There are different kinds of commercial roofing. Each kind suffers its own failures at some point, and each requires repair as individual as the type of roofing material itself. Depending on the type of commercial roofing you have on your commercial building, here is how the commercial roofing repair may be performed.
Corrugated aluminum, that metal roofing that looks like wavy tin sheets, is one of the most common types of commercial roofing. Usually, only hail or heavy objects can ding up this type of roof enough to the point where it needs repairs. If a tree or large hail hits this roofing material, a roofing contractor can pull off the damaged panels and replace them.
First, the contractor will remove the rivets. Then the panels are separated. If the panels are welded together, a torch is needed to cut away the damaged panels. Then replacement panels are cut to fit and welded to the other panels. Finally, the new panels are riveted into place to secure them.
Modified Bitumen (Asphalt)
This type of roof is asphalt covered or covering layers of polyester or fiberglass. The asphalt layer(s) make the roof really strong, while the polyester layers act as an absorbing material for the asphalt. The fiberglass is both supportive and absorbent, in case you wanted to add more strength or absorbency to prevent water damage from rain and make the asphalt cling hard to the roof.
Problems that arise from this type of roofing include cracking, peeling, and/or damage to the membrane of choice. Most roofing contractors will need to assess the extent of the damage before telling you whether you need a new roof or just a partial replacement. If your modified bitumen roof is particularly old, the contractor will likely want to replace the whole thing.
This is a special composite rubber made just for low-sloping roofs (i.e., commercial roofs). It is very smooth, almost as if someone made several giant rubber bands into one giant flat piece of rubber. While it typically holds up well to heavy rains and many other weather conditions, heavy winds and tornado or hurricane activity are its downfalls.
The best preventive method is to use mechanical means of securing this type of roofing. Yet, if you have some other type of roof adherence system with your EPDM rubber, it may tear off in the aforementioned weather conditions. If that happens, it is easy enough to replace. However, you may want to remove it entirely to try newer and better adherence methods that will prevent the rubber from ever coming off again.
While layered roofing seems like a good idea in principal, it is probably the worst option. You have multiple layers of mixed materials protecting your building. Any one of these layers could fail or develop a problem. Eventually an entire area of the roof could fail, which can cause significant damage to your building, especially if you live in an area where extreme weather is common.
To repair this type of roofing, the contractor has to peel back each layer of roofing on and around the damaged area. It is time-consuming, as it is not the safest of situations. Other parts of the roof that are just hanging on around the open hole could fall at any minute. The contractor's crew has to find places in the roof to which they can secure themselves in case of an inward fall. Once all of the loose stuff has been removed, the roof can be properly assessed, and then it will be repaired according to the contractor's plan.