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November 19, 2018

Commercial Roofing and your HVAC Equipment

Keeping your commercial building cool, dry and comfortable is a must. Your rooftop HVAC system may be doing this job admirably but because HVAC systems that are located on the roof actually penetrate the surface, these areas are prime candidates for leaks and related issues. Condensation and troubles with your HVAC could also impact your roof and result in costly repairs. Being aware of the relationship between your roof and your HVAC system ensures your team, visitors, systems and goods are truly warm, safe and dry, and gives you peace of mind, too.

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Rooftop HVAC units and other equipment must be properly integrated with the roofing system. Walkpads in highly trafficked areas are a good idea.

Roof Repair and Replacement

The right time to add an HVAC unit is during initial construction, so that the roofing and HVAC contractors can work together. If you need to repair either component – the roof or the system – it would be a good move to have both teams on hand.

If you are adding HVAC to an existing building, your roofing contractor can ensure that the roof is in good shape and can integrate the new equipment with the roof surface. A roof inspection or consult at this time also ensures that the roof can bear the weight of the new system; if you are in an area prone to snow or ice, this is particularly important, as these conditions obviously put extra strain on your roof.

HVAC Condensation

As your HVAC operates, it produces moisture – and that condensation needs to go somewhere. If the water is allowed to pool on the roof, it can increase your risk. Mold, unwanted insects and vegetation and even deterioration of the roof itself could occur if condensation is allowed to collect on the roof’s surface. Instead, any discharge should be directed to the rooftop drain.

HVAC Repair and Replacement

If you need to have a technician come in to repair your rooftop HVAC, make sure you have a team member or someone knowledgeable about roofing in place to ensure the roof is not affected. The technician will be focused on the HVAC, and dropped tools or materials could damage your roof. It’s good practice to have walkpads installed by your roofing contractor in areas where there will be foot traffic and/or work being done. Inspecting the area around the unit after repair or service allows you to spot any signs of trouble right away. All flashings, sealants and curbs must be replaced properly to maintain watertight integrity.

Mitigating Roof Damage Risk

Your HVAC system can put your roof at risk; even if you do not see damage after a repair or installation, you could have problems later. Any time you have a new HVAC system installed or a significant repair, you should also have the roof inspected. By having the work reviewed by a roofing pro, you can be sure that your commercial roof maintains its integrity and ability to protect your building or inventory.

Article by Royalty /

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