What to Do If You Discover a Commercial Roof Leak

November 9, 2021

Dripping water, stained ceiling tiles, and a musty odor are just a few of the tell-tale signs of water infiltration in your building. The likelihood it’s a roof leak are greatest if you have heavy foot traffic on the roof, many penetrations, or have just experienced high winds, hail, record rainfall, etc. The cause of the leak can be anything from lack of maintenance, damage by other trades, weather, and poor installation/workmanship to roof materials that have exceeded their service life.

Immediate Steps to Take

Act quickly to minimize the damage. Relocate interior furnishings and equipment. Keep people away from the area to prevent slip and fall hazards. Call D. C. Taylor Co. immediately. Swift action can help to reduce the scale and cost of the necessary repair.

While it can be tempting to fix the problem yourself, be aware that improper materials and methods can exacerbate the problem and void your roof system manufacturer warranty. They are costly too; usually undoing the faulty repair takes longer, increasing labor. The in-house fix can also put your team at risk for a fatal fall. It’s not worth it! Call in the pros.

Your Roofing Contractor’s Response

An effective repair identifies the source of the problem first. Your roofing contractor will perform a leak evaluation when they arrive onsite. D. C. Taylor Co. and many other roofing professionals follow ASTM D7053-07 Standard Guide for Determining and Evaluating Causes of Water Leakage of Low-Sloped Roofs to investigate and determine the cause of water infiltration, especially for larger or complex roofs.

Don’t be surprised if the roofing crew doesn’t immediately head to the roof. First, they’ve got some questions to ask. Be prepared to provide the following information:

With these answers obtained, an evaluation starts with a walk inside the facility to look for evidence of the leak and, if possible, an inspection of the roof deck from the underside to make sure it’s safe to walk on. Now it’s time to head up onto the roof to look for punctures or other obvious roof defects.

If the cause of the problem still alludes them, the roofing contractor may conduct a water test. To do this, one crew member is inside the facility, and another is on the roof spraying water onto the surface, flashing, and block walls to recreate the leak. A quick phone call between the interior spotter and man on the roof, lets him know the source of the problem has been found. It’s time to make the repair.

It’s important to determine the root cause of the leak. Your roof may not even be the source of the problem. Other parts of the building envelope may be to blame.

Contact D. C. Taylor Co. today at 319.731.4118 to schedule a leak evaluation or roof repairs.

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