A contractor fixing a commercial roof leak.

Are you starting to suspect that you may have a leaky roof? Have you noticed puddles of water indoors or maybe even some water stains on the walls of your commercial building? Hail and other extreme weather cause more than $1 billion in structural damages each year, and commercial roof leaks are particularly costly.

If you’re a commercial building owner or property manager that suspects there’s roof damage, it’s worth looking into before it becomes a major problem. We’ll give you the inside scoop on commercial roof leaks to help you figure out if you need roof inspection and roof maintenance before you need a completely new roof all together.

Signs of a Leaky Roof

One of the first signs of a damaged roof is water damage. You might chalk up the source of the leak to minor pipe issues, but commercial roof leaks can turn serious in a matter of a few days. The problem with commercial roof leaks is that they often lead to mildew and mold. Once you’ve got mold in your walls, it’s essential to remove it. Another sign of a leaky roof is a strong smell of mold. If you’re using your commercial building for manufacturing, you might not notice the smell right away.

If you’ve got a leaky roof, you might be able to see it from the outside of your building. You may have shingles falling after a high wind, or you may actually be able to see part of your roof’s protective lining blowing in the breeze. In general, if you think you’ve got a damaged roof, you probably do. Don’t let cut-rate contractors convince you that you’ve only got one leaky pipe if the reality is that you need more work done. Look for professional roofing contractors who use top-quality roofing materials and provide warranties. Make sure they’re licensed, bonded, and insured.

Common Signs and Causes of a Damaged Roof

There are some common causes and signs of leaky roofs and if you have existing roofing issues, it’s best to contact a commercial roof repair company. However, there are some extra steps you can take to prevent further damage.

Exterior Water Intrusion

First, remove all standing water on your roof. Professionals call this “ponding,” and it’s a major indicator of future problems. You should never have any water soaking into your roof, even after a storm.

Ponding water is a primary indication that your roof’s drainage system is coming up short. Check your drains, gutters, and downspouts as a part of your regular maintenance plan to make sure they’re moving water the way they should. This is especially important for commercial flat roofs.

If you have ponding on your commercial roof and you can remove it yourself, go ahead, but it’s recommended to call roofing experts.

Interior Water Intrusion

Also, make a note of any ponding that you see inside of your building. Water intrusion is never a good sign. Knowing where the leaks are appearing will help your contractors trace their sources. When you talk to your professional roofing contractor about roof replacement and repair options, make sure you ask about new “fluid” roof coatings. They’re made to prevent ponding and can actually lower your heating costs.

Fluid roofs are a type of roof that have a white finish and are tax deductible for the year you get them installed. They carry warranties of up to 15 years and could be a good long-term solution.

Roof Penetrations

A common cause of commercial roof leaks is roof penetrations such as the entry point of your HVAC system, vent pipes or skylights. Your chimney might also be prone to leaks, especially right where it meets the roof. Be especially aware of this issue with commercial flat roofs. Before you request help for roof leak repair, see if you can spot the cause. You may not be able to repair it yourself, but you’ll be able to give the contractor more information once they start the project.

Dips in Roof’s Surface

If you feel any dips in your roof’s surface, make a note of it. These are called “soft spots” and could be an indication of serious roof damage. You should also make sure that you don’t have any visible mildew, mold, lichen, or algae on your roof’s surface. Even if your roof is in good condition, make sure to check your HVAC units, gas, and water pipes’ entry points on a regular basis. If you’re planning on removing algae from your property’s roof yourself, make sure that you aren’t going to accidentally void the shingles’ warranty.

Finding Professional Commercial Roofing Contractors

If you know for sure that your commercial roof is leaking, it’s time to call in the pros. But how can you be sure you’re hiring a trustworthy roofers? First, talk to some of your friends and family and see who they’ve worked with. If you like the work that was done and it’s holding up well, that’s a good first step toward finding a contractor.

Another thing to consider with your roofing company is how long they’ve been in business. When you’re wondering how to fix a leaking roof, you need a company that can come in and solve your problems, not create more. Look for a company that has been in business for more than 10 years. The longer they’ve been around, the better. See if you can find customer reviews online and get a sense for how quickly and professionally they complete the work.

Working Together

Recently, construction companies have started to shift to a new method of working. It’s called “design/build,” and it means that you get contractors and architects on the same team. You only have to sign one contract, and the work typically gets completed more quickly.

How to Deal with an Emergency Commercial Roof Leak

If you’ve got a commercial roof leak that can’t wait, give your professional roofing contractor a call. Remove any equipment from the area of the leak and don’t let employees into that part of your commercial building. The best professional roofing contractors will be able to handle leaky roofs at any time of day or night. They will make your business a priority and help you get back to work quickly.

Finding a roofing service with a great reputation doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s just a matter of knowing where to start and who to trust. It’s also a matter of getting service that completely solves the problem instead of just delaying it.

A Commercial Roofing Company with Years of Expertise

TEMA Roofing Services is in its third generation. We have more than 100 years of combined experience and have installed more than 50 million square feet of roofing for our clients.

Take a few minutes and give us a quick call. You can also submit a request online for a free consultation. At TEMA, we’re happy to help and are committed to helping you repair, manage and maintain your commercial roofing system.