3 Ways Rooftop HVAC Systems Can Damage Roofs

While HVAC companies have experience installing units on commercial roofs, they don't necessarily have in-depth roofing expertise. They might make installation mistakes that cause some roof damage. Even if you get a clean install, units can cause problems over time. You might need to call in a roofer to fix this damage.

How might rooftop units damage your roof?

1. Structural Problems

HVAC units should be sited on an area of a roof that can take the weight of the system. While your original contractor will have run basic checks, they might not have spotted underlying problems. They don't necessarily know enough about roofing structures to do this.

If your system is too heavy for your roof, then its materials might start to crack and break. Its supports will struggle to hold the weight of the system. They might start to bow or even break.

If your units seem to have shifted down or are sagging, then you have a potentially serious structural support problem. A roofing contractor can fix the damage and talk to you about adding extra supports to this part of your roof.

2. Degraded Seals

While your HVAC contractor will have put seals around your units to prevent leaks from getting into your roof, these seals might crack or break away as they get older. Seals can dry out and become brittle if they are constantly exposed to sun and rain.

If the seals around your units no longer provide tight coverage, then water might start to leak into your roof. This causes damage to its materials and causes internal damage to your building. A roofing contractor can remove the old seals and install new ones to make the area sound again.

3. Condensation Problems

HVAC systems produce and release water vapor. This vapor should evaporate into the environment from your rooftop units.

However, this process sometimes fails. If your units aren't working correctly, then the vapor might turn into condensation. This water will pool around your rooftop units.

Pooled water on a roof is never a good thing. It encourages plant, fungal, and mold growth. It can damage roof membranes so that your roof starts to leak. Your roof can develop structural problems.

While your HVAC contractor needs to fix unit problems, a roofer can fix any damage caused by a malfunctioning system. They can also set up drainage channels that will prevent future damage by carrying water away from the roof.

If you think that your HVAC units have caused some damage to your roof, then contact a commercial roofing repair contractor. They can fix the damage and help you find ways to prevent it from happening again. For more information on commercial roofing repair, contact a professional near you.