When it comes to industrial roofs, most roofs are low pitched and made up of metal roofing sheets (aluminium or steel). Relatively quick to install and lightweight make metal roofs the go-to product on most industrial units. Whether that be on a warehouse, sports centre or shopping centre, the life span of metal roofs can be greatly extended if repairs and maintenance are carried out promptly to prevent further issues occurring.
Maintaining an industrial roof.
To keep up with the maintenance of an industrial roof, I would always advise an annual inspection. This way, a roofing contract can highlight any potential issue and provide supporting photos to catch leaks early before showing signs in the premises. This can be as simple as some washers deteriorating or spotting early signs of the roof sheets or gutters rusting. I would also advise getting the gutters cleaned out at this time, depending on the gutters area they may need to be cleaned out more often. Having the gutters cleaned out regularly will help the water flow through the gutters and greatly increase the life of the gutters.
Industrial roof rust.
Rust is an early sign that the coatings on the sheets are failing. This usually happens in two places the gutters and the cut edge. The cut edge is where a roofing sheet overlaps another. When the latter begins to form there are several products on the market for cut edge protection. Cut edge protection is used to stop the rust spreading. You start by cleaning the flaking coating and surface it will be applied to. An undercoat paint is installed followed by a sealant applied to the cut edge and finally a top coat that fully encapsulates the whole area, keeping it weathertight and most manufactures provide a 15-year warranty. A great product we like to use at Kingsley Roofing is Giromax. You can see their website here.
Full roof coatings.
Along with the cut edge protection spoke about above you can go the further by coating the whole roof. You still use the method above and wash down the whole roof, use an undercoat on all bolts and weak points, and then coat the roof with a topcoat. Topcoats come in several colours so that not only will it extend your roof’s life, but it can also add a whole new lease of life to it. Most manufactures provide 25-year warranties with full roof coats and will provide site inspections at different stages to keep contractors up to date with training and sign roofs off with their warranty. This application can be used on not only metal roofs but asbestos roofs also. These roofing systems are a lot more cost-effective than replacing industrial roofs but can not always be used if the roof has been left with leaks for long periods of time because the damage may be to far gone. A roofing contractor will assist you in letting you know if this is still an option for you.
One of the weakest points and usually first to fail on most industrial units. Just by having the gutters cleaned out regularly, you can greatly extend the gutters’ lives, and if leaks do persist, there are a few different options you have. Firstly there are coating systems installed similarly to the roof coating systems. Sometimes you will just need to seal the joints and outlets other times the full gutters will need to be coated. Gutter coating systems usually come with 15-year warranties. Another great option is to line the gutters. Gutter lining can be done in one continuous sheet and loose laid (mechanically fixed on the upstand or via trims). When it comes to corners or outlets that are in an awkward position, companies like HD Sharmans can provide bespoke moulded systems that are then heat-welded by a trained contractor on site. All of our staff have been fully trained in HD Sharman’s gutter lining systems, and you can see their website here. Gutter lining systems come with a 25-year warranty.
Industrial roof light repairs.
Industrial roof lights are GRP panels that are translucent and match the meatal or asbestos sheet profile. Roof lights are used to allow natural light into the building, saving on lighting the area below, and there tends to be several on industrial roofs. However, after time the GRP sheet can become discoloured and very fragile to the point of cracking so not only can it leak it also stops the natural light coming through making the area very dark. There are some great products on the market to clean the sheets and restore them, but it is easiest to replace the outer sheet in most cases. Most roof profiles (but not all) can be matched and also can be made “man safe”. This is where it is tested against the weight of a slip or a fall on it, and it will not break. When appointing a roofing contractor to carry out works on roof lights or any fragile roof its is important the contractor not only allows for safe access but also fall arrest. Fall arrest is usually installed via netting that will catch the operative if they fall through the roof’s weak section.
The cost varies from product to product, but these repairs are always much more cost-effective than an industrial roof replacement. If you are unsure as to what will be the most cost-effective and efficient way to repair your roof, please feel free to get in touch today.