What to do when your roof is leaking
Updated: Jun 24, 2019
It’s what every building owner dreads…water leaking through their commercial flat or metal roof, resulting in a giant puddle on the floor. But before you panic, there are some steps you can take to locate the leak and temporarily solve the problem until you can get an expert roofer on the premises.
What Causes a Roof Leak?
Leaks happen on all types of roofing material and can be caused by a variety of factors whether it be the installation, materials, or weather conditions.
Poor roof material install- The type of roof material is key in the durability and longevity of your commercial roof. If the roof installer did a poor job installing the flat or metal roof or you used materials from a department store like Home Depot to patch it up and save some money, the roof may not last.
Aging- Roofs age too! If you’re starting to see dark spots or cracked sealant, there’s a chance your roof is aged and needs to be coated.
Weather damage- Severe weather conditions like wind, rain, and snow can cause leaks in your roof.
These are just a few surefire ways to unfortunately end up with a leaky roof. So, in an effort to prevent the unfortunate event of a leaky roof, let's get serious and talk a little about damaged roof repair and how to fix it.
My Roof is Leaking, Now What?
Once you notice that your roof is leaking, the first step is to call a roofing professional to set up a time for them to come out and assess the damage. They will go up on the roof and conduct a roof inspection to determine where the source of the leak is coming from. During this process, the roofer will first narrow down to the most obvious area around the leak by looking for the following:
Any roof penetrations like pipes, skylights, or anything else that looks suspicious
Often times there are small 1-2 inch gaps where water is entering, which may be hard to locate. These gaps tend to blend in inconspicuously into the roof deck, and since most roofs are built with a slight pitch, the leak could be many feet away and the water is just traveling down coming in at the lowest point.
After diligently assessing the damage and looking for problem spots, the roofer will determine the best repair options within an affordable budget. Roofers are certified in locating roof leak problem spots, installing expert materials, and coating the roof. The amount to repair a roof is only a small percentage of what a whole roof replacement would cost making it a great day in the neighborhood for the building owner.
What if My Roof is Still Leaking?
Is your roof still leaking even after a certified roofer came out and ‘fixed’ it? In the unfortunate event that the leak returns, it may be a more serious problem and result in another round of roof treatment, causing a wider focus to be used. The good news is that if the leak stops after this round, you still saved a pretty penny compared to a full roof replacement. However, in the unlikely case that the leak returns once more, the process continues until the whole roof is done, or the leak eventually stops. This is an example of an extreme case that does not usually occur, but is logical to consider. Very rarely does a roof need to be treated over and over resulting in a full redo.
Why Roof Leak Repair & Not a Full Roof Replacement?
As mentioned previously, a full roof replacement is not always necessary and costs a lot more than repair. No matter what situation you’re in, you should always address a roof leak. Here are a few things you can do regularly to prevent leaks and prepare ahead of time:
Check your roof in the warmer months- Always check your roof during the spring and summer months to prepare for the winter weather ahead so you won’t be caught off guard in the midst of snowy conditions. Not all roof materials can be applied in cold temperatures.
Have a contingency fund- Companies should always have a contingency fund set aside to cover the cost of a new roof or leak repairs, should the need arise. You don’t want to end up with a leaky roof and no money to fix it.
How Do I Determine Whether a Roof Coating or Roof Replacement is Better Suited?Honestly, the answer to this question depends heavily on the current condition of the roof, and the leak itself. There are pros and cons to both roof coating and roof replacement.
Roof Coating- After calling a roof coating specialist, they will inspect the roof and determine if it is better to do a roof coating or not based on its condition and underlying layers. If they decide to do a roof coating, that is because they have determined that this is the best course of action that will prolong the life of the roof and prevent further water penetration. Roof coating can be beneficial in the sense that it is cheaper, faster to get done, and it works for even the most difficult roof designs. The downsides to roof coating are that it requires some prep work, it doesn’t address any structural issues the roof might have, and installation is weather sensitive.
Roof Replacement- The roofing specialist may decide that replacing the roof is a better next step if coating the roof is not a viable option. Often times, replacing the roof can be so much better in the sense that it will extend the life of the roof for many years and provide added strength to the building. In addition, it can allow the company to use green and energy-efficient materials. Here are a few of the downsides to roof replacement:
May be a need to expose parts of the building during the replacement
Any HVAC or mechanical installations on the roof can make the re-roofing process complicated
Trust the Experts at Kingdom Roofing for All Your Roof Leak Repair Needs!
Whatever your roofing needs, a professional roofing company should always be involved at some point in the process. Roofing is serious business, especially since it’s the structure that stays over our heads and protects us from the harsh elements. As a building owner, having the peace of mind that your building is safe and protected by a strong, sturdy roof should be a given. Roof coating and repair companies like Kingdom Roofing & Sealcoating are here to provide the commercial roofing expertise you deserve.
In the event that you have any leaks in your metal or flat roof, give us a call. We will inspect every inch of your roof to provide a fair and reasonable roof leak repair estimate that will restore your roof back to new in no time.