Better Business Bureau A+ Rating

Common Commercial Roof Problems

March 30, 2021
commercial roof problems

Roof problems can happen to any building, however, most of the issues are largely preventable through planning. Several factors will influence a roof’s service life. Some of these factors include design quality installation, products, maintenance, roof use, abuse, and weather. The types of commercial roof problems listed below are common occurrences. With the quality work and planning that McKinnis offers, most can be easily dealt with before it leads to a bigger, more expensive issue.


Roof Leaks

No matter what kind of roof you have, if your commercial building has a roof that is leaking or consistently has standing water then you have a problem.

Solution: A proactive preventative maintenance program can eliminate or reduce building interior water intrusion.

Blow-offs, tenting, or billowing

This occurs if the roof is not properly adhered to the substrate. Single-ply roofs have the greatest risk for blow-off and billowing.

Solution: Ask your roofing contractor to provide the proper specification or building code for your area when installing a new roof.

Poor installation or workmanship

Faulty installation increases the likelihood of commercial roof problems and reduces a roofing system’s life expectancy. Workmanship tends to be one of the more common problems or reasons for problems down the road.

Solution: Ask your contractor for a checklist specific to the roof system that should be used for information-gathering (data-collecting) and reporting. Also, ask about moisture surveys. For roofs with insulation, have a professional survey it prior to being overlayed via non-destructive methods. Have your contractor provide a written inspection report, complete with digital photos. Clear details on any structural changes or modifications to the roof surface should also be provided to you.

Lack of maintenance

There are many reasons not to neglect a roof, including financial and safety, but it’s important to have routine inspections done to prevent commercial roof problems. Ponding water, a base flashing that is slipping, or pitch pockets that haven’t been filled are items that can be easily spotted and fixed.

Solution: To maximize roof service life, a proactive maintenance program should begin in year one. If you wait too long to initiate the program, you will reduce the potential benefits.

Punctures and the addition of penetrations

For those with single-ply roof systems, damage from foot traffic can be problematic.

Solution: Limit traffic and conduct cursory inspections after tradespeople have been on the roof.

Improper repairs

Using materials that are not specifically for application on a certain roof type can result in permanent damage.

Solution: Ask your roofing contractor if they are certified by the manufacturer to install and repair your roof.

Blistering, ridging, splitting, and surface erosion

These commercial roof problems are common with BUR roof systems, but can also happen in some single-ply systems.

Solution: Do your homework and make sure you select a certified and licensed roofing contractor before selecting or installing your new roof.


If you are in the market for a new roof, roof replacement, or roof installation, you need the expertise of people who have been serving Omaha, Lincoln, and Blair, Nebraska, for more than 39 years. The highly skilled employees of McKinnis Inc. will inspect every aspect of your roofing system to give you the peace of mind that your home or business is well protected. We provide a full list of exterior services, including roofing, siding, windows, sheet metal, gutters, and repair for commercial and residential properties.

Give us a call today at 402-426-2644, visit our website at or fill out our contact form.