A roof leak may not become obvious until the rainy season arrives. A little water coming in can dry before you notice a problem, but days of rainy weather can lead to major water leaks and problems in your building. Perform the following task before rain arrives so you can avoid leaks.
Address Low Spots
Low spots are one of the most damaging things to a flat commercial roof. A low spot allows water to pond. The extra weight of the water increases the chances of a leak, or worse, a roof collapse. The standing water also stresses the roof membrane, weakening it until a leak forms.
A flat roof is typically designed to slope slightly toward the drains located around the roof perimeter or near the center of a roof section. If water is ponding and there is no drain in the area, a roofer needs to repair the sloping issues. They will usually build up the low area to the proper slope, but in some cases, they may recommend installing a drain in the low spot.
Unblock the Drains
Most flat commercial roofs have drains integrated into the design. The most common location for the drains is around the perimeter of the roof, where they simply empty out into a standard downspout system. Some roofs may also have central drains that empty into the building's internal sewer line.
Always check the drains to make sure they aren't blocked by leaves or other debris. The drains should flow smoothly. Downspouts and internal drains may need to be flushed twice a year to ensure they empty easily.
Seal Seam Gaps
Membrane-style roofs are one of the most common materials for a flat commercial roof. These roofs consist of a waterproof membrane that is installed over the roof surface, and then coatings are applied to further strengthen the membrane.
On larger roofs, multiple pieces of the membrane are needed, which results in seams where the two membranes meet. Over time, aging and weathering can cause the seams to shrink apart, resulting in a gap that allows water to leak through. The seams will need to be patched and resealed in order to prevent a major leak.
Patch Potential Leaks
Flat roof leaks are often the result of damage to the membrane, typically in the form of punctures. Causes of punctures include trauma from blowing debris, weathering, acid weakness from bird droppings or pollutants, and damage from walking on the roof.
An annual inspection before the rainy season allows you to find possible punctures and weak areas of the roof so they can be patched and resealed.
Contact a commercial roof repair service for more help.
When there are things about your business building that are damaged, you can expect it to cause problems in the long run. From issues with getting top dollar for your property to dealing with incoming leaks and other issues, it pays to know how to make changes now that could improve your future. However, roofing issues can be hard to spot, which is why it really pays to do what you can to make steps towards fixing things. On this website, you can find excellent information about how roofing can be beneficial to your company, and what to look for when problems arise.