Your commercial property has a leaky roof. Now what do you do? Leave the repair in the hands of your facilities crew? Contact your insurance company? Call in your roofer? How will you prevent roof leaks in the future? As always, as your local, dependable commercial roofers, we have answers to all your questions.
Causes of Roof Leaks
Commercial roofs are as varied as the businesses beneath them. The causes of roof leaks, then, are also many and varied:
- Bad installation — If your original roofer did a poor job installing your industrial or commercial roof, expect to see several causes of leaks such as open seams, poorly attached membrane, and inadequate flashing
- Broken roof surface materials — The most common reason for roof leaks in commercial roofs, tears and breaks in the roof surface can be caused by storms, high winds, or blunt impact
- Broken or dislodged flashing — Flashing can be cracked, torn from mechanical fasteners, or damaged over time
- Clogged drainage — Internal drains and exterior parapet scuppers, or horizontal gutters and vertical downspouts, can become clogged due to neglect or heavy storm debris; this causes ponding and leaks
- Neglect — An ignored roof gets its revenge over time; a leak may begin that goes undetected because the roof is not regularly inspected, cleaned, and repaired
Though rare in Florida, another cause of roof leaks is ice. Ice can form along a roof edge, creating an ice dam that prevents proper drainage. This backed up water can leak through or start a ponding problem.
Who Fixes Roof Leaks?
Who fixes your commercial roof when leaks appear? Should you rely on the good folks in maintenance? Can your facilities crew squeeze the added work into their schedules?
In most cases, your commercial roof should be inspected, maintained and repaired by your commercial roofer. Many issues arise when you ask untrained workers to seal or repair a roof:
- Warranties can be voided — Almost every leading manufacturer of roofing materials warrants their products, but the warranty can be voided by having unqualified workers on the roof
- Wrong roofing materials can be used accidentally — Membranes, for example, can appear similar but be very different compositions
- Wrong techniques can ruin a roof — A seam that should be hot sealed, for example, may instead be closed with liquid adhesives which eventually fail
- Aftermarket products may entice but be useless — Hardware store products which sound like miracles seldom are; slopping on buckets of roof sealant can do more harm than good
- Workers have feet — Sounds silly, we know, but untrained workers on a commercial roof can do far more damage with their work boots than they remedy with their hands
The advantages of calling in your neighborhood commercial roofer far outweigh any concerns over costs and scheduling. Commercial roofing crews know where to walk on a low-slope roof, what to look for in needed repairs, and where roof leaks are likely to originate.
Shifting the responsibility for the roof repair to your local roofing contractor also helps with warranty concerns and insurance issues.
No roof leak can be ignored. No roof can be ignored. This is a major blind spot for most facilities managers. What causes leaky roof problems the most? Pretending a) a small leak will stay small and b) your commercial roof needs no attention.
Regular maintenance is the key to preventing roof leaks. An annual or semiannual inspection by your local roofer can keep tiny repairs from becoming budget-busting nightmares. Coupled with inspection is a schedule for routine cleaning and repair work.
Once a roof leak is spotted, getting it fixed must be a priority. No industrial roof is self-healing, and no roof leak will get smaller with time. Act promptly, get your roofer in to track down the origin of the leak, and get your roof expertly repaired.
A regular maintenance plan is not a crystal ball. Leaks may still happen, but they will never get out of control.
Having expert eyes on your roof, inside your roof deck, and in the occupied spaces of your commercial property, your roofer will spot impending problems and put a stop to them:
- A tiny open seam gets closed immediately, using the right adhesive method
- A poor installation job gets remedied
- Storm damage is put right, right away
- Clogged drains are cleared promptly, and the roof swept free of debris
- No part of the roof gets a chance to deteriorate from neglect
Your local, helpful commercial roofer can apply waterproof coatings and sealants correctly, whether by brush or spray.
PSI Roofing in Oakland Park is your tried-and-true partner in commercial roof repairs. We can handle any size leak in any type of commercial roof. Contact us today to find out more about our complete line of services for commercial building owners and managers.