About 40% of building-related problems are due to water intrusion, usually through the roof. If your commercial roof has sprung a leak, don’t wait. Instead, make sure to follow these six steps for addressing roof leaks right away to minimize damage and other complications. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with a long list of losses and expensive costs in your future.
Roofs usually last about half of their designed lifespan, due to the building owner’s lack of preventative roof maintenance and repair of minor issues. It pays off to be diligent, because regular roof inspections for a potential point of entry can postpone full roof replacement. Keep reading to discover how to handle commercial roof leaks today and protect your roof!
1. Find the Source of the Commercial Roof Leak
First, try to determine the source of the leak. It’s important to pinpoint the direct point of entry for the leakage right away. Otherwise, the water damage will continue to spread. Mold and mildew could start to form and develop, as well.
Determine if there are roof penetrations allowing rain to come in or if you have a leak due to another issue.
Common Causes of Commercial Roof Leaks
- Issues with your plumbing, heating, or cooling unit
- A pest infestation
- Clogged gutters
- Cracks in roof membrane
- Failures in flashing
Check the drywall inside your building to determine if there is any damage, but keep in mind that visible water inside the building isn’t necessarily stemming from a leak in the roof directly above that area. Water can travel a significant length, and the entire roof should be assessed by a professional.
Make sure you know how to spot the signs of commercial roof leaks. For example, you might start to notice stains or discoloration on your walls and ceilings. If there’s leakage near a wall, the water stains can run down the corresponding wall, too. Wall or ceiling blisters are also a telltale sign of a leak.
Next, try to determine if there’s a foul odor in your commercial building. Foul smells could indicate there’s mold hidden behind the wall. Mold prefers to grow in moist environments. If water is entering your facility, mold can grow and spread. If you notice signs of mold growth, call for help right away. Otherwise, you could put your employees’ health at risk.
Remember, large leaks can indicate structural damage to the building and roof. If water is leaking into your building, it could damage expensive equipment and other items, too, so stay vigilant.
2. Clear the Affected Area Inside the Commercial Property
Once you pinpoint the source of the leak, try to minimize interior damage as much as possible. Clear the area of expensive equipment and supplies to minimize losses. Place a bucket underneath the leak to collect water until you can patch the damage. If any people work in that area, have them stay away, if possible, to prevent any contact with potential mold.
If you can’t clear the area, that’s okay. Instead, cover your equipment and possessions with a plastic tarp to protect your belongings from future damage.
Move anything else that could become vulnerable to water damage in the meantime. For example, you might want to remove furniture, desks, and electronics from the room. Remove any art you have on the walls, too.
3. Mark the Entry Point for Water Damage
Once you locate the leak’s point of entry, make sure to mark the area. Marking visible leaks can help both your insurance agent and roofing contractor. Otherwise, you might waste valuable time trying to find the source of the leak again. A good tip is to use a bright-colored piece of tape to mark the entrance point.
Complete this step as soon as possible (while the leak is occurring). If the area dries up, you might struggle to locate the leak in the future. Make sure your employees are aware of the problem and rope off walkways to ensure no one slips and falls, too.
4. Pinpoint Other Issues
After determining that you have a leaky roof on your commercial building, complete a full walkthrough of your property. Look for other signs of leaks within your building. Hopefully, you only have a single leak limited to one area, but it’s absolutely possible to have multiple leaks at once.
Remember, you might struggle to pinpoint leaks in your commercial roofing after the weather clears up. Complete your walkthrough while it’s still raining; you’ll have an easier time spotting signs of a leaking roof.
If it’s not raining but you still have a leak, consider other factors that might cause the problem. For example, you might want to investigate your HVAC unit or plumbing. Alternatively, if you have a flat roof, it can collect standing water that continues to leak after the rain has passed.
5. Call Your Insurance Agent
Once you get the situation under control, make sure to call your insurance agent. Determine if your insurance policy covers interior damage from roof leaks. (It might cover the cost of commercial roof repair services, too!) One in every 50 properties has a water damage claim each year.
Your insurance agent will work with you to figure out what is covered under the policy, and can help review any warranty. Many building owners forget that their roof could be covered under warranty from the manufacturer and roof leak repairs may be covered (depending on what caused the roof damage).
6. Call a Commercial Roofing Contractor
Remember, a commercial roofing professional can assist in all areas when a leak is suspected. You don’t have to go through this process alone! Addressing roof leaks on your own can become time consuming and exhausting. Instead, call a roofing professional you can count on.
Fixing a roof leak right away can minimize future damages and losses. Ask your commercial roof contractor if they can spot the source of the leak by having them examine your entire roof system. They should be able to recognize signs that your roof is aging and needs repairs related or unrelated to the leaks.
Usually, you’ll have three options after your commercial roof springs a leak:
- Repair the damaged area
- Replace the entire commercial roofing system
- Restore the top coating
Take the time to review your options with a professional roofing company. They can help you determine the best course of action based on the severity of the damage.
Protect Your Business: 6 Steps to Follow When Your Commercial Roof is Leaking
Don’t let a commercial roof leak cause lasting damage to your facility. Instead, make sure to follow these six simple steps right away!
Failing to take immediate action may lead to additional property damage. Remember to call a trusted commercial roofer, like TEMA Roofing Services. We’re here to help, with decades of experience under our belt. Request a service or quote from our team by simply calling or checking us out online. We look forward to being your commercial roofing partner.