Both built-up and single-ply commercial roofing systems can form blisters. In this blog, Precision Roofing Inc. takes a look at how blisters on flat roofing systems form, and what you should do to address them.
Built-up roofing (BUR) systems are built with alternating layers of bitumen or rubber and reinforcing fabric. This flat roofing type is ideal for roofs with high amounts of foot traffic, or if the roof is often hit by airborne debris. Blisters can develop from voids, which are essentially bubbles caused by uneven bitumen application, trapped debris, or gases from trapped moisture. While voids are inevitable in built-up roofing systems, they are typically harmless and small in size.
Large blisters can be a problem if they form near areas with high foot traffic. Generally, roofing blisters are harmless and don’t affect the waterproofing capabilities of the roof. However, it can be a problem if a blister is punctured, as it will expose the layers underneath to water intrusion. If you find a roofing blister as much as two feet wide, measure its boundaries, and check back a few days later. If it’s growing, have a roofing professional address it. Proper roofing installation and regular maintenance are the best ways to prevent blisters a BUR roof.
Single-ply roofing systems consist of welded sheets of rubber or plastic, which can be installed loose and ballasted, or adhered to the substrate. Roofing companies recommend this roofing system for roofs that encounter minimal to no foot traffic, as the membrane can be easily punctured. Blisters on single-ply roofing can be formed by trapped moisture, poor installation methods, or poor roofing ventilation. As with BUR, properly-installed and maintained single-ply roofs are less likely to develop blisters.
Blisters That Require Repairs
As previously mentioned, blisters are harmless unless punctured. However, there are certain conditions that require the attention of a roofing professional:
The area around the blister seems to show signs of deterioration.
If the seams near the blister are being pulled apart.
Breaks, punctures, and stress cracks around the blister.
If the blisters are located in a high-traffic area.
Don’t try to repair the blister yourself, as this may result in further damage or may even void your warranty.
Precision Roofing Inc. is your leading provider of residential and commercial roof replacement and repair services. Give us a call at (845) 307-0017 or fill out our contact form. We serve customers in White Plains, NY, and surrounding areas.