Understanding Commercial Roof Leaks

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Understanding Commercial Roof Leaks

 

 

Aspen Contracting installs many different flat roofs such as TPO, PVC, and EPDM. We understand that many roofs can be affected by various incidents; this is why we have a 24-hour service in place to protect our customers. While we are always there for our customers in emergencies, we are also there from the beginning to help them understand the precautions they can take to protect their property from damage. We would like to stress that we understand how crucial business hours are and that we want to make sure your building will be running smoothly. Aspen Contracting takes care into helping customers and not hurting their profitability and productivity of the business.

Just like any residential roof, commercial roofs can leak as well. A well-maintained commercial roof can last anywhere from 15 to 20 years. To understand why a commercial roof can leak, one has to first understand the types of drainage systems that are installed to prevent leaks.

 

 

Gutters

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Gutters allow for heavy rainwater and melted snow and ice to divert away from the roof, preventing pools near the rooftop and the building’s foundation. This drainage system also protects the doorways and windows of the building. While gutters can be a good choice because they are the most inexpensive to install, they can be hard to maintain. Gutters are susceptible to debris getting caught and gathering in the drain, which can lead to leaks. Leaks can be prevented by cleaning the gutters at least 2 times a year.

 

Inner Drains

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Inner drains are popular for larger buildings and are typically installed near the center of the building’s roof. The inner drain runs water through the buildings’ roof via a metal piping system, ensuring that the water is kept safely away from the property foundation and walls. Inner drains tend to be more popular in colder climates because they are less likely to freeze over than other systems. If maintenance is not properly kept, the system can become clogged and lead to standing water of the roof.

 

 

Scuppers

 

Scuppers are openings on the outside the building walls along the line of the roof. Water can flow from the roof via a metal edge box and into a downspout. While scuppers are used as a drainage system, they do not protect or prevent water backups on the roof. Scuppers are also prone to freezing in the colder months. Scuppers can be very popular because of the low cost and light maintenance required. If you click this link you can find images of scuppers here. 

 

 

Other Reasons Leaks Happen

If your water is not properly draining, your roof will be left with standing or ponding water. Standing water can cause a leak through the membrane (waterproof layer) of the roofing material. On top of the leak possibilities, the extra weight on your roof could wreak havoc on the building’s structure.

 

Ponding water

Ponding water

Flashing and roof penetrations are more susceptible to leaks because water will find a way to seep into the areas that are not installed or sealed properly or that have become weak or loose. These are areas common around drains, chimneys, skylights, interior walls, etc.

 

Bad flashing around roof chimney

Bad flashing around roof chimney

 

 

Heavy foot traffic, weather and many other factors can damage the membrane. Damages to the membrane can cause leaks and may ruin the insulation laying underneath, in addition to the structure of the roof.

 

Damage to roof membrane

Damage to a roof membrane

 

If your drainage system or roof fails, you can spot it with these warning signs:

  • If there are stains becoming apparent on the ceiling and walls, making them discolored.
  • There is a never-ending feeling of moisture in the air, or there is a smell of mold.
  • If there is blatant dripping water or puddles gathering on the floor. If you see any of these signs, call Aspen Contracting, ASAP! 877-784-ROOF

If you believe that your commercial roof is in need of repair, make sure you call Aspen Contracting. Sometimes a commercial roof only needs a quick patch. Other times, whole sections of insulation and membrane pieces need to be replaced. Therefore sure you call to schedule an inspection before the damage is too far gone.

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