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Your Roof: What You Can’t See Still Matters

The havoc a leaking roof can create is indisputable. This breach in the structural integrity of a building can damage the equipment and inventory within and devalue the entire structure. Let’s identify two types of impairments – wet insulation and steel deck corrosion. Neither is readily visible, but both are destructive to your commercial property when not addressed. 

Wet Insulation

Insulation compromised by moisture can penetrate ceilings and walls, cracking and rotting surfaces. Since water conducts energy, wet insulation can also cause an increase in heating and cooling bills, as it will conduct rather than resist a draw on your energy source. Damp insulation also has serious health implications, as it provides a fertile breeding ground for mold and bacteria to proliferate, resulting in noxious air, unhealthy to breathe.

Prevention involves regularly screening for leaks. Proper ventilation through roof vents, for example, can help prevent condensation inside the structure. Maintaining a consistently moderate temperature inside and utilizing a well-running dehumidifier will also help. If leaks are found, repairing them promptly before water can work its way behind walls will help avoid extensive and expensive restoration work. 

Steel Deck Corrosion

Damaging rust is caused by prolonged exposure to moisture, oxygen, and certain temperatures. In pre-2K buildings, chemical reactions can be a contributing factor. Some types of insulation used at the time are highly corrosive in the presence of moisture. Without a separation layer, wet insulation is in direct contact with the metal deck, creating detrimental rust. 

Solutions include coating the steel deck with rust-inhibiting primer or a zinc coating. A polymeric coating is another option, keeping moisture locked out of surfaces. In roof assemblies today, including a vapor retardant separation between the top of the deck substrate and insulation will also inhibit corrosion. 

Contact a diagnostic team to assess the situation if you suspect roof leak damage. Deterioration can often be reversed or arrested before worsening. To find the right commercial roofing repair contractor, research and gather a list of reputable companies near you. Research should include viewing their websites, learning about them through social media, reading customer reviews, looking at “before and after” photos of their work, and ensuring they are licensed and certified. Compare quotes and remember: a quality roofer will make you comfortable hiring them and openly respond to questions. A trusted professional can be counted on to hold a proper license, be technically competent, and have a solid background of experience. This is who you want to hire.

Written by Sam

September 21, 2022

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