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Primary Reasons for Commercial Building Roof Leaks

An important client walks into your building and you greet him at the front door. It’s a big day and you are about to make history. You offer your client a seat in the conference room and refreshments are brought. While the presentation is going on, you hear a certain sound you cannot specify. At the same time, the client puts down his coffee mug and a brown drop of water falls from above into the mug.

To your horror, the client saw it and immediately tilted his head back to look up at the ceiling. There it was – a small but clearly visible brown stain that was dripping water on to the conference room table. You can imagine the rest…

Has something similar ever happened to you?

Even if it hasn’t, you need to make sure that an incidence such as this does not occur in the future. In most cases, the roof is the cause.

Let’s have a look at some of the most common signs that you have a leaky roof.

  • Stained Ceiling: Dark brown, grayish, and moldy green colored roof patches are signs that there’s a leak.
  • Mold: Mold grows and survives in moist environments. The smell is a dead giveaway that your roof is compromised. If you don’t kill the mold in time, it will spread.
  • Puddles on the Floor: Small puddles of water everywhere in the building indicate a roof damaged beyond repair.

Commercial Roof Leak Causes

Now that you know what signs to look for, let’s talk about the causes behind a commercial roof leak:

Poor Drainage

The main culprit behind poor drainage is usually blocked roof gutters. Debris such as leaves, dead animals and insects, and wrappers get stuck in the pipe. This prevents the water from draining and causes a blockage. After a thunderstorm and rain, the water collects on the roof and leaks through its membrane into the structure.

Damaged Roof Membrane

The roof membrane preserves the life of a roof and protects it from foot traffic and water. The membrane is usually destroyed by mechanical damage or water, which weakens the insulation underneath. This brings us to our next point.

Torn Off Insulation

One of the most common causes behind torn off insulation is infestation. Weak insulation calls for more than a commercial roof leak repair. You will experience a drop in your energy savings and the building will no longer be able to retain heat.

Roof penetrations

If there are pipes running from the roof into the building, then the point of connection can cause a leak. These pipes usually belong to the HVAC system, vents, and gas line. The good news is that with proper spray coating, this leak can be prevented.

Improper Installation of Roof Flashing

Roof flashing prevents water from seeping into the building by securing the gaps between roof slates. They are also installed in other areas such as skylights and chimneys. When the flashing gets loose, water drips down the gap and compromises the insulation, hence causing the leak.

Aged Roof

A typical roof lasts from 10 to 30 years; depending on how often it is maintained. According to the commercial build codes, a roof can be repaired only twice and after that, you are required to tear it off and install a completely new one.Now that you have an understanding of what causes a commercial roof leak, you will be better able to catch it in time and call for a commercial roof leak repair.

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