Here at Absolute Commercial Roofing in Loveland, we see a lot of roof leaks. Why is your commercial roof leaking? Here we cover some of the most common reasons that we’ve come across over the years. The best way to avoid a roof leak that causes a lot of damage and comes with an expensive repair bill is to have regular roof inspections done by an experienced, professional company, such as our own Absolute Commercial Roofing.
Clogged Drainage or Ponding
If your commercial roof is flat, like most are, proper drainage becomes incredibly important. If your drains are clogged or malfunctioning, you might have a roof that looks more like a swimming pool. This is what is referred to as ponding water. Ponding water is a pool or pools of water that are not draining from your roof.
This is one of the main reasons a roof develops leaks. Ponding water can quickly strain your roof because one square foot of ponding water can weigh approximately 5 pounds per inch of water. If you have a ponding problem, it could be that your drainage is clogged or maybe you have a problem with your gutters, scuppers, or downspouts.
It is important to understand that in some instances, your current drainage system may not be capable of removing water properly and may require flat roof restoration and repair.
Leak repair is usually a necessity along the exterior edges of roofs and also often along internal parapet walls. This is where flashing is installed to preserve the roof membrane. The flashing can become damaged over time. Additionally, storms with high winds can loosen or blow away some flashing. It is also possible that some flashing may not have been properly installed in the first place.
Regardless of the reason, missing or damaged flashing exposes the roofing. This allows moisture and water access to the membrane and possibly the structure underneath the membrane. Such a small repair can be the source of a commercial roof leaking and damage if not repaired quickly.
Because missing or damaged flashing is such a common trouble spot that can cause deterioration in your roofing system, keeping an eye on your flashing can help keep your roof in good shape. It all starts with regular roof inspections and if necessary, timely commercial roof leak detection and repair.
On roofs, penetrations are any items that stick up through the roof’s membrane. Common penetrations include pipes, drains, vents, conduits, HVAC units, hot stacks, gas-lines, and more. Every roof penetration site is a potential leak site. Each penetration is considered a weak spot in the roof membrane, so it is a prime location to inspect your commercial roof regularly. The inspection should include checking that the flashing, rain collars, pipe boots, field wraps, and pitch pans are all water tight and functioning properly.
The primary function of your roofing membrane is to stop water from reaching your commercial building’s interior. The condition of the roofing membrane is crucial to preventing commercial roof leaking. As your roofing membrane ages, the material can be prone to blistering, cracking, shrinking, or holes. These can expose your building to water and water damage.
If you see such visible damage, we strongly recommend contacting a roofing professional, like our team of professionals at Absolute Commercial Roofing in Loveland. A professional can ensure that the damage is repaired immediately and properly and they can help make sure that you won’t necessarily need a full-scale roof replacement.
Sometimes the original installation is the actual source of your problems. The reasons can range from adhesive issues to inappropriate drying time or not using the proper installation technique for the product. When the source is a poor installation job, it can be difficult to determine. This is one of the primary reasons a professional inspection is worthwhile. They can spot such issues and offer corrective services that may not be obvious to a general observer and help to prevent commercial roof leaking disasters.
The more a roof is used for any reason: an HVAC installation, pipe repairs, or vent inspection, etc., the more likely it is that your roof will experience a leak. Limiting roof traffic to only the absolutely necessary will help you avoid possible leaks and extend the life of your commercial roof. Also, creating supported walkways for the necessary foot traffic may be something to consider.
If regular inspections are not done and your roof is generally ignored, some important routine maintenance may be missing. This can spell trouble for a commercial building. Maintenance can save you big hassles, big trouble, and a great deal of money. It is way easier and way less expensive to fix your flashing than it is to replace a roof. Maintenance is key to saving you money and time.
Age of the Roof System
All roofing systems have a lifespan. Many flat roof systems have lifespans of 15-20 years. Once a roof reaches its life span it may deteriorate fairly quickly. The life of your roof depends on the material used but also on the care and maintenance along the way. If your roof has reached the end of its expected lifespan, it may be time to consider a full replacement or restoration using a rubber roof coating or other similar option. Your roofing professional, such as Absolute Commercial Roofing in Loveland, can help you determine if your roof really has reached the end and what steps are required next to ensure the integrity of your commercial roof system and safety of your building.
If you’re in need of a commercial roof replacement or only need a small commercial roof repair, Absolute Commercial Roofing in Loveland can help. Why is your commercial roof leaking? We can help you figure that out and we can determine the best way to repair it. Call us if you need a repair, replacement, or if you want to get a commercial roof inspection scheduled to avoid problems in the future.