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A Complete Guide To Commercial Roof Leaks And The Solution


Rain may not be the sole cause for a leaking roof, but it can certainly let you know that your roof indeed has a problem. A leaking roof is one of the most common problems that commercial roofing systems around Australia face. Because of its exposure to the external elements and the harsh conditions, the roof is almost always the most exposed part of any building. Serious damage to the roof can affect the whole structure, so it’s important that even small problems of your commercial roof are detected and dealt with as early as possible.

When most building owners and managers face serious leaking roof problems, they decide to replace it right away so that all the problems are solved at once. Replacing the old roof with a new one can be beneficial in many ways given that your building will not face roof-related problems for years to come although it is one of the costliest options roofing experts can put on the table. But what if the leakage problem has nothing to do with the roof? Or what if you can solve the problem permanently without opting for a costly plan? But whatever the circumstance is, no roof leak should be taken lightly as it can cause serious problems in future if not fixed as early as possible. Unattended roof leaks can damage other important components of the building as well in the long run, leaving you with losses caused by uninvited expenses. 

ADESA Services presents you with a complete guide to understanding different types of roof leaks and how to tackle the problems efficiently.

In order to effectively manage and fix the leaky roof in your commercial building, you have to first understand its major cause. Investigating on the major reason not only helps you a great deal in solving your problem in the most cost-effective manner but also helps you adapt important measures so that you are well prepared for similar problems that may arise in the future.

Major Causes Of Roof Leaks.

No one wants to see leaks in their roof, but it happens. Few possible leaking roof situations can be managed beforehand with good management and planning while few are out of your control. The best way to deal with it once it happens is to detect it as early as possible and fix it right away. Roof leaks can be categorised between simple and severe as there are different things that contribute to it. Let’s take a look at major factors that cause roof leaks. 

  • Installation Errors

Installing a commercial roof is a complicated process with a lot of details to be carried out perfectly. While the design might play a little role, installation problems contribute more to the failure of a commercial roof. Improper installation can contribute to the significant life span reduction of the roof, leakage, and potentially damage the entire structure in the worst case.

It all starts with basic preparation. Roof length and slopes should be measured correctly and precisely before procuring roofing materials cut to the exact size. Failure to carry it out accurately can lead to inaccurate cuts which may expose the edges to the weather elements, causing rust and roof coating failure. Such an error will only be noticeable after a few years when the exposed section of the roof gives up and corrosion occurs, ultimately leading to leaks.

One of the largest causes of roof leaks is poorly installed roofing fasteners and faulty sealing washers. Since new roofing materials don’t leak, roofing screws that are either over-tightened, under-tightened or off-centred can cause them to leak through the penetrations. Every roof needs to be sealed properly during the installation. Sealing ensures every gap is covered with the right sealant so that water doesn’t enter your roof through these gaps. When this job is carried out poorly however, the risk of roofing leaks increases significantly.. 

Complex roof designs might be an architectural achievement, but it does no favour on the roof structure if it is not installed with high precision. Failing to hire the right roofing experts to install a complex roof structure can lead to various problems in the long run, let alone the leaks from different parts of the roof.

Most installation errors can’t be detected immediately, but surely will keep hurting your wallet in the long run. Always make sure you hire an experienced roofing partner that has a team of experts who can also deal with the complex roof design effectively while installing the new roof in your commercial property. Make sure you are provided with a workmanship warranty so that installation errors are covered if they ever arise. 

  • Age Of Your Roof

Over time, roofing materials can deteriorate due to continual expansion and contraction and weather wear and tear. Thus you might want to be well aware of the lifespan of your roof because badly damaged roofs can not serve your property well but can cause damage to the entire structure. At some point, it will become inevitable to replace your entire commercial roof. That being said, regular inspections and timely maintenance can help increase the lifespan of your roof. If your roof is properly installed and quality materials are used during installation, it is more likely to last longer. 

Frequent roof leaking is also one of the signs your roof has reached or exceeded its service life. Since various environmental factors such as rain, sun, and extreme temperature contribute to accelerating the deterioration process of your roof, your old roof is more vulnerable to the damage caused by these factors.  

  • Insufficient Drainage

Drainage or roof plumbing is a crucial part of any roofing system. As a liquid, water can and will ultimately find its way through the weakest areas or cracks or crevices your roof may have, causing leaks if the drainage is insufficient. A variety of fixtures including gutters, spouts, drains, flashing, covering etc. work together to ensure rainwater drains off your roof effectively. 

Long term water exposure can damage even the strongest roofing materials. To make sure it doesn’t happen, you should have a sufficient drainage system installed on your roof. Sometimes falling leaves or debris land on your drainage and block the flow of water, causing leakage problems. Organic build-ups also contribute heavily to affecting the water flow in your drainage system. Congested gutters get clogged easily even with small particles. So, regular inspection of your stormwater drainage systems is recommended.

  • Unnoticed Damages

Some damages such as little cracks and holes in the roof can sit there unnoticed for years until they cause considerable damage to the whole structure. Your roof can face damage when flying debris strikes it after a storm. Poor installation resulting in a direct weather exposure of improperly coated areas can lead to corrosion in the long run. Such damage can create holes in your roof, causing leaks. Tiny leaks can go unnoticed for years. 

Unnoticed damages and leaks pose a serious threat to the whole structure in the long run. That is why regular inspection and timely maintenance is vital to keep your roof lively.  

Why Early Leak Detection Is Important?

A roof leak in your commercial building is not just a structural problem. It can damage your stocked goods, cause electrical problems in your building, and even pose a health threat to your staff and yourself. Exposure of moisture into electrical wires can cause shortages and even electrical fires. Mould can grow rapidly on a damp surface and cause health challenges if untreated.  

An unattended leak can damage the whole structure in the long run as water flows through the whole building and damage its important components. Even the smallest leak in your roof can lead to a major hassle throughout your property. So any early sign of leak should be taken care of seriously. Frequent inspection of the roof, therefore, is very essential because some leaks can stay there undetected. Prevention is always cheaper than the cure.  

How To Spot Leaks In Your Commercial Roof?

The earlier you detect and repair a roof leak, the better your building will be in the long run. Additionally, your repair and maintenance expenses are significantly lower if you fix the leak as early as possible. There will be different types of leaks in your commercial roof through its lifespan. Some can be easily noticed while some remain there, undetected for a long time. However, all kinds of leaks should be detected and taken care of as early as possible. There are several signs in your building that suggest your roof is leaking. Spotting a roof leak is not very hard if you give attention to following signs of a roof leak.

  • Stains And Patches On Ceilings And Walls: Extended exposure to water creates a discoloured area on your ceilings and walls. Patches and patterns created by moisture is also a sign that there is a frequent leak.
  • Odour and mould: Mould grows rapidly in moist environments. A leaky roof can cause mould within just a couple of days. So if you detect mould in your facility, then you should be well aware that the moisture build-up is probably the result of a leaky roof. Mould build-up can easily be detected with its foul smell.
  • Higher energy bills: Roof leak can saturate your insulation system before letting water inside your facility. The loss of insulation leads to high electricity consumption,  ultimately raising your electricity bills.

You can easily tell that your roof is leaking when you can visibly see water entering your building whether it’s dripping down from the ceiling or there is a puddle on the floor. Silent leaks can, however, occur without any notice. So you should make a clear yearly schedule to inspect your roof and make regular repairs. It not only helps increase the lifespan of your commercial roof but also keep you away from surprise repair overheads.

Dealing Effectively With Roof Leaks.

Roof leaks are the perfect informants of the condition of your commercial roof. An accurate inspection of leaking spots and its causes can clearly describe the condition of your roof. Minor problems leading to leaks can be solved with simple repairs, but sometimes even a small leak can be the early sign of a dying roof which needs a replacement. 

It is very important that the primary cause of roof leak is identified in order to solve the leaking problem effectively. Leaks caused because of drainage problems and similar minor causes can be fixed with normal repairing using sealants and tapes. If there are several leakage points and the roof is significantly damaged, then restoration might keep it working for a few more years. The roof should, however, be replaced if it has reached or exceeded its lifespan and is facing several problems at once. 

Partnering with the right roofing company and scheduling a yearly roof inspection and maintenance can help you a great deal in solving all your roofing problems effectively, including roof leaks. Experts can detect the problems with ease and suggest you the right solution. There is no standard solution for all roof leaks, but with the right investigation, an effective solution for every roof leak can be identified. 

Roof Leak And Insurance.

Insurance cover of roof leaks completely depends on the individual policy. It may sometimes also depend on when the leak was discovered and what you did about it. Most insurance policies cover damage from leaks if you have identified the damage early and taken the right measure to fix it. Ignoring the signs like wet patches and stains and reporting only after months, when the damage is serious, can result in rejected claims. 

Insurance does not cover negligence, and failure to detect roof leak can be defined as negligence. Insurance does not cover wear and tear also. Regular inspection of your roof is essential even if your roof leak is covered. 

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