Commercial Roof Leak Repair Guide

Commercial Roof Leak Repair Guide

After a heavy rain or snowstorm, the last thing on your mind as a commercial building owner is whether or not your roof is leaking. But one visible drip, puddle, or streak is enough to strike fear as they all are signs that water has infiltrated your commercial roof.

When you notice a leak, what should you do? Our guide provides everything you need to know about your commercial roof leak, from identifying its source to what you can expect from a professional roofing contractor when they visit.

No matter how small your commercial roof leak is, it’s important to take care of it sooner rather than later to avoid potentially expensive and dangerous consequences.

How Will I Know if My Commercial Roof Has a Leak?

Identifying a leak in your commercial roof isn’t always as easy as seeing a puddle in the middle of your floor. Depending on the type of leak you have, there are various signs to look for that will help you know whether or not your roof is leaking.

Indoor Signs of a Commercial Roof Leak

From water stains to puddles, you’re far more likely to notice a roof leak inside your commercial building than outside. After rain and snow storms, it’s best practice to look around your building for any signs of a leak, as even the slightest drip can lead to severe issues.

Water Stains and Discoloration

Yellow or brown water stains on ceilings, walls, or around light fixtures indicate a commercial roof leak. These stains are hard to ignore, even though they vary in size and shape.

Dripping Water or Puddles

The most obvious sign of a commercial roof leak is dripping water or puddles on the floor. If you find any puddles, look up at your ceiling to determine where the water is coming from. You may notice signs of a more significant leak.

Dripping water and puddles are signs of a potentially dangerous problem, and you must reach out to a commercial roofing professional as soon as possible.

Musty Odors

The growth of mold and mildew often result from accumulated moisture inside the walls of your building. If you notice a musty smell, there is the possibility that water has leaked in from your roof and is creating life-threatening mold spores.

Sagging Ceilings or Walls

Once water infiltration leads to structural damage, you and your commercial roof are in danger. Too much water leakage causes ceilings or walls to sag or bow, and you must reach out to a commercial roofing professional immediately.

Outdoor Signs of a Commercial Roof Leak

When checking your commercial roof for leakage outdoors, look at the materials themselves. Missing shingles, torn roof membranes, and clogged gutters lead to potentially expensive repairs.

Damaged or Missing Roofing Materials

Cracked, blistered, or missing shingles, tiles, or roofing membranes expose your commercial roof to leaks. Call a commercial roofing professional for repairs and maintenance at the first sign of visible damage.

Clogged or Damaged Gutters and Downspouts

Pools of water on your commercial roof weaken its structure, which is why unclogged gutters and downspouts are so important. Without a way for the water to move off the roof, the water overflows, leading to leaks and damage along the building’s exterior walls.

Water Pooling on the Roof

Always check the roof for any signs of water pooling after a rainstorm. The longer water stays on the roof, the weaker the integrity of the materials, which can lead to possible leaks.

What Causes a Commercial Roof Leak?

It isn’t always just natural wear and tear causing your commercial roof leaks.

Flaws in design and lapses in the initial roofing installation play a pivotal role in whether or not your commercial roof will spring a leak. 

Vulnerabilities emerge when commercial roofs need to account for proper water drainage or when materials are aptly matched to the building’s geographical and climatic challenges. Just a few oversights expedite the deterioration process.

Also, foot traffic on the roof for maintenance or installation of equipment can inadvertently damage the roofing material or compromise the seal integrity. These are always a bit harder to identify and prevent, which is why regularly scheduled maintenance is so important.

For some regions of America, extreme conditions like heavy rain, snow, and ice exploit weaknesses in the roofing system. 

Temperature fluctuations cause materials to expand and contract, potentially creating gaps or cracks. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can degrade roofing materials over time, making them more susceptible to leaks.

Identifying the Source of a Commercial Roof Leak

Ridgeworth Roofing utilizes various proven methods from our decades of experience working with commercial roofs to help identify and fix leak-related issues. Our trained experts have helped thousands of commercial building owners in the Chicagoland area repair their roofs.

Roof Inspection

A comprehensive roof inspection allows roofers to carefully inspect your entire roofing system, including the membrane, flashings, seams, gutters, downspouts, vents, skylights, and other roof penetrations. We recommend only allowing trained commercial roofing experts to inspect your roof, as it’s easy to slip, fall, or injure yourself when performing a self-inspection.

Water Testing

Like mechanics who identify leaks in tires, roofers simulate rainfall by spraying water over specific roof areas. They look for signs of leakage inside the building while narrowing down the potential areas of concern.

Moisture Detection Technology

For trickier leaks, commercial roofers use moisture detection technology, such as infrared thermography or moisture meters, to identify areas of trapped moisture or hidden leaks beneath the roof surface. These tools allow them to detect temperature variations or moisture levels that indicate the presence of leaks.

Tracing Stains and Water Pathways

The simplest way to identify the source of a leak is to trace the paths of water stains or water penetration from the interior back to the roof’s exterior. This involves analyzing the pattern of water stains on interior surfaces and determining how water might have traveled from the roof’s entry point.

What Options are There for Fixing My Commercial Roof?

Before immediately suggesting a complete commercial roof replacement, other repair methods are cost-effective and extend the lifespan of your building’s roof.

Patching and Sealants

When it comes to minor leaks, we often use patching and sealants. First, we determine where the water comes from; then, our team applies sealants or patches to prevent further water intrusion. This method works best for small punctures, cracks, or gaps in the roofing material.

Membrane Repair

Many commercial roofs have a membrane, such as TPO, PVC, or EPDM, which serves as a waterproof barrier. Membrane damage due to tears, punctures, or seams coming apart can sometimes be fixed by roofers applying patches or adhesives to secure the damaged sections.

Flashing Replacement

Flashing is the material used to seal and protect vulnerable areas, such as vents, skylights, and chimneys. If flashing is damaged, improperly installed, or deteriorated, replace them as soon as possible to avoid serious short–term damage.

How Much Does a Commercial Roof Leak Repair Cost?

This is a hard question to answer as it is dependent on numerous factors.

These include the extent of the damage, the type of roofing material, and the accessibility of the roof. More complex situations increase the cost of your final bill.

Minor repairs require only a few hundred dollars, whereas more extensive damage or high-end materials can significantly increase costs. There’s a big difference in price between a leak repair and a complete commercial roof replacement.

Don’t let roof leaks dampen your business operations. Trust Ridgeworth Roofing’s expertise to provide reliable, cost-effective solutions tailored to your needs. 

Contact us to embark on the first step towards a durable, watertight roof with our comprehensive repair services.

Do I Need a Commercial Roof Replacement?

Depending on the size of the leak, you may need a complete commercial roof replacement.

Roof replacement offers a comprehensive solution that addresses serious leakage issues that roofers cannot fix through repairs and maintenance. A benefit is that a roof replacement allows you to have more modern, advanced materials that extend the lifespan of your roof, improve insulation, and lower energy costs.

The only definite way to know if you need a commercial roof replacement is a consultation with a roofing contractor, as they can provide you with the safest and most cost-effective options for fixing your leaky roof.

The Importance of Commercial Roof Inspections and Scheduled Maintenance

Owning a commercial building requires you to wear many hats, but one job you need to outsource is commercial roof inspections and regularly scheduled maintenance.

At Ridgeworth Roofing, our team conducts comprehensive roof inspections that meticulously analyze every detail, from the interior to the exterior. Our team of experts checks gutters, flashing, and more to identify potential problems before they worsen.

In addition, Ridgeworth Roofing’s Preventative Maintenance Program includes repairs to all caulking and sealants on flashings and copings, removal of any debris from your commercial roof, and any other repairs your roof might require.

Scheduled maintenance and inspections are the best defense against a leaking roof. Utilizing both of Ridgeworth’s offerings ensures your roof remains in top condition for the long haul.

What Should I Do if My Commercial Roof Leaks?

If you notice a leak in your commercial roof, time is of the essence. You want to avoid more serious damage as quickly as possible.

You first want to start by identifying the source of the leak to mitigate water intrusion. 

Next, protect the interior of your building by moving valuable items away from the affected area and placing buckets or tarps to catch dripping water. 

Once you’ve done that, contact a professional roofing service like Ridgeworth Roofing to assess the damage and provide a timely, effective repair.

Have a Leaking Roof? Call Ridgeworth Roofing Today for a Free Consultation.

Don’t let a small drip become a big problem. If your commercial building shows any signs of a leak, call Ridgeworth Roofing today, and one of our experts will help schedule an appointment to ensure speedy and effective repairs.

Learn more about Ridgeworth Roofing’s Preventative Maintenance Program here.