Improve the Lifespan of Your Commercial Roof

Commercial | July 21, 2023  | By: John Esh

Motel with brown roofing

If you own a commercial building, you will likely look for ways to improve the lifespan of a commercial roof. 

Commercial flat or low-sloped roofs in particular need to have periodic maintenance performed on them. Properly maintaining a roof like this can make the difference of 15+ years on your flat roof. Roof replacement is a big investment, so 15 years is a huge difference in terms of building maintenance ROI. In this article, we’ve pulled together some of the things we’ve done in the past which have helped us extend the lifetime of flat roofs.

Schedule Regular Commercial Roof Inspections

Make sure you know when someone accesses the roof on your commercial building and why they are doing this. Even a professional, such as an air conditioning technician or electrician, may cause damage to the roof, resulting in the need for repairs. A common problem we encounter is that an HVAC technician will drop a knife or other tool on the roof, puncturing it. Or when swapping out air conditioners or parts, they set a sharp object down on the roof.
If anyone goes up on the roof of your commercial building, it’s a good idea to contact a professional to conduct an inspection. They can ensure that no damage can occur and let you know what roofing supplies near me are needed to make repairs if they are necessary. Inspections will also help you determine what needs to be done to maintain the roof properly. 
Most times when a puncture is caught within a few days, it’s a simple matter of a patch. But if left go for a month or even a few weeks, it quickly turns into a much bigger, more expensive repair job. Not to mention the need and cost of interior damage remediation.
So do the right thing and get a roofer to inspect the roof after an HVAC tech or anyone else has been on the roof doing work. It’ll save you $$$. 

Yes, the world is out to ruin your flat roof system! A 25 year system can be trashed in 10 years because of some of these things. 

Invest in a Professional Maintenance Plan 

After your commercial roof is inspected, you will receive a report from the service provider about the wear and tear present and if maintenance is required. This type of service will also let you know about what options are available for roof repair, removal, and if replacement is required. If roof replacement is necessary, then the professionals can also provide you with information about flat roof replacement costs.  Here at Joyland we provide our customers with photo and video reports of their roofs, as well as as recommendations based on our findings. Our goal is to help building owners extend the usable life of their roof systems as long as possible.

It’s also possible to work with a roofing professional to establish ongoing maintenance and care for your commercial roof. It’s recommended that you have this service done a minimum of two times per year. In the long run, investing in preventative maintenance will be more affordable than having an entirely new roof installed on your building. Problem spots like roof drains, seams, transitions, flashing at penetrations, and such like need to be inspected and maintained. Furthermore, debris tends to build up on a flat roof. Tree branches, beer bottles (yep, pretty common), nails and screws – you name it – it happens all the time. A simple little cut from a glass bottle can cause thousands of dollars in damage quickly.


A big thing to remember after a commercial flat roof replacement is that roof warranties are almost always dependent on the building owner investing in an annual or semi-annual maintenance inspection by a professional. No inspections or maintenance? Likely a weak or unusable warranty. You don’t want that!

Invest in a Reflective Roof Coating

-Maybe. In some cases, a roof coating may be the way to go. This depends on the condition of the existing system and the type of materials on it. Roof coatings are fickle and you gotta know what you’re doing. Put them on the wrong roof (trapping moisture, bad substrates, etc…) and you’re throwing your entire investment away to the wind.

A benefit is that roof coatings are less expensive than full roof removal and having them replaced. Sometimes, you may even be able to receive some federal tax break for the installation of a reflective roof coating. Since a reflective coating will reflect heat from the sun, your roof will also help you save money on cooling costs.
So yes, roof coatings can work, but they need to be applied as a maintenance item to extend the system life, and hardly ever as a remedy for an already-leaking roof. 

Look At the Warranty You Have

While you may not have thought about it, a manufacturer’s warranty may cover your commercial roof. This is good news in some cases, but it may also add extra steps that you need to take. Some warranties require you to invest in regular inspections of your commercial roof. It may also require that the proper materials are used when maintenance is performed. It’s important to look at and fully understand the warranty instructions to ensure that you keep it intact and that future issues or repairs are covered. 

Make Sure to Educate Yourself 

Learning quite a bit is possible if you talk to a professional roof inspector or roofing contractor. It’s worth noting that an older roof needs to be cleaned of debris at least two times per year. With help from professionals, you can learn what to look for, such as damaged areas, cracks, and other signs of an issue. Knowing the types of roof damage that may occur will help you know when an issue is present and when you need to call the professionals for help or repairs. 

Know the Potential Weather Risks to Your Commercial Roof

It’s important to remember that sun, wind, and other weather conditions can result in serious wear and tear to any commercial roof. Because of this, you need to invest in inspections and maintenance regularly. Catching these types of damages early will ensure they don’t have the opportunity to get worse and cause even more damage in the future. 

Don’t Let Issues Arise with Your Commercial Roof

If you want to improve the lifespan of your commercial roof, knowing some of the most common damages that can occur is imperative. Use the information here to know what to expect and how to prevent serious problems with your building’s roof. In the long run, this will pay off and help you reduce costs while increasing the lifespan of your building’s roof. 

    Pennsylvania Home Improvement Contractor License (HIC) # PA124258