Water damage is the second-biggest non-CAT driver of losses that impact commercial properties. Water damage, such as from roof leaks, can result in lost revenue, disrupt operations, and destroy your assets. Plus, it’s costly to repair, especially if the damage includes mold remediation.
It’s crucial to fix roof damage as soon as you notice it to prevent issues like these. You also must know how to fix a roof leak and what mistakes to avoid. After all, you don’t want to cause further damage.
Here’s what you need to know about spotting roof leaks, what causes them, and how to fix the problem.
Find the Leak Early
The first step in mitigating damage is to find the leak early. If you’re keeping up with regular maintenance and inspections, you should be able to spot problems before they can escalate.
Issues such as holes, cracked materials, rust, clogged vents, and damaged flashing can all cause water to seep into places where you don’t want it.
Neglecting the issue can lead to even bigger problems. For instance, damp and dark areas are the perfect place for mold growth. Mold grows especially well on cardboard, paper products, wood, and ceiling tiles. It can also lurk in insulation and drywall.
Molds can cause various health effects, putting your employees at risk. Sensitive individuals, such as those with allergies or asthma, may experience more extreme reactions.
Here are some tips to help locate a roof leak.
Signs of a Leaky Roof
If your business has a metal roof, rust is a sure sign that you have roof damage, which contributes to leaks as well. Other signs include bulging parts of the interior wall, stains on the ceilings and walls, and musty smells.
If your commercial building has shingles, other signs of damage include missing, damaged, or warped shingles.
Of course, the water leak may be coming from somewhere else. It’s a good idea to look for any interior problems with the HVAC unit, water heater, pipes, etc.
Check the surface of your roof, especially around chimneys, skylights, vents, and seams. Piles of debris, such as leaves, can also be a source of trapped excess moisture. Be sure to keep your commercial roof clean and free of debris.
It’s always a good idea to check on the state of the roof after a storm or heavy rainfall to see if there is any damage.
What Causes Commercial Water Damage?
There are many ways that a commercial roof can sustain damage and start leaking. Roof leaks can be caused by damage to the structural integrity of the building. Any cracks, holes, etc., create an opening for water to seep inside.
Additionally, piles of leaves and other debris can trap excess moisture.
The climate where you live also impacts your roof’s lifespan. Snow, rain, and ice can make the roof more vulnerable to damage. Improper snow removal can also result in water damage.
Strong winds and storms damage roofs as well. That’s why it’s always a good idea to check the state of your roof after any severe weather events.
What You Can Do to Prevent Leaks
Ensure you have the appropriate insurance coverage for your business. Roof leaks can be an expensive problem, so make sure you understand your insurance policy. Leaks due to wear and tear or neglecting roof maintenance may not be covered.
Schedule roof inspections yearly. Create or adjust a maintenance plan to include checking for leaks.
Waterproofing your commercial roof also protects it against the elements, which can extend its lifespan and prevent leaks and water damage.
How to Fix a Roof Leak: DIY or Professional?
There are steps you can take to maintain your business, including some maintenance tasks you can DIY. However, extensive roof repairs should not be on that list.
If the source of the problem seems to be the roof, be sure to call a roofing company for assistance.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can cause more damage. Not fixing the issue the proper way can result in further water damage and unnecessary costs. It’s better to contact a roofing professional for assistance, as they can identify the problem and fix it in a timely and efficient manner.
The leak might be due to a minor issue that is quickly fixed, but it might also indicate a bigger, underlying problem.
To catch damage, leaks, and other issues early, it’s best to schedule a roof inspection once a year.
An inspector will examine your roof, determine its condition, and look for any problem areas. For instance, some issues can be resolved with a simple repair, but you may need a roof replacement. Roofs around 20-30 years old often need replacement as they’re no longer offering sufficient protection.
Roofers will make any necessary repairs, such as fixing old flashing or replacing shingles.
Repair or Replacement?
If the roof is in good shape, you might only need roof repairs, such as a simple fix to stop the leak. However, the older the roof, the more likely you’ll need to consider a complete replacement. At some point, the cost of repairs simply isn’t worth it.
If you know the age of your commercial roof, you can estimate how long it might last or if you’re overdue for a replacement.
Don’t Let a Leaky Roof Cause Problems
Now that you know how to fix a roof leak, don’t ignore the problem. As soon as you identify the cause of the leak, call a professional roof restoration specialist.
Here at Yutzy Roofing Service LLC, we strive to keep Wisconsin businesses dry and protected through our services and commercial roof restorations. Our services include spray polyurethane foam, metal roof restoration, and more.
If you’re interested in learning more or correcting a leak, contact us and get a free quote.