Common Commercial Roof Issues

Why is My California Commercial Roof Leaking?

Whether or not you have an active leak going on in your Los Angeles County or Southern California roof, make sure you pay attention to signs of water penetration. Any breach in your roofing system can be a portal of entry for water during bad weather. Once water gets into your building, the problem will start to escalate. Water can weaken your property’s foundation and neglecting roof maintenance can lead to major damage.

Stone Roofing recommends semi-annual inspections and maintenance to ensure your roof system performs optimally throughout its service life.

Reasons Why a Commercial Roof Leaks

Ponding Water

Ponding water is as a pool of water that does not drain from a roof for up to 48 hours. If ponding water occurs on the edge of your roof,  you can install scuppers to collect the excess water, or an automatic pump can be installed to remove water in the middle of a roof. In addition, you can install new drains or have the lower areas of the roof built up with tapered insulation to stop the ponding water altogether.

Clogged Gutters & Drains

Clogged drains, scuppers, and improper downspout sizing are all common reasons for a roof leak. Be sure to inspect these areas every six months to avoid ponding water that can deteriorate a roof and leave it vulnerable to leaks and structural damages.

Air Conditioning Stands

Roof leaks can occur at the air conditioning equipment. HVAC curb flashings, pitch pan, deficient cabinetry, and condensation issues can be typical sources for a roof leak to occur.

Pitch Pocket (Pitch-Pan)

The second most common area where a commercial roof leak can occur is pitch pockets where pipes penetrate the roof system. All roof penetrations are prone to leaks and must be properly sealed to protect against roof leaks. Roof penetrations can include pipes, HVAC components, conduits, vents, drains, gas lines, or other objects that are on top of the roof.

Metal Flashings

Ninety-five percent of commercial roof leaks occur due to flashing damage. A roof flashing is the sheet metal installed at any breaks, joints or edges on your roof to prevent leaks. Flashings are usually composed of aluminum or galvanized sheet metal. If flashing is damaged, improperly installed, or becomes loose due to wind or storms, roof leaks can occur.

Membrane Blistering/ Splitting / Cracking

Blistering happens when the air is trapped between layers of felt or plies. When the air heats it causes air pockets, which can lead to puncture when the blister breaks particularly if it is a larger blister, and located on a joint. Splitting can be caused by excessive pressure, ponding water or simply poor workmanship.

Plant Growth

Plant growth is a result of tear in the roof membrane. The smallest of tears can trap moisture in the roof system causing plants to grow and damage the roof insulation. Be sure to clear roof drains, scuppers and gutters from debris, as well as, inspect the membrane field area twice a year, and following major storms.

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