Are you prepared to spend a few thousand dollars repairing your commercial roof next season? Most likely not! It’s imperative to practice preventative maintenance on a commercial roof, as well as know what danger signs to look out for to keep your roof in top shape and avoid costly repairs.
When most people think of a roof leak, they picture a stream of water dripping down from the ceiling into a container. Although commercial roof leaks can happen this way, most leakages are not as direct. There are many different types and causes of roof leaks.
There are also different ways to find signs of a commercial roof leak. Some of these signs are obvious, while others seem unrelated to a leakage. It’s crucial to understand these signs because roof leakages can be devastating if they go unnoticed or unaddressed.
A leaking commercial roof, for example, can lead to product damage, loss of business, and expensive repairs if the damage is extensive. It can also pose a health hazard to your employees and customers if extensive roof leakage results in mold and mildew growth. You’ll also experience esthetic problems with rotting roof decks, frames, or ceiling boards.
Here are several top signs of commercial roof leaks to look out for when inspecting your property. Remember, you have to examine both the indoor and outdoors.
1. Water Puddles or Drips
The most obvious sign of a residential or commercial roof leak is a pond or dripping water in an area that was previously dry. If it rains and a particular area in the building suddenly becomes saturated with water, there could be a leak. In such a case, you need to have an immediate roof inspection to find the water source.
You can do it by yourself if you have the right tools and expertise. If you don’t, call a professional roof expert to avoid doing more damage to the structure or hurting yourself in the process. If such a leak is left unfixed for long, you risk extensive structural destruction to your property.
2. Spots and Stains on the Ceiling, Roof, or Walls
Another major indicator of roof leakage is water stains or spots on walls, roofs, and ceilings. The spots are typically light brown, and they can come in any shape. They mostly appear as rings on ceilings, and as flowing stripes on walls.
If you notice these stains or the peeling of paint or wallpaper on ceilings and walls, your roof could be leaking. Other factors such as pipe leakages could also cause the stains. Make sure that your pipes are not leaking before concluding the problem is with the roof.
However, if the spots or discoloration gets bigger each time it rains, then you can be sure your roof is leaking.
3. Water Ponds on Roof
Aside from water ponds inside the building, any puddles of water on the roof should also be a cause for concern. Roofs are designed to be your property’s first line of defense against elements like moisture. So, water collecting on the roof is a recipe for disaster.
If you notice any water pools on your roof, especially if it’s a flat roof, take action immediately. These ponds will accelerate the aging and deterioration of your roof. They will cause steel rust and wood rot, and eventually create channels for water seepage into your building.
Plus, if left unaddressed for a long time, the water ponds could become too heavy for the roof to hold. This could lead to a dented or collapsed roof deck.
4. Buckling or Curling Shingles
If your commercial property has a shingle roof, inspect them for damage. Buckling or curling shingles are a common sign of a roof leak. Curling shingles are those that bend at the corners and lift away from the roof.
Buckling shingles, on the other hand, are those that cave in at the center and create gaps between them and the roof. When these two conditions occur, they allow water to seep into your roof and lead to leakage. A professional roof expert can spot these problems and suggest repairs to stop the damage.
5. Damaged Roof Flashing
Flashing is the material used in roof joints to protect a roof’s cover. Flashing expands and contracts due to weather changes, and this can make it wear and tear over time. This makes them vulnerable to water leakage.
Severe storms and winds can also loosen flashing. Also, if it wasn’t installed properly or it has aged, it can allow water seepage into the facility.
6. Moisture or Mold Build up in Your Facility
Mold and mildew growth are common signs that a building has high moisture content. Mold only requires moisture, warmth, oxygen, and organic matter to grow. This means that the attic or basement of your facility is a perfect breeding ground for mold.
If you detect mold in your property, it could be an indication of a commercial roof leak. Check where the mold is growing and determine the source of moisture around the area. Inspect your attic and see if there are moisture spots.
Mold should not be taken lightly in a commercial facility. It can cause various respiratory health issues to your workers and customers. It can also cause damage to your products, especially if you’re a producer of fast consumer moving goods.
7. Bubbles on the Roof
Bubbles are raised portions of a roof. They are caused by moisture accumulation under the roofing cover. This trapped moisture can be the cause of a roof leak in your facility.
8. Damaged or Missing Granules
Granules are particles added to shingles to make them more durable and resistant to fire and UV rays. As shingles get old, these granules are slowly lost. Too much loss of granules leaves the shingles unprotected from harsh weather elements like rain, making them prone to leakage.
Know How to Spot a Commercial Roof Leak!
As a commercial property owner or manager, don’t be caught off-guard by a roof leakage. Know all the signs of a commercial roof leak and take action before disaster strikes. Save your business money by contacting us for commercial roof inspections, repair, installation, or advice!