Four Questions for When Your Commercial Roof is Leaking
A leak in your commercial roof is, of course, never a good thing. It can lead to all kinds of expensive problems, including workers’ compensations claims or lawsuits from slips and falls; mold growth or insect infestation which can require costly remediation; higher heating and cooling bills because wet insulation loses its R-value; and water damage to inventory, equipment, and furniture.
Clearly, you should take immediate steps to repair the leak, and that will require a trip to your rooftop. Here are some things to look for and some questions to ask:
Is There Water that Doesn’t Drain?
It’s common for water to pool on the rooftop following a rain, but if it doesn’t empty fairly soon thereafter, you probably have drainage problems for one thing. More relevant to this topic is that it could lead to roof leaks. The downward pressure of pooling (or ponding) water can force it through the smallest hole(s) in the surface of your commercial roof and into your building. This pressure can also enlarge the holes. This gives you two problems to resolve: drainage and water penetration.
Are Flashings Worn or Damaged?
The transitions between planes on your rooftop (e.g., vertical to horizontal) are among the most vulnerable points. These include components like HVAC curbs, pipe vents, and wall parapets. When the flashing material bridging these angles is worn, has gaps, is detached, or is otherwise compromised, your roof is no longer watertight.
Are There Cracks or Tears in the Roof Surface?
Winter can be hard on your commercial roofing system, with storms dropping snow, ice, and debris that can damage the surface. Another factor is expansion and contraction due to day/night temperature swings. These pressures can create cracks in the membrane and pull seams apart – clearly opening the door for water intrusion.
Can the Leak Source be Located?
Sometimes, the source of the leak isn’t obvious, as water can flow a long way within your building before making an appearance. If you can’t locate it, it would be wise to bring in a commercial roofing specialist with infrared equipment that can detect where water might be flowing under the roof membrane.
Whether your roof is still providing leakproof protection or is showing signs of weakness, the commercial roofing professionals at Complete Commercial Roofing would welcome the opportunity to discuss your roofing needs with you. Call us today 877-227-5552.