Most Common Causes of Commercial Roof Leaks

If your commercial roof is leaking it could be due to a number of issues. To save you time and money in finding the cause, we’ve put together some of the most common causes of commercial roof leaks and the best course of action to take for a solid commercial roof repair.

Poorly Designed Flat Roofing Systems

A poorly designed flat roofing system can often prevent rainwater from effectively draining away, resulting in ponding water. Standing water to a flat roof area is often defined as water that has not drained away from the roof area 48hrs after rainfall.

Standing water is often caused by a lack of pitch/falls or when rainwater outlets and guttering are blocked with debris.

While ponding water can be completely harmless to your flat roofing system, standing water on a flat roof can cause:

  • Sagging of the roof from additional weight
  • Increased leaks
  • Build-up of moss and plants
  • Faster deterioration of the roofing system

If your roof is experiencing ponding water, there are a variety of methods which can help rectify the problem.

These include:

  • Installing additional rainwater outlets
  • Adding a tapered insulation scheme to create effective falls at roof level

Damaged Perimeter Flashing

Damage to your perimeter flashing can be caused by a number of things such as:

  • an incorrect initial installation
  • extreme weather conditions such as high winds and excessive rainfall
  • expansion and contraction in different temperatures

The above can cause holes, tears and breaks and weakness in the perimeter flashing of your roof which means moisture and water can seep in and cause leakage into the building and internal roofing systems. It is essential to repair the edging to stop the leak.

By keeping on top of the perimeter flashing you can minimise leakage in the future.

The Age of the Roofing System

Like anything in life, roofs suffer from general wear and tear and if your roof is over a certain age, one of the problems you’re going to see is leakage. It’s simple deterioration that can’t be avoided.

The timescale of the deterioration of your roof depends entirely on the material used, the standard of the initial installation and external, environmental factors.

At a certain point, it may be more economical to invest in a complete commercial roof replacement rather than constantly trying to repair and deal with individual sections problems. Most commercial roofing contractors will advise you that a partial or complete replacement would be better at this point.

Open Roof Penetrations

Open roof penetrations include things like:

  • drains
  • pipes
  • HVAC units
  • vents
  • gas lines

Because these often puncture the roof membrane, if there is a leak it can do significant damage to the inside of the roof system and the interior of your building.

These are all susceptible to leaks and so it’s important that they are kept watertight to reduce this chance. You can do this via a number of methods such as:

  • flashing
  • field wraps
  • rain collars
  • pipe boots
  • pitch pans

Whatever the cause of your leak, it’s vital that you get proactive with your commercial roof repairs to minimise any damage.

For further information regarding commercial roof leaks, please ensure you get in contact with one of our experienced commercial roofing contractors today.