How to Spot a Leak in Your Commercial Roof

How to Spot a Leak in Your Commercial Roof

Rufus WestRoof Maintenance

Nobody wants to see a leak in their roof. Unfortunately, it happens, but the earlier you catch and repair a roof leak, the better your building and wallet will be in the long run.

At West Roofing Systems, we take pride in the new roofs we install and the maintenance we provide to our customers and their commercial, industrial and manufacturing buildings. Our M.a.R.S. (Maintenance and Repair Service) Program is available for new and existing roof systems.

Read More: Commercial Roof Maintenance 101

You may have a leak in your commercial roof and not even know it. There are more warning signs of a commercial roof leak other than water inside your building. In this article, we will outline some ways that you can spot a leak in your commercial roof and what to do if you find a roof leak.

Signs of a Commercial Roof Leak

Indoor MoldStained Ceiling or Walls

Whether you have ceiling tiles or other types of ceiling systems in your facility, extended exposure to water will create a discolored area in your ceiling. If the leak is near a wall, the water stains could run down the corresponding wall; if this is the case, there could also be water damage within the wall.

Visible Damage to Roof or Flashings

Many types of roof damage can cause leaks into your commercial building. Most of the time you can catch a roof leak before it enters your building by being vigilant and keeping your roof in good shape. This can be done by signing up for a maintenance plan and having a roofing contractor inspect, clean and repair your roof regularly.

Some signs of damage that can lead to roof leaks:

  • Standing water from poor drainage – clogged drains will cause water to collect and look like ponds on your roof
  • Membrane blisters or alligatoring – aged and weathered membranes will look cracked or bubbled
  • Open seams – the edges of the membrane on your roof can become unsecured
  • Tears or holes in membranes – whether it’s from something falling on your roof, or someone walking, a tear or hole in your roof can be repaired if caught early
  • Damaged flashing – the metal flashing around your roof can become unsecured or damaged after severe weather

Odor and Mold

A foul smell in your facility could be a red flag for hidden mold. Mold grows in moist environments, so if water is continually entering your building, there is a high chance that mold could grow and spread. A mold problem in your commercial facility should not be taken lightly as it could cause illness.

Read More: Mold Remediation in Commercial Buildings Guide from the EPA

Commercial Roof LeakWater Dripping or Puddles Inside Your Building

The most sure fire sign of a commercial roof leak is when you can visibly see water entering your building, whether it is a puddle on the floor or dripping above your head. This type of leak could cause damage to not only your roof and building structure, but it could damage equipment and other items inside the building as well.

Higher Energy Bills

If you have a roof leak, it can saturate your insulation before it lets water into your building. In addition to wet insulation, holes in your roof can decrease the insulation factor of your building. When your building cannot retain warm air in the winter or cold air in the summer, it will raise your energy bills to compensate for the loss of insulation.
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Read More: Business is saving hundreds of dollars a month on energy bills after a new roof replacement

What to Do If You Have a Leak in Your Roof

Minimize Interior Damage

When you see water flowing into your building, clear the area of people, equipment, and supplies to reduce damage. When the area is clear, collect the water in a bucket or similar receptacle to keep it from collecting on your floor.

Download: My Roof is Leaking: What Caused It and What You Can Do

Commercial Roofing RepairsMark the Point of Entry

Make sure you mark where your leak is located. Marking the visible leaks is essential for when you talk to your contractors and insurance agents. It’s best to do this while the leak is occurring, because it may be difficult to locate the leak after the area has dried.

Look for More Problem Areas

Hopefully, your leak is only limited to one area, but chances are there are other leaks in your building. Look around your facility for more problem areas. If you have a leak while there is no rain in your area, investigate other causes. Some examples include plumbing or air conditioning units.

Read More: Help! My Commercial Roof is Leaking!

No matter how you treat a commercial roof leak, it’s important to remedy the problem before it grows. Even the smallest leak can cause serious problems if not treated. Water getting through your roofing system can cause considerable damage, from mold to structural damage.

If you are looking for maintenance, repair or replacement of your facilities roof, fill out our quote form for your free no-obligation commercial roof quote from our team of experts.

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About the Author

Rufus West