If you own or manage a commercial building, you may have noticed cracks or blisters on your roof surface. These are common problems affecting many roofing systems, especially membrane roofs. It's essential to address it as soon as possible.

The Causes of Roof Cracks and Blisters

Roof cracks are small fissures on the roof surface, usually in a pattern resembling alligator skin. They are caused by the sun's UV rays, which dry and damage the roof coating over time. As the coating shrinks and loses its elasticity, it develops cracks that expose the underlying membrane to the elements.

Roof blisters are raised areas where the roof membrane has lost adhesion to the substrate or the other membrane layers. They are caused by air or moisture trapped between the layers, which expands and contracts with temperature changes. As the blisters grow, they can stretch and rupture the membrane, creating leaks and exposing the insulation.

How Cracks and Blisters Affect a Roof

Roof cracks and blisters can compromise the integrity and performance of your roof system. They can:

  • Reduce the lifespan of your roof by accelerating its deterioration
  • Increase the risk of water infiltration and damage to your building structure and contents
  • Decrease the energy efficiency of your roof by reducing its reflectivity and insulation value
  • Create safety hazards for workers or visitors who walk on your roof

You might also void your roof warranty or reduce your insurance coverage.

Fixing Roof Cracks and Blisters

The best way to prevent roof cracks and blisters is to ensure proper installation and maintenance of your roof system. A commercial roofing contractor will use dry materials in dry conditions and avoid installing your roof in extreme temperatures or humidity. They will make sure that your roof is ventilated to prevent heat buildup and moisture accumulation. They will also apply a protective coating or sealant to your roof surface to enhance its resistance to UV rays and weathering.

If you already have roof cracks or blisters, you may need to repair them before they cause more severe problems. Depending on the size, location, and severity of the damage, you may be able to:

  • Cut out the affected area and patch it with new membrane material
  • Fill the void under the blister with bitumen or adhesive and press the membrane back into place
  • Reinforce the cracked area with fabric or mesh and apply a coating or sealant over it

However, if your roof is extensively damaged or nearing the end of its service life, you may need to replace it entirely. In that case, you should consult with a professional roofing contractor who can assess your situation and recommend the best solution for your needs. For more information, contact a commercial roof company near you.