Roof leaks can result in significant damage to a building if the fundamental cause is left unattended. Since water is capable of traveling outward from the spot where a leak takes place, it might be difficult to put a finger on the actual cause. Check your commercial roof for the following most common causes of leaks to stop an already present leak or to avoid future problems.
Drainage gutters are highly susceptible to blockage from debris, twigs, leaves, and other clogging material. For this reason, it becomes very important to clean your gutters on a regular basis. An obstructed gutter fails to drain water efficiently from your home, which means water from the gutters can back up onto your commercial roof and result in a leak. Clogged gutters can also cause damage to your landscape, siding, and even the base of your building.
Roofing materials damage and deteriorate over the course of time and lose their effectiveness at keeping water out. Weather conditions and temperature fluctuations may also cause roofing materials to become weak and crack overtime. Exposure to direct sunlight can melt tar that glues the shingles together.
You can easily tell whether the cause of a leak is attic condensation by the presence of mildew or mold growth. White mold and mildew calls for its own special treatment, which is why you will need to seek professional help as soon as possible in order to address the primary cause of the problem.
It is imperative for any penetration via the roof to be sealed shut properly in order to prevent leaks. Check the gaskets surrounding the vent pipes for gaps or cracks and look out for any missing or damaged shingles. Plastic vents may crack after years of direct exposure to the weather and sunlight.
A Steep Slope
If your commercial roof is too steep, wind can lift the shingles up and push rain water underneath. The roof pitch, or slope, is measured in inches as a ratio of its upright rise over a flat distance of 12″. According to the International Building Code (IBC), the slope of the roof must be a minimum of 2:12 for asphalt shingles installation. In case the slope if between 2:12 – 4:12, a double covering of underlay material should be used. Make sure that your roofing materials are appropriate for the roof pitch and have been correctly installed.
Improperly Sealed Valleys
There are numerous reasons behind improperly sealed valleys – the sealing may not have been done correctly in the first place, it may have broken when being stepped on, or an excess of ice and rain may have led to its erosion over time.
When faced with any type of commercial roofing leak, it is best to call a professional right away rather than going DIY. Doing so will help you save a lot of time and money.