The Complete Guide to Restaurant Roof Repair

Posted on May 24, 2024

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restaurant roof repair

Any restaurant that wants to succeed must maintain a functional roof. Many problems can arise from a compromised roof, such as water damage, structural difficulties, and even possible violations of health codes. Ignoring roof repairs can have serious repercussions, including expensive repairs, lost revenue, and, worst of all, a damaged reputation. If you own a restaurant and want the best for your business, you must prioritize routine roof maintenance and quickly resolve any problems. 

Let’s delve into this blog post to understand how important timely roof repair is for any restaurant. 

Why Is Restaurant Roof Repair Important?

Imagine a busy night at your restaurant. All of a sudden, water starts to leak from the ceiling, disturbing customers and jeopardizing the finances and reputation of your restaurant. 

Ignoring repairs can result in structural damage, leaks, and violations of health codes, all of which can negatively affect your business’s finances. With heavy foot traffic and constant exposure to grease and other chemicals, prompt restaurant roof repairs are essential to prevent disruptions and uphold food safety standards.

Common Roof Problems for Restaurants

1. Lack of Maintenance: 

Neglecting routine inspections and timely repairs can exacerbate minor issues, leading to more extensive damage and costly repairs in the long run. Failure to remove debris, leaves, or standing water from the roof surface can accelerate deterioration and promote the growth of algae and mold.

2. Substandard Installation: 

Incorrect installation techniques or the use of poor-quality materials can damage the overall integrity of the roof system, causing premature wear and costly repairs. Failure to adhere to building codes and manufacturer’s specifications during installation can also result in warranty voidance and liability issues for the restaurant owner.

3. Water Leaks: 

For flat roofs, this often results from damaged or worn-out roof membranes, which can develop cracks or openings due to UV radiation and weathering. Improper flashing around roof penetrations, such as vents and chimneys, may create entry points for water if it becomes loose or damaged over time. Additionally, clogged or damaged drains and gutters can cause structural issues if water backs up onto the roof instead of flowing through the gutter system.

4. Pest Infestation: 

Gaps or openings in the roof provide entry for pests and insects, which can damage the roof structure and insulation. Additionally, pests nesting within the roof system can cause further deterioration.

5. Blow-Offs: 

Strong winds can pull materials off the roof if they’re not secured properly. This can cause seam uplift, leading to expensive repairs and safety hazards. Proper installation and securing of materials can prevent this from happening.

6. Inadequate Insulation: 

Insufficient roof insulation can result in increased energy consumption and discomfort within the restaurant space due to heat loss in winter or heat gain in summer. Poor insulation can also lead to ice dam formation along the eaves during winter, which can damage the roof and gutter system.

7. Ventilation and Moisture Problems: 

Insufficient attic or roof ventilation can cause moisture-related issues within restaurant roofing systems. This can trap the moisture and heat, leading to condensation buildup and mold and mildew growth. If left unaddressed, these issues compromise the integrity of roof materials and pose potential health risks to occupants.

8. Material Deterioration: 

Over time, roofing materials degrade due to exposure to the elements. Harsh weather conditions like hailstorms or strong winds can physically damage roofing materials, compromising their integrity and also affecting the overall look of your restaurant.

Types of Roofing Materials for Restaurants

As a property owner, it is important that you know the best roofing materials you can use for your restaurant roof, like: 

1. Built-Up Roofing Membrane (BUR)

Restaurants frequently choose built-up roofing (BUR) systems because of their established reputation for dependability and durability. These roofing systems provide a strong and durable shield against the weather by layering several layers of waterproof materials, usually asphalt and reinforcing fabrics.

  • Multi-layered construction resists grease, oil, and chemicals often found in restaurant settings.
  • Installation and upkeep are cost-effective compared to other options.
  • Durable in harsh weather conditions.
  • Economical choice for restaurants with moderate budgets.
  • Lifespan ranges from 20 to 30 years.

2. Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) Roof Membranes

TPO Roof Membrane
TPO Roof Membrane

Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) roof membranes are becoming more and more common for commercial and flat roofs because of their cost-effectiveness and energy-efficient qualities. Due to their ability to reflect solar radiation, these single-ply roofing systems can help lower the energy requirements and cooling expenses related to operating a restaurant.

  • TPO membranes reflect sunlight, keeping indoor spaces cooler and reducing AC usage.
  • Lightweight and easy to install, causing minimal disruption to business.
  • Resists harsh chemicals and oils.
  • Seamless installation lowers the risk of leaks.
  • 100% recyclable material.

3. EPDM Roof Membrane

EPDM Roof Membrane
EPDM Roof Membrane

Due to its affordability and resistance to drastic temperature changes, EPDM, or ethylene propylene diene monomer, is a popular synthetic rubber roofing material that has gained popularity in the restaurant industry. The material’s resistance to thermal expansion and building movement guarantees that the roof will stay safe and waterproof through severe weather.

  • EPDM roofs offer cost-effective solutions for large, flat areas.
  • Known for exceptional durability, puncture resistance, and easy maintenance.
  • Flexible material handles building movement and thermal expansion.
  • Reflective properties cut cooling expenses.
  • Easy installation and low maintenance needs.

Steps to Assess Restaurant Roof Damage

1. Conduct Regular Roof Inspections:

Frequent roof checks are vital for catching issues early. Examine for leaks, cracks, and damage. Consider hiring a professional annually or after severe weather.

2. Address Leaks Swiftly:

If leaks are found, act fast to locate and fix them. Repair damaged areas and address water-damaged parts promptly to prevent further harm, such as structural damage and mold growth.

3. Ensure Proper Drainage:

Maintaining good drainage prevents water buildup and leaks. Keep drains and gutters clear. Confirm the roof has a suitable slope and drainage paths and add drains or regrade if needed.

4. Replace Worn Flashing:

Flashing around roof openings must be intact to prevent leaks. Replace any damaged or deteriorating flashing promptly to maintain protection.

5. Explore Roof Coatings or Restoration:

Consider coating or restoring the roof for improved longevity. Choose coatings suitable for your roof type and restaurant conditions to enhance waterproofing and energy efficiency.

6. Plan Ahead for a Roof Replacement:

While repairs help, eventually, a replacement is inevitable. Look out for signs like widespread leaks and significant damage. It’s important to choose durable materials suitable for restaurant conditions to ensure the longevity of your new roof. Schedule the replacement during slower periods to minimize disruptions.

Maintenance Tips for Restaurant Roof Longevity

  1. Regular Cleaning: Clean your roof often to prevent dirt and debris buildup, which can trap moisture and harm roofing materials.
  2. Trim Trees: Trim branches hanging over your building to prevent damage in storms and keep animals off your roof.
  3. Professional Roof Inspection: Schedule inspections to catch issues early, saving money in the long term.
  4. Remove Ice Dams: Clear snow and ice to prevent excess weight and potential damage.
  5. Address Mold: Watch for mold growth, especially in shaded areas, and remove it promptly to avoid premature wear.
  6. Proper Insulation: Insulate your roof properly to reduce heat exposure and slow down aging.
  7. Regular Observations: Check your roof often, especially after severe weather, for signs of damage like split seams or discoloration.


Keeping your roof in good condition is essential to operating a profitable restaurant. Ensure your business remains safe and secure for many years by being aware of the warning indications of roof damage, selecting the appropriate materials, working with licensed contractors, and making maintenance a top priority. Acting at the first sign of damage can safeguard your investment and your employees and patrons’ health and safety.
Choose OConnor Contracting if you need high-quality commercial roof repair services. Our services are tailored to meet your business’s needs, whether you operate a large-scale facility or a family-owned restaurant. Put your trust in us to maintain and repair your restaurant’s roof. Give us a call at (716) 600-7663.

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