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What to Do About a Leaky Commercial Roof

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As a commercial business owner, it can feel like something is always in need of repair. No one wants to see signs of water damage on their roof. The roof of your building is one of the most important parts of the structure. It provides protection from weather and all of the elements that are better kept outdoors. 

It never feels good to notice signs of a leaky roof, but addressing the problem as soon as you see it can protect your equipment, products, and commercial building. If you have concerns about leaking in your commercial building, contact professional roofing contractors to inspect it as soon as possible.

Signs of a Leaky Roof

A leaking roof can be damaging to the structure of your building. For this reason, it is essential that you are able to notice the signs of leaking early and fix them before further damage occurs. The following are common signs that you have a roof leak.

Stained Walls and Ceilings

Discoloration on the walls and ceiling is a telltale sign that there is something wrong with your roof. Water stains on your walls and ceiling will look like brown or yellow staining. These water stains are generally located in the center of the ceiling, in the corners of the room, or along the walls. 

Stained walls and ceilings need to be addressed with urgency, as waiting for too long can result in mold and damaged ceilings.


There might be a leak in the roof if you see or hear dripping into your building. Even a minor leak needs to be taken seriously. Although this could be your first time seeing the leak, this could be a problem that has been hiding behind the walls until now. If left untreated, a minor leak can turn into a huge headache. Dripping can lead to costly damage, such as water stains, rotting, and mildew.

Puddles of Water 

If your building has a flat roof, it should remain just that, flat. Puddles are a sign that should cause concern, as water should be running off the roof without issue. 


The smell of mold and mildew is very distinct. If there is an ongoing stuffy and mildewy smell inside the building, this is a sign that water has crept into the building and caused damage to parts of the building that you cannot see. 

Peeling or Bubbling Paint

Peeling and bubbling paint is a sign that there is excess moisture in the walls. This can be caused by water infiltration, humidity, or plumbing problems. If you notice this sign that water has penetrated the building’s interior, it could be time to check your roof for a leak. All in all, peeling or bubbling paint is not a good sign. 

Common Causes of Commercial Roof Leaks

There is so much room to cover if you own a commercial building. Finding the root of the problem can be difficult because roof leaks can be caused by a variety of factors. If you notice leaking on your commercial building’s roof, one of the following might be the culprit. 

Little to No Drainage

Drainage is a vital part of your roofing system. When building a commercial building, where water drains should not be an afterthought. When water does not have a predetermined destination, it goes where it wants to. This can mean finding its way through cracks in the foundation or nowhere at all. If water is going nowhere, it is just standing still on your roof and adding extra weight to your foundation. 

Damaged Roofing Materials

Damages to roofing materials can be caused by a number of things. The most severe damage can be caused by harsh weather conditions such as hailstorms, hurricanes, or fallen debris. Any powerful force can create an opening for water to infiltrate your building. 

For flat and low-sloped roofs, the roof membrane is a critical component of the roof’s structure. They are responsible for providing a watertight seal for your roof. However, If it is compromised by the sun or weather damage, the roof will be vulnerable to further damage. 

Ponding Water

Ponding water can be the cause of a leaky roof. When water is forced to be stagnant with no place to go, it does what is called ponding. If water continues to accumulate in the same spot, the weight can become too much for that spot in the roof. This causes the roof to cave in on that spot, and eventually, water begins to penetrate the roof. During the winter months, this can be especially dangerous because there is an added possibility that the water will freeze. If left unaddressed, ponding cause lead to a roof collapse. 

Improper Maintenance

Regular maintenance is necessary to ensure the longevity of your roof. It allows owners to identify and address any issues before they get worse. Roof maintenance is a way to extend the life of your roof and ensure that your property remains a safe space for those who enter it every day. Neglecting tasks such as regular gutter cleaning and inspections can lead to costly repairs in the future. 

Wear and Tear 

As well as you may take care of the roof on your commercial property, there comes a time when repairs are inevitable. Roofs are a barrier of protection and over the years, it takes major beatings over and over again. Eventually, the roofing materials will deteriorate and can cause leaks and other damage. 

What to Do About a Commercial Roof Leak

First things first, discovering a leak in the roof of your commercial building can be stressful. You might think that the damage will be another hole burnt into your pockets. However, if you take a step back and work through this problem calmly, everything will work out in the end. Here is what you should do if you spot a leak in the roof of your commercial property.

Check for Other Issues

If you spot a sign of leaking inside the building, it will be in your best interest to conduct a search for other signs of leaking. Inspect the area of the leak to find signs such as water stains, bubbling paint, or the smell of mold or mildew. Leaks are not always droplets from the ceiling that can easily be noticed. Water can travel a long distance from the source of the original issue and create a leak elsewhere. It is important that all bases are covered so you may provide a detailed account of the damage to your insurance and roofing contractor. 

Take Temporary Measures

Until your roofing contractor is able to repair the damages permanently, you will need to take some permanent measures to ensure the damage does not worsen. A common tactic is using getting an emergency tarp installed if the weather does not permit repairs at the moment. If there is a visible leak, it is also common to place something underneath to catch the water. This prevents a slipping hazard as well as protects your floors from destruction. Finally, if any of your equipment is in danger, be sure to cover them or move them if possible. The last thing you want is to have to replace damaged equipment on top of repairing your leaky roof. 

Document the Damage

Documenting the damage to your property can create a world of difference when filing insurance claims and working with roofing companies. You can take photos and videos of the issues that you notice and save them for when it is time to share them with professionals. 

Check In With Your Insurance

If your facility has experienced damage from a leaky roof, get in touch with your insurance personnel. It does not matter how insignificant you might believe your damage is, providing your insurance with pictures and videos of the damage, in addition to any invoices from your contractor, can save you a headache in the long run.

Contact a Professional Roofing Contractor

If you have concerns about a leaky roof in your commercial building, you need to get in contact with a roofing contractor. It is important that you select a contractor that is experienced in dealing with commercial properties. You will need to explain in detail the problems that you notice and schedule a near date for them to do their own assessment.  

After their assessment, your contractor will create a repair plan and recommend the best course of action for your situation. Repairs should be scheduled promptly in order to avoid further damage.

Best Commercial Roof Repair Services in Appleton, WI

Yutzy Roofing Service is the leading choice for roof repairs in Appleton, WI. Since 1995, we\’ve been providing high-quality metal and flat roof repair services that keep your buildings safe, secure, and leak-free. We also offer non-prorated and renewable warranties on our repairs for up to 18 years. Don\’t let a leaky roof get in the way of your business operations; call Yutzy Roofing Service today for your next commercial roof repair in Appleton, WI, or a neighboring area.

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