What Causes Commercial Roof Leaks and Can You Prevent Them?
Commercial roof leaks can be devastating to businesses if not handled quickly, causing additional water damage and mold and ruining building interiors. By understanding what causes a roof to leak, you can prevent emerging roof issues from progressing and save your company money—along with keeping puddles off employees’ desks.
Continue reading to learn more about commercial roof leaks, including:
How to Find a Roof Leak
When your commercial roof has a leak, you’ll usually know. A leaky roof can cause severe damage, making it difficult to miss—but not every sign is obvious. Major roof damage creates significant leakage that is easy to spot during heavy rainfall as water drips through the roof and into your workspace. You may also notice water spots, discoloring, or stains along the ceiling or down walls.
Even small leaks can create big problems as moisture works its way into nooks and crannies and is absorbed into materials. Moisture—especially when exposed to a humid climate—stimulates the growth of bacteria and mold, which is easy to spot when you know where to look, such as ceilings, corners, and along the bottom of walls. It’s also helpful to check for bubbling roof and ceiling materials that could indicate potential leaks.
Once you’ve discovered signs of a leak, tracing them back to the source of the problem is much easier.
What Causes a Commercial Roof Leak?
A commercial roof leak can be caused by a variety of factors that likely require repairs. Narrowing down the cause of your roof leak provides insight that contractors need to resolve the situation. Here are some of the most common causes of commercial roof leaks that your building may be experiencing.
Poor drainage is the most frequent reason for commercial roof leaks. Improper drainage may result from faulty installation or design, preventing water from flowing away from the building so it collects on the roof instead. Drains, gutters, scrubbers, and downspouts should be inspected and maintained regularly to remain effective. If it can’t be diverted away from your roof, standing water leads to leaks and sagging due to the extra weight.
Roof flashing consists of galvanized steel placed around the conjoining areas of commercial roofs—such as chimneys, roof edges, windows, skylines, and valleys—and is meant to prevent water damage. Flashing can become damaged due to incorrect installation, severe storms, or weathering, and when this happens, your commercial building is more likely to suffer a leak.
Sometimes a leaky roof occurs simply because your roof is past its prime. The older your commercial roof is, the more often it’s going to need repairs. Even with recurring maintenance and repairs, a roof can’t last forever. Eventually, you’ll need to replace your roof entirely.
Flat commercial roofs often have penetrations in the roof membrane, such as HVAC units, roof vents, drains, gas lines, and pipes. These breaks in your roof membrane create the perfect space for water to seep through but can be prevented with proper sealing. Sealants can be broken down over time, so it’s crucial to undergo regular maintenance to keep them airtight.
Storms come in many shapes and sizes, including strong winds, hail, rain, lightning, and heavy snow, not to mention extreme temperatures that can melt, freeze, and crack roofing materials. Commercial roofs are just as vulnerable to nature as any other covering, and without regular maintenance, severe storms are likely to cause leakage.
Roof membranes are often used for flat and low-sloped commercial roofs, protecting the building from water and other external threats along with preserving heat. A damaged roof membrane can be caused by excessive foot traffic, wind, mechanical damage, and more, making your building susceptible to leaks.
The more you know about commercial roof replacements, the better prepared you’ll be when the time comes. Learn more about the commercial roof replacement process.
How to Handle an Emergency Roof Leak
Knowing how to handle an emergency roof leak can prevent extensive water damage to your commercial building and everything inside it. If your roof has sprung a leak, consider the following steps:
- Prevent Further Damage: When you notice a drip or leak in your roof, take immediate actions to prevent it from damaging the inside of your building, including the floor, furniture, or electronics. Using buckets and towels is a simple yet effective way to protect your assets.
- Pinpoint the Leak: Just because water was dripping in one spot doesn’t mean that’s where the leak started. Find the leak’s point of entry and mark it for repair workers.
- Contact a Professional: Call a commercial roofing contractor immediately if you haven’t already. Contractors can determine the cause of the issue and remedy it promptly.
- Document the Damage: Record the damage using photos and writing that you can present to your insurance provider at a later time.
- Call Your Insurance Company: After the immediate emergency has been dealt with, call your insurance company and inform them of the situation. An approved contractor can provide an estimate, and an appropriate payment can be issued to cover the damages.
Fix Your Commercial Roof Leak With Floridian Roofing and Solar
Finding a commercial roofing contractor to perform emergency repairs on short notice can be challenging, and you don’t want to partner with just any company. Thankfully, Floridian Roofing and Solar helps businesses in the Jacksonville, Florida, area with roofing emergencies immediately. With over 20 years of combined industry experience, our team of dedicated experts is equipped to handle even the worst commercial roof leaks. Other commercial roofing system services we offer include:
- Commercial roof replacement
- Commercial roof inspections
- Preventative roof maintenance
- Commercial roof installation
- Commercial roof repairs
At Floridian Roofing and Solar, our goal is to provide effective roofing solutions that keep businesses safe, comfortable, and presentable for customers. Contact us today to schedule a roof inspection for your commercial building.
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Floridian Roofing & Solar is a full-service provider of commercial and residential roofing services. We use our 20 years of experience to put a durable roof over your head.