Commercial Roof Leaks: What Causes Them & The Best Solutions

30June 2022

Nothing is more frustrating than looking up and seeing leak marks on the expensive roofing you have just got done for your business. The seemingly harmless watermarks in your ceiling can quickly turn into glaring brown marks that ruin the look of your place. Also, this causes severe Commercial Roof Leaks in your house.

Commercial roof leaks are not just eye sores; left untreated, the leaks can become a hundred-thousand-dollar problem involving repairs and overhauls. Fortunately, problems with leaking commercial roofs can be remedied even before they turn into a major projects.

In this blog, we’re talking about commercial roof leaks 101 and how you can find the best contractors for commercial roof leak repairs.

What Causes Commercial Roof Leaks?

Where do commercial leaks come from? This trouble does not come out of anywhere, and there are major factors to check on when you suspect your roofing system is starting to show signs of looking.

Materials Losing Their Quality

Your roofing only lasts a couple of years before it starts to give way to leaks and cracks. Even with maintenance, flat roofs only have a life span of 20 years. Non-flat roofs with a decent pitch could last up to 30 years. If you live in an area prone to storms, snow, intense heat, and humidity, remember that these environmental factors can speed up the deterioration of the quality of the materials.

Damages, Punctures

When you install HVAC units and make vents, pipes, and drainage, you’re going to have to make necessary punctures. In the long run, the little cracks that these punctures make can expand and give way to leaking.

When not monitored on a frequent basis, these punctures can damage the membrane of these installations which could create a more expensive problem.

Poor Drainage Systems

Ideally, internal drainage pipes, gutters, and scuppers are meant to keep water from leaking out and causing damage. However, your commercial roofing has issues that prevent drainage from getting waterlogged. When these drainage issues just keep stacking water up without the proper outlet, chances are these water build-ups will leak to different parts of your building.

Failed Flashings

There are several areas in the roofing system that might pool in more water. These areas are sealed using flashings – a piece of metal designed to fit in the corners of chimneys and skylights to help them become more watertight. Once these flashings lose their tightness, leaks can happen.

Poor Sealing

Seals are the biggest remedy to leaks. When seals are not done properly, little leaks can turn into vast ones. These seemingly harmless leaks can settle in one spot, and cause water logging and moisture – two powerful factors that can significantly rot down your roofing system.

How to Tell If Your Commercial Roofing is Leaking

Spotting the signs of commercial roof leaks can be as simple as looking up, or catching a weird smell in an area. You can quickly tell that there’s leaking in your commercial roof by observing your walls, ceilings, and even your electric bill!

First sign: there are stains on your walls and in your ceilings.

Walls and ceilings are some of the easiest places to look into if you want to spot the first signs of commercial roofing leaks. Whatever the type of ceiling and walls you have, once a leak starts, the ceilings and walls will show. If the leak is within the ceiling, you will see brown marks spread overhead. When leakings are near walls, you can see water stains on the corresponding wall.

Visible Signs of Water Damage in Flashings and Roof System

Frequent maintenance catches these types of damages. Some of the signs to look out for include:

  • Clogged drains full of pooling water. If you see water pooling in on different spots on your roof, it could be the first sign of drainage damage and a potential leak.
  • Membranes showing signs of bubbling, alligatoring, and blistering. A potential leak might be happening if the membranes already have cracks and bubbles.
  • Seams starting to burst open. A seam that starts to open can be an indication that a leak has already started.
  • Tears and holes in the membrane. Whether caused by environmental factors or human error, if tears and holes in the membrane are caught on, you can save yourself from spending on a roofing overhaul.
  • Damaged flashings. If after period maintenance you found a damaged flashing, start checking for leaks, too.

A Moldy Odor

A distinct, moldy smell is something you should not take lightly. If this is starting to become evident, there’s a high chance that the leakings are already causing molds to form within your walls and ceilings. Molds should not be ignored as this can cause more than just repair damages – your health depends here, too.

Water out of Nowhere

If water spots pop out on your floor without a water source nearby, you need to check for roof leakings ASAP. Apart from damaged walls and ceilings, these leaks can cause damage to the property, too.

10 Solutions for Commercial Roofing Leaks

When you see the signs of leaking in your commercial roofing, what do you do next? Even though leaks are a big problem, there are steps you can take to ensure they don’t turn into an irreparable disaster.

Conduct Periodic Maintenance Frequently

A periodic check can help you catch water leaks fast. Doing a maintenance run on your roofing systems allows you to solve leaking roof problems before they turn into a larger headache.

Check for the flashings, membranes, stains on walls and ceilings, water pooling, and seam tightness.

After a Huge Storm or an Intense Summer, Check for Damages Immediately

A strong storm, an extreme snow storm, or a summer with scorching heat can contribute to forming leaks in your roofing system. Assess the roofing quality and address even small issues as soon as possible. More often than not, commercial leaks happen after a severe battering to the roof.

Find the Source of the Leak

Once leaks show up, it only takes 24-48 hours for molds and mildew to form – you really have no time to waste. The first thing to do when leaks are caught is to identify the source.

Common Reasons for Commercial Roofing Can Include:

  • Plumbing, heating, and cooling issues.
  • Pest infestation
  • Gutters that are clogged
  • Membranes cracked
  • Damaged flashings

Also, look for leak spots on dry walls. Note that water leaks can travel at a significant rate – one wall stain can come from a leak 30 feet away. Due to this fact, it’s crucial that a professional check the overall status of the roofing once the leak is caught.

Clear the Area and Secure Supplies, Machines, and Equipment

Property damage is twin to leaking. To avoid additional loss, move your valuable items into a safer, dry place. If you can’t move the items into another room, you can cover them instead to prevent them from getting wet.

Assess Where The Leak Starts

Since water can spread fast, the top priority after finding a leak is to mark the point where it starts. Marking spots where leaks are visible can help your contractor and insurance provider identify where to start looking and assessing. Do this before the leak dries up so you won’t lose the point of entry.

Look for Other Issues Within the Area

Make a complete walkthrough of the area before moving on with the leaks. Don’t wait for fair weather before making a check-up. Evaluate the place while raining so you won’t miss potential leak holes.

Contact Your Insurance Provider

Once everything is under control, check with your insurance agent for damage coverage. Many property owners don’t realize that roofing is part of most property insurance policies. Your agent will walk you through it so you can remedy the leaks fast.

How Do You Find the Best Roofer in Your Area?

Leaks are tricky – this is why having a professional roofer can help you navigate through this property problem thoroughly.

There are a lot of benefits to hiring professional roofers including going through the complicated, time-consuming, and exhausting property assessment. They can assist you in checking your entire roofing system so you won’t miss a spot that might cause more leaks!

Professional roofers for commercial leaks provide services that include repairing the damaged area, replacing the roofing system, and restoring the top coating.

Since you are entrusting a big project to these professionals, it is important to trust a company that knows exactly what they’re doing when it comes to treating leaks and other roofing issues that might stem from it.

Work with a company that understands your budget gets the full grasp of the problem and delivers the highest standard of service.

Through the years, that has been the tradition of Awesome Roofer. From assessment to service delivery, they are trusted in their field. Each service is personal – they take roofing problems and solve them above and beyond expectations.

Contact Awesome Roofer Today for your roofing repair needs.

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