WHY DOES MY COMMERCIAL ROOF SYSTEM LEAK?

Commercial roof systems have the ability last for a substantial number of years if properly maintained, however often leaks and water ingress can occur either through poor maintenance, incorrect design or as a result of the age of the roof system.

Incorrect Design of Flat Roofing System

Water ingress into a property can often be caused due to the poor design of a flat roof system. In many circumstances, this can be caused by poor detailing or standing water not being able to drain away. The definition of standing water is defined within the industry as water which has been unable to drain away from the roof after 48 hours.

By not undertaking maintenance surveys in line with a planned preventative maintenance program (PPM) standing water can stay unidentified for some time causing issues such as sagging of the roof deck from increased weight, build up of moss and vegetation growth and accelerated deterioration of the roof deck.

Roof Membrane Damage

As a roof membrane ages, it will over time deteriorate with the effects of the weathering and UV exposure. As a result, the membrane may begin to crack and tear allowing water to ingress into the premises. Damage to the membrane can also be caused by impact damage or as a result of the deck being mistreated. It is always advised to take a proactive approach to roof maintenance to identify issues such as this before they become a reactive problem.

Open Roof Penetrations

These items include elements like drains, pipes, vents etc which usually involve the roof deck being penetrated to install. As a result, these areas very susceptible to leaks and are common routes for water ingress across roof systems. During roof condition and maintenance surveys these should be inspected and checked to ensure the correct methods of installation have been undertaken.

Damaged Perimeter Flashing

Perimeter flashing can be damaged due to incorrect installation, high winds and poor weather or expansion in varying temperatures. If any of the above occurs to the roof then tears and breaks can become present creating routes for water ingress. Regular inspections of the roof systems perimeter flashing are critical to identifying defects before they develop.

General MaintenaceĀ 

One of the most common reasons that a commercial roof system leaks are due to a lack of maintenance which ranges from minor cleaning to larger annual tasks. Failure to clean gutters and drainage systems canĀ result standing water being present, gutter channels becoming corroded and general accelerated deterioration of the roof system. Overall, poor roof maintenance can cost far more than implementing a planned preventative maintenance program.

For further information on commercial roof maintenance and how we may be able to be of use please contact one of our surveying team on 01455 848222 or email us at info@widehorizonslimited.com

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