The Flat Roof Specialists

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Top Causes of Commercial Roof Leaks

Commercial roofs have many threats, including severe weather, time, and human activities. Roof leaks cause mold and mildew growth, as well as wall and ceiling damage. If left unchecked, leaks can extensively damage interiors and threaten the entire building’s integrity. Explore the common causes of commercial roof leaks below.

Punctures and Penetrations

Scrapes and cuts on your roof’s membrane can let in water. HVAC experts, satellite technicians, plumbers, and other maintenance staff can cause punctures as they work on the roof.
For instance, a worker may be careless with sharp equipment and drop it on the roof. Foot traffic can also stress your roof, especially if your workers have unlimited access to the roof area.
Wild animals like raccoons and squirrels also commonly congregate on rooftops. Unfortunately, the animals can scratch the roof surface and cause punctures.
Severe weather is another culprit for roof damage, as big storms can hurl tree debris against the roof or dislodge mechanical equipment.

Old Age

Roofing membranes degrade over time due to continuous exposure to the elements. Although you can delay natural damage with proper maintenance, the roof will not last forever. Over time, the roof’s membrane wears thin and lets in water. 
The replacement frequency depends on the quality of the initial installation and the material. Modern roofing systems can last for at least a couple of decades, but you should ask a roofing expert about your roof’s structural integrity.

Insufficient Drainage

Standing water deteriorates roofing materials and leads to leaks. If you leave water on your roof for too long, it can drain into any cracks and crevices. 
Most commercial roofs have flat roofs for aesthetic purposes. Unfortunately, poor drainage is a common issue with these roofs. The best way to prevent drainage issues with your commercial flat roof is to hire an expert roofing contractor. The technician ensures the roof has sufficient slope to encourage water flow. Also, the contractor may add more drains to improve drainage.
If your roof has stagnant water, check if debris has accumulated in the gutters. Clear gutters are an essential part of a roofing system. Over time, leaves and twigs block gutters and cause poor drainage. A roofing professional can also check if the gutter has an adequate slope to the downspout. 

Damaged Flashing

Flashing is metal, aluminum, or galvanized steel roofing pieces that protect against leaks. Roofing contractors place flashing between the roof and roof components to direct water to gutters.
Flashing pieces are durable, but they can sustain damage from heat, wind, or rain. Additionally, severe storms can loosen the flashing. Flashing also rusts with age and bends as the building settles.
Damaged or missing flashing lets water into your building, and a roofing expert has to examine the entire flashing to identify the leak’s origin. Poor installation can also result in flashing failure and subsequent leaks.

Poor Maintenance

As your commercial roof ages, roofing components are prone to more damage. For example, ice erodes the roof’s sealing and causes water leaks. Bad weather can also cause holes and cracks on the roof’s membrane and lead to additional problems like mold growth. A roofing contractor checks for siding defects like holes and cracks from old age.
Professional roofers examine different parts of your commercial roof, such as the drains, edges, gutters, shingles, flashing, and valley treatment. If any of these structures has defects, the roofer completes the necessary repairs to prevent water leaks. Ultimately, preventative maintenance saves you time and money.
Commercial roof leaks are a cause for concern for any property manager or business owner. Fortunately, our roofing technicians at The Flat Roof Specialists can pinpoint the leak’s causes and perform the necessary repairs. Call us today to stay ahead of destructive leaks.
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