Many commercial buildings have heating units on the roof to keep occupants comfortable during the chilly winter. Although they are necessary, rooftop HVAC units can create many roofing issues, the most obvious of which are leaks. If you manage a commercial facility, look out for these issues when it comes to your rooftop HVAC system.
Condensation: HVAC equipment may produce moisture, which can create ponding on the roof. Accumulated moisture is never a good thing when it comes to the roof, as it can attract mold and vegetation growth and cause the roof membrane to fall apart. Install condensation or discharge lines to lead the moisture away from the roof and down the nearest drain.
Technicians: HVAC techs, while experts at repairing or replacing the equipment, may not always be wary of how the work affects the roof. Movement and tools can cause damage to the roof’s surface. Have someone present watching while the technician works, or place walk pads around the units to decrease the risk of damage.
Installing atop of an existing roof: It is best to have the HVAC equipment installed during construction of the roof to ensure maximum efficiency of all parts. It is much more difficult to install on top of an existing roof. The added weight may decrease the roof’s strength for holding up against heavy snowfall or cause tears and other damage.
Have a roofing professional present if you are having a new HVAC unit installed on your roof, as they will be able to point out potential issues and make sure the roof will be able to handle the addition.
Courtesy of North American Roofing