Preventing roof leaks is essential, and knowing the causes allows you to identify the offenders and develop a strategy to avoid further issues. Some common causes of roof leaks include people, neglect, problems with seams, weather, and rooftop equipment. If you identify a leak in your roof, it is essential that you contact a professional; neglecting the damage can cause further, more costly issues in the future.
Roofs can tolerate people walking on them; however, heavy traffic can cause problems to the membrane, especially around the HVAC system. People can be careless and drop tools or mishandle parts, causing problems.
Seams are large rolls of membrane laid over the expanse of a commercial roof. These seams are often the weakest point of the roof. Depending on whether your roof is mechanically fastened or fully adhered, they are secured to the insulation or the deck below. Sheets are not large enough to fit over the entire roof surface, so multiple sheets are joined and overlapped with either hot air welding or adhesive. These seams can hold up well in flat or open spaces; however, delamination at the roof’s edge can cause a roof leak, especially around pipes, flashing, or at the site of an older patch.
Roofs need constant maintenance, and neglecting your roof can cause costly issues such as leaks and weak points. Shingles can become loose, and caulking and pitch pans can dry out, allowing water to seep through. Monitoring your roof regularly and fixing small issues can prevent further damage. Minor issues can quickly balloon into larger problems that may require a new roof or structural work.
Some areas of your roof are heavier, such as where your HVAC units or exhaust fans are located. These areas are often the site of leaks and punctures. Washers or gaskets can rot, or screws can become loose and be pulled out, creating entry points for water to enter. Your roof’s ventilation isn’t waterproof, and it is easy for water from a rainstorm to enter through the HVAC access panels.
Exposure to the elements is another leading cause of roof leakage. During the cold Canadian winter, ice or snow can build up around the drains and gutters, leaving pools of water. The weather conditions do not need to be harsh to cause roof damage; rain, snow, or hail can impact your roof over time. Larger storms can also whip tree debris, branches, or limbs at your rooftop. Temperature swings or long periods of heat or cold can also degrade the material on your roof.
Roof leaks can be hard to pinpoint; they don’t always appear as a brown spot on your ceiling. Water entering through the attic can travel along horizontal surfaces, making it difficult to identify where it entered. Signs to look for when searching for a roof leak:
These five culprits are the leading causes of roof damage; however, there may be other reasons behind your roof problems. Ensure you keep an eye on these hazards and understand to prevent them. Identifying a problem early can save you from costly damages in the future. Regular maintenance and inspections are essential to avoid issues and expand the lifeline of your roof. Pitch Masters offers unrivaled roofing services; visit our website to learn more.