walls, or puddles on the floor after the next rainstorm. That should tell you all you need to know and get a roofing contractor on speed dial. To be on the safe side, after a hailstorm, have a roofing contractor come in for complete inspection – he will see what you don’t, and it prevents an escalation of further problems.
The Importance of Proper Repairs
Just because you don’t see roof damage after a hailstorm doesn’t mean yours is sound. It takes a trained eye to identify problems – small as they are – the problems will grow and cause deterioration of your roofing system. Flooding, mould, bacteria, and other problems will result when roofing problems are taken for granted, and the costs become astronomical. It isn’t just the repair costs; it is the loss of business if you need to shut down or work on a limited basis. Like Grandma says: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Hire a Reliable Flat Roof Contractor
Experience is the best teacher and when you bring your roofing problems to the top-flight roofing company in the Greater Toronto Area, Integrity Roofers, know that you have the dean of the class at your disposal. For over 20 years, the team at Integrity has been identifying roofing problems and proposing solutions that are quick, efficient and reasonably priced. Using technology, the team will assess any and all roofing damage, prepare a report that details the extent of the damage and a plan to make the necessary repairs. Please fill out the free estimate form for timely results to get the assistance you need to deal with your cosmetic roofing problems. If your roofing problems are functional problems and you need help immediately, don’t hesitate to call our office today at Integrity Roofers to speak to a roofing expert at 647.953.9365.