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Why Does My Commercial Flat Roof Leak?

Why Does My Commercial Flat Roof Leak?

Commercial rooftops are designed to be durable, but old age and damage can still take their toll. When a leak in a commercial roof develops, it’s important to notice immediately and take action. Left alone, a leak can spread through a commercial building and cause all kinds of additional problems that can be very expensive to repair. Fortunately, experienced roof technicians can examine leak problems and quickly find their source so the issue can be resolved. Here are some of the most common causes behind commercial roof leaks.

Drainage Problems

While many commercial rooftops look flat, they are actually designed with very specific slopes to help water drain off the roof whenever it rains. When these slopes and designs don’t work properly, you get standing or “ponding” water that lingers on the roof for days. This is a serious problem because standing water can encourage algae growth and cause lots of damage to the materials beneath it, eventually leading to serious leaks. If standing water is a problem on your roof, that means that a new drainage solution needs to be installed to prevent issues. Consult a professional roofer to find out what options you have!

Damaged Flashing

Flashing is metal strips that protect the edges of roofing material around vents, doorways, chimneys, and so on. However, sometimes flashing can be improperly installed, or it may warp and rust with age, creating gaps in these edges. These gaps are the perfect entry point for rainwater, allowing the water to seep beneath the roofing materials and create serious leak problems. Fortunately, this is a simple issue to fix – roofers can locate the flashing that’s presenting a problem and replace it.

Damaged Membranes

Commercial rooftops typically use tough membranes for protection. These membranes come in a wide variety of materials and are easy to install on large surfaces. However, they do have their weaknesses. Some can be damaged and cracked by the heat, some don’t respond well to freezing temperatures, and all can be damaged by falling debris, like branches hitting the roof during a windstorm. When the membrane is punctured, this provides a key entry point for water and a serious leak results. That section of the roof must be patched to fix the problem.

While many commercial rooftops look flat, they are actually designed with very specific slopes to help water drain off the roof whenever it rains.

Issues with Roof Age

Even the toughest commercial rooftops can grow weaker with age and develop problems. In this case, you may see several of the above issues happen at the same time, or start to happen more frequently. This is a sign that you need a new roof entirely, and basic patching probably won’t be enough to fix the issue. You may also want to consider switching to a different roofing material if it looks like the current material isn’t holding up very well in your climate.

Does it seem like your commercial roof may have a problem? It’s important to find out what the issue is and the extent of any damage as soon as you can! Schedule your commercial roof inspection with Rosie’s Roofing and Restoration, and we can provide the professional help that you need.

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