What Are the Causes of Commercial Roof Leaks?
Why is Your Commercial Roof Leaking?
Imagine walking into work on a Monday morning and being greeted with the sight and smell of a leaking roof. This is not a scenario that any business owner wants to encounter nor one that employees would wish to work in. Commercial roof leaks are not only an annoyance and disruptive to productivity, but if not treated properly they can cause thousands of dollars in damages. Even newer roofs are not immune to this issue. You may be wondering your new commercial roof is leaking. Since most commercial roofs are flat, there are many possible culprits. The only way to identify the problem with certainty is to have it examined by a professional immediately. It is even better to catch leaks before they start. Regardless of your roof’s age, having regularly scheduled inspections on your commercial roof can save you and your employees from dealing with the unpleasant aftermath of a leaking roof.
Signs That my Commercial Roof is Leaking
How can you tell if your business’s roof is leaking, other than the obvious puddles of water that can accumulate? There are many other revealing signs. Water spots on the ceiling are a red flag. Any dripping, no matter how minimal, points to an active leak. Other evidence includes paint that is bubbling or tearing. And finally, follow your nose- an unpleasant, musty smell can indicate mold or mildew resulting from a leaking roof.
What is Causing My Commercial Roof to Leak?
Commercial roofing systems often differ greatly from residential roofs. Given this fact, the reason for leaks may differ also. Having your roof installed by licensed, knowledgeable professionals is key to ensuring that you have a quality product and quality workmanship. Many times the age of the roof is a factor in leaks. All roofs have a lifespan and if yours is nearing the end, it may begin to fail. Even newer roofs can experience leaks, leaving you to wonder why your new commercial roof is leaking. Some of the most common causes of commercial roof leaks outside of aging include ponding, damaged membrane, drainage, improper sealing and damaged flashing.
Ponding occurs when areas of standing water pool on the roof’s surface. Because many commercial roofs are flat, this can be a common concern. Left untreated, this can lead to vegetation growth and structural damage. Keeping gutters and downspouts free of debris can help prevent water accumulation. Leaks from ponding can become severe and require immediate attention.
Membranes are what make commercial roofs waterproof by securely sealing them. Membranes are exposed to the elements and consequently are subject to damage from the sun and other factors. You may notice holes or cracks. This allows water to seep in and damage the building’s insulation.
Proper sealing around air conditioning units, pipes, drains, vents, etc. is vital to the roof’s integrity. If not sealed properly, these areas can allow water to funnel inside your building.
Flashing acts as a protection for the exterior edges of your roof and chimneys and vents as well. Weather and fluctuating temperatures can cause the metal flashing to contract, expand and loosen providing a way for water penetration.
Depending on location and weather, the typical commercial roof will last from 15-20 years. Inspections are important in helping you take the necessary steps to extend your roof’s lifespan and to know when the time has come for replacement.
Protect Your Commercial Roof
Commercial roof leaks can cause major damage and possible loss of work, negatively impacting your bottom line. The various causes of leaks in commercial systems can be minimized and possibly avoided by working with an experienced roofing company. Installations and regular inspections are only as effective as the people who perform the work. Locally owned Freeman Roofing has been installing quality commercial roofs for decades. Call our experts today to handle your commercial roofing needs.