Reasons Why Your Commercial Roof Will Leak

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Does your commercial building have a flat roof? If so, the team Kauffman Roofing in Jamesport knows there are many reasons why your commercial roof will leak at some point. Water quickly drains off sloped roofs into the gutters but water has more opportunity to pool on flat roofs and drain into the roof’s tiny openings or cracks. Leaks are dangerous not only to the roof but to the contents and structure of your building as well. It’s important to take leaks seriously and respond to them quickly.

Here are some possible reasons why your commercial roof will leak, including:

Damaged Membrane

The purpose of a membrane coating roof system is to protect the inside of the building and its contents from the damage caused by water and the wind. But with age, the membrane might crack, shrink, blister or puncture. If any of those things happen, it can expose the insulation of the roof and allow water inside. This needs to be avoided by repairing the damage to the membrane early. That’s where regular inspections can help you catch any problems. Inspections will also tell you if the membrane needs to be replaced.

Open Penetrations

Things like vents, HVAC units, pipes, and drains are installed through the membrane of the roof. It’s those kinds of open penetrations that can possibly cause leaks. They need to be tightly secured to prevent damage. They should periodically be checked to make sure they are still watertight with the appropriate rain collars, pitch pans, and flashing.

Damaged Flashing

One of the culprits for a large number of leaks in flat commercial roofs is the flashing, which is installed on the outside edges of the roof and interior walls. It is designed to protect the roof’s membrane but if the flashing wasn’t installed right or the flashing gets damaged by the wind or fluctuating temperatures, the edges of the roof cover can become exposed. If this happens, water can leak into the roofing system.

Drainage Problems

Drainage is always a concern for flat roofs and one of the big reasons why your commercial roof will leak. By inspecting your roof, it gives you the opportunity to notice if there is ponding water which remains for 48 hours. Ponding water is typically the result of incorrect sloping, sagging of the roof, or clogs in the drain system. If you see ponding, the roof has a drainage problem that you need to have repaired right away.

Standing water weighs about five pounds per inch, per square foot. That means, if there is a 20-foot by 20-foot area of ponding water that’s just one inch deep, your building’s roof has an extra one-ton load. That’s a lot of extra weight and can lead to the collapsing of the roof as well as leaks, the rotting of the roof membrane, algae, and destruction of the reflective coating.

Regular roof inspections and leak repairs are critical to avoiding costly water damage and structural issues.

Whatever the reasons why your commercial roof will leak, you can take care of the problems quickly if you identify them through regular inspections. Contact our commercial roofers at Kauffman Roofing in Jamesport. We can inspect, repair or restore your roof if needed. You can save your building from damage by responding right away when your roof has signs of trouble.

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