3/6/24 3:22 PM 7 min read

8 Top Signs Your Commercial Roof Needs Immediate Repair


If you own or manage a commercial building, you know how important the integrity of the roof is. While maintaining your commercial building roof should be part of a regular schedule, sometimes repairs become imminent and must be addressed immediately.

How do you know when a problem with your commercial roof is an immediate need versus something that can wait a while?

Causes of Commercial Roof Damage

Causes of damage to your commercial roof can stem from a variety of causes, including:

  • Defects: Current/old roofing system was not properly installed
  • Wear and tear: Roof has not been maintained properly over the years
  • Age: Even the best roofing systems have a life span
  • Nature: Wind, rain, snow, hail, lighting and burning summertime heat are all enemies of your commercial building roof
  • Vandalism: Some building damage is deliberate, including roof damage

Improperly designed and maintained roofing systems may last for a while, but problems will eventually emerge, especially if you live in Northeast Ohio with our variable weather patterns. Improper drainage systems, sloppy or shoddy installation work, damage from Mother Nature or just the inevitable degradation of the roofing system over time are nearly inevitable.

Roof Damage Requiring Immediate Attention

Some roof damage must be repaired as quickly as possible. If you ignore obvious defects, you’re playing a dangerous game. Roof damage does not get better. The longer problems are left untreated, the more damage can be done to your building.

Invest in repairs right away to avoid more expensive problems down the line when you see these types of problems with your commercial building roof:

1. Roof drains or downspouts. Storms can wreak havoc on drainage systems, and so can vandalism. Whether man-made or wrought by nature, damage to these systems affects water displacement away from your roof. Cracked or loose drain bowls and damaged downspouts should be repaired promptly. Keep drain cages free from debris.

2. Roof membrane damage. Nature is the enemy of your protective roof membrane. Tree limbs after a heavy storm can leave obvious damage, but standing water is also a recipe for disaster. Nature isn’t the only culprit, however. Any time work has to be done on your roof, such as for HVAC repair, it should be inspected immediately afterward to make sure nothing was damaged inadvertently during those repairs.

3. Flashing damage. Flashing is an integral part of your roof system. If your roofing system includes flashing and you see visible damage to it, that’s a “repair right away” item.

4. Unexplained spikes in HVAC costs. If you’re seeing much higher than normal numbers on your heating or cooling bills, it may be a sign of leaks in your roofing system. Get an inspection as soon as possible.

5. After storms. Any time a significant storm has come through the area, particularly wind, snow, hail, or heavy rain, examining your roof after the storm and finding problems right after they’ve happened can save a lot on future repair costs.

6. Bubbling or cracking. Bubbles mean trapped air or moisture, which can cause your whole roof to need replacement. If you see cracks or bubbles anywhere on your roof, contact a professional roofing company right away.

7. Leaks, mold or mildew. The inside of your building can show roof damage before the outside. If you have signs of water leakage near a ceiling, including mold or mildew, it could be a failure in your roofing system.

8. Age of roof. Even the best roofing systems don’t last forever. While many systems outlive their warranty—particularly those that have been regularly inspected and maintained—even roofs without obvious signs of needing repair are weakened and less effective over time.

Prevention Is the Best Medicine

Preventing problems before they start is the best way to curb the chances of needing emergency roof repair or replacement. Roberts Roofing provides regular inspections, post-storm inspections and repair and installation of nearly every type of commercial building roof. We’ve been a trusted partner to Northeast Ohio businesses for more than 40 years and will be there for you when you need us, even in an emergency. Contact Roberts Roofing online or call us at 440-946-2233 to get started with an inspection.