Common Roofing Problem: Punctures

September 1, 2015

Punctures are most worrisome on single-ply roofing membranes. Contractor damage is the most common cause. Sharp tools dropped on the surface, holes or cuts from removing HVAC panels, or screws and nails being dropped and walked on are just a few examples of the possible destruction that results from carelessness.

Punctures, scrapes, and tears that are left unnoticed result in wet roof membrane and insulation, leaks and, potentially over time, a rusted or rotten structural deck.

Prevent It
Work to change behaviors. Place signage at access points and hold workers accountable. Consider using a log sheet to track contractors working on the roof. If roof damage occurs, you may be able to invoice the responsible party for the repair. While workers are signing in to access the roof, have them read a document that gives them direction on roof protection. If walkway pad is in place, insist that all contractors use it. Your roofing contractor can also provide temporary protection to prevent damage and inspect roof areas after modifications or trade work is complete.

Repair It
Early detection is key. Caught early enough, the repair won’t be intrusive. Typically the membrane around the puncture is cleaned, primed, and patched.