Your business is at its best when productivity is flowing and distractions are few. Roof damage will slow you down, so it pays to stay on top of your installation’s condition. If you do find a leak, identifying the cause is one of the first steps forward. This article covers a few common reasons commercial roofs leak and how to prevent them.

How Commercial Roof Leaks Happen

Roof leaks can stem from numerous issues. Here are a few causes to consider:

Lack of Regular Maintenance

Maintenance is vital to a healthy roof. During maintenance, an inspector will detect present and potential issues that could cause leaks. A roofing professional can take the appropriate measures to repair and prevent roof leak damage. Going too long without an inspection could allow a leak to form without you realizing it.

Poor Installation

Installation lays the groundwork for your roof’s future. You can determine if your roof installation was done well by auditing the appearance and key features like flashing. A commercial roof should slant from the middle to either side. The flashing should have a firm seal. Without these elements, the roof could accumulate pools and allow water through any flashing gaps.

Age and Wear

A commercial building’s roof will last for 15-20 years. Leaks may form when your roof nears the end of its life span, as building materials wear down and loosen over time. Water may seep through an old, weak roof, so be alert to key signs of aging so you can replace your installation before it leaks.

Broken Seals

Your roof holds various equipment and piping systems that run into and out of your building. Water will find its way through any crack, so all equipment needs a tight seal. Monitor the seals around all gas lines, hot stacks, vents, drains, hot lights and other features that enter the building.

Flashing Damage

Flashing is a metal strip that covers joints connecting parts of the roof. The flashing forms a seal at the connection points to prevent leaks. Cracks in the flashing or gaps in the seal will allow water into the building.

Membrane Damage

Flat roofs feature a sealant that coats the top with an airtight, waterproof substance. While the membrane resists water, it is susceptible to punctures and cracks. The wind during a storm can blow debris onto your roof, causing damage. Animals can also damage the membrane with their teeth and claws.

Ponding Water

Most commercial roofs have a slight slant that allows water to trickle toward the side. However, improper installation or damage can flatten parts of the roof. Water will pool in the flat spots, weakening the roofing materials and seeping inside the building.

What Happens to Leaks Left Unattended

It’s easy to watch that spot in the corner of the ceiling grow slowly over time when you have other things to do, but responding to a leak in time is essential. Finding and eliminating roof leaks can prevent numerous problems and costly outcomes:

  • Sagging where pools form
  • Deterioration of building materials
  • Damage to interior walls and ceilings
  • Damage to electrical equipment
  • Formation of mold and mildew
  • Lost energy efficiency and insulation value

How to Prevent Roof Leaks

As damaging as roof leaks can be, you can prevent them:

  • Roof maintenance: Leaks form when small blemishes go untreated, so institute a regular maintenance schedule. A professional roof inspector can find and repair signs of leaks.
  • Roof leak repair: Damage to the flashing and membrane requires immediate attention. Request service from a qualified roofing company to resolve the problem before the leak grows.
  • Debris removal: You can also prevent leaks by removing debris from the roof and gutters. Excess debris causes clogging and subsequent leaks.
  • Access limitation: Only allow authorized personnel onto your roof. Allowing too many people to access the roof increases the potential for damage.

How to Handle Commercial Roof Leaks

Some incidents slip through the cracks, so you should have a plan to respond when leaks occur. Follow these steps in the wake of a roof leak:

  • Move important equipment out of harm’s way and cover what cannot move.
  • Place a container under the leak to capture water.
  • Locate the source of the leak if possible.
  • Call professionals who will assess the situation and implement the best solution.

Contact DDP Roofing for Emergency Roof Leaks

DDP Roofing Services is a company in eastern Pennsylvania ready to reach your facility and perform emergency repairs when leaks occur. Our experienced technicians will provide a lasting solution that protects your building and preserves your roof. We invite you to contact DDP Roofing at your convenience for emergency roof leak services.