In this article:
- What Causes a Commercial Roof Leak
- How to Resolve Commercial Water Leaks
- Tips to Prevent Commercial Roof Leaks
- Does Your Commercial Building Need Water Damage Restoration Call the PuroClean Pros
Your business is booming, but one day, you notice water dripping from above after a heavy downpour. When you look closer, you realize you have a roof leak. What do you do?
It’s a frustrating inconvenience and a significant financial burden that can disrupt your business operations and damage valuable assets. However, with the proper knowledge and preventive measures, you can safeguard your commercial roof from nature’s wrath and the wear and tear of time.
What Causes a Commercial Roof Leak?
A commercial roof is a critical component of any business infrastructure, offering protection from the elements and ensuring the property’s and its occupants’ safety. However, even the most well-constructed roofs can experience leaks over time. Some of the causes of a leaking roof in commercial buildings include:
- Poor Roof Installation. Improper installation is one of the leading causes of commercial roof leaks. If the roof is not positioned correctly, gaps, loose seams, and improper waterproofing can appear, creating pathways for water to infiltrate the building.
- Age and Weathering. Over time, a commercial roof is exposed to weather conditions, from intense heat to freezing temperatures, rain, snow, and storms. These elements cause degradation, weakening the roof’s structure and making it more susceptible to leaks.
- Lack of Maintenance. Regular roof maintenance helps identify and address potential issues before they escalate. Failure to perform routine inspections and maintenance can result in undetected problems, eventually leading to leaks.
- Ponding Water. Flat or low-slope commercial roofs may experience ponding water after heavy rainfall. If not adequately drained, standing water can cause the roofing materials to deteriorate, leading to leaks and structural damage.
- Damaged Roofing Materials. Commercial roofs are typically made of shingles, membranes, or metal panels. Damage to these materials due to hail, wind, or foot traffic can create openings for water to seep into the roof system.
- Clogged or Blocked Drains. Blocked or clogged roof drains prevent water from flowing off the roof, leading to water accumulation and potential leaks.
- Intrusion Points. Commercial roofs often have various protrusions, such as HVAC units, vents, pipes, and skylights. Improperly sealed or damaged penetration points provide easy access to water that can cause a leaky roof.
- Flashing Issues. Flashing seals the joints and transitions on a commercial roof. Water can infiltrate the roof system if the flashing is damaged, improperly installed, or degraded.
- Harsh Weather Events. Extreme weather, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and severe storms, can damage commercial roofs by dislodging materials, tearing off shingles, or causing structural damage that leads to leaks.
- Neglected Repairs. Delaying necessary roof repairs can worsen existing issues, allowing water to penetrate and cause further damage. Addressing repairs promptly is essential to prevent leaks and avoid expensive repairs.
Commercial roof leaks can result from various factors, from improper installation and aging to lack of maintenance and severe weather events.
How to Resolve Commercial Water Leaks
If your commercial building has a roof leak, don’t delay addressing the issue! Here’s what you can do to stop a commercial roof leak:
- Shut Off the Water. After confirming water leakage, shut off the water supply to avoid further liquid damage. Depending on the source of the leak, you may need to close valves, turn off water tanks, or shut off the main supply line.
- Remove Water and Debris. Use a wet-dry vacuum cleaner or a mop and bucket to remove any standing water from the area. Using fans can help speed up drying time. If debris is strewn around the affected area, pick it up before starting repairs.
- Investigate the Source. Determine the leak’s source and assess the damage’s extent. Contact experienced roofing contractors to help diagnose and remediate if you’re unsure.
- Make Temporary Repairs. While waiting for professionals to arrive, make temporary adjustments to prevent further water infiltration. Use a tarp or plastic sheeting to cover any missing or damaged roofing materials to avoid further damage.
- Consider Long-Term Solutions. Once you’ve identified the source and extent of the leak, don’t settle for quick, short-term fixes; decide on repairs that can make a difference down the road. Depending on your roof’s condition, you may need to replace shingles, reseal joints, or patch holes.
By following these steps, you can resolve commercial water leaks quickly and efficiently, eliminating the inconvenience and financial burden of extensive damage. By implementing preventive maintenance measures and prompt repairs, you can extend your commercial building’s roof and maintain its efficacy for years.
Tips to Prevent Commercial Roof Leaks
A well-maintained commercial roof is all but necessary for a business’s longevity and success. Because roof leaks can result in significant damage, disrupt operations, and costly repairs, it’s better to take preventative measures to avoid such issues altogether. Here’s what you can do to safeguard your commercial roof from leaks:
- Regular Roof Inspections. Regular roof inspections are always the go-to option for roof maintenance. Schedule an inspection with a certified professional at least twice a year, ideally during spring and fall. A trained roof inspector can identify minor issues before they escalate into significant leaks, allowing for timely repairs and preventing potential damage.
- Promptly Address Roof Damage. Did you discover damage during a routine maintenance check? Get it remediated right away! Cracked or missing shingles, damaged roof flashings, or deteriorated sealant should be addressed immediately. Not fixing them can worsen problems and lead to severe water infiltration during heavy rainfall or storms.
- Keep Gutters and Drains Clean. Clogged gutters and drains can lead to water pooling on the roof, increasing the risk of leaks. Be sure to regularly clean
- Maintain Proper Roof Drainage. Your roof should have a proper drainage system to divert rainwater from the building. Poor drainage can lead to ponding, which puts unnecessary strain and increases the likelihood of leaks.
- Choose Quality Roofing Materials. Invest in high-quality roofing materials from reputable manufacturers to significantly extend the lifespan of your commercial roof and reduce the risk of leaks. Work with experienced contractors who can guide you in selecting materials best suited for your building and climate conditions.
- Professional Installation. Always hire a certified, experienced commercial roofing contractor to install your commercial roof. Proper installation is crucial for the effectiveness of any preventive measures. A poorly installed roof is more prone to leaks and may invalidate manufacturer warranties.
- Regular Roof Maintenance Program. Sign up for a structured roof maintenance program to receive routine inspections, cleaning, and minor repairs. Assign clear responsibilities to staff or contractors to ensure that maintenance tasks are carried out consistently.
- Monitor Interior Spaces. Leak detection isn’t limited to the roof’s exterior. Check walls and ceilings for water stains, discoloration, or mold growth on ceilings and walls. Address any internal issues promptly to prevent further damage.
- Prevent Ice Dams. Ice dams can form along the roof’s edges in cold climates, leading to leaks as melted snow and ice can seep under roofing materials. Adequate insulation and ventilation in the attic can prevent ice dams from forming.
- Educate Staff. Talk to your staff about promptly reporting any signs of roof leaks. Encourage them to be vigilant during heavy rains or storms and report any unusual water infiltration.
By following these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of commercial roof leaks and extend the life of your roof. Regular inspections, prompt repairs, and proactive maintenance will save you money on costly repairs and provide peace of mind, knowing that your business is well-protected from unpredictable weather.
Does Your Commercial Building Need Water Damage Restoration? Call the PuroClean Professionals!
While DIY repairs can solve some minor commercial water leaks, it’s often best to work with experienced professionals who can thoroughly assess the damage and provide comprehensive solutions. At PuroClean, our certified first responders handle all kinds of water damage restoration. We have the skills to identify hidden moisture, speed up drying, and restore affected areas to pre-loss conditions quickly and efficiently.
If you’ve experienced water damage caused by roof damage or leaks, call PuroClean Emergency Services of Dayton, Ohio at 937-401-9700 or Cincinnati, Ohio at 513-897-8990, or visit our website. We are available 24/7 to respond to any emergency, providing the fast response and quality solutions your property deserves. Contact us today so we can help you get back to business.