Your Roofing System During Heavy Rain
You don’t want to get caught outside in driving rain, but your facility’s roof has no choice. Whether it’s a sudden downpour or hours of steady rain, there’s no better time to find out how tight the waterproofing is than during heavy rain. We’ve outlined some of the most obvious impacts rain has on your roof below.
Roof Leaks Caused By Rain
The harder and longer rain falls, the greater the odds are that you’ll have a roof leak. Especially vulnerable parts of the roof are:
- When different plies of material become unbonded, water can infiltrate.
- Roof penetrations. When pitch pocket sealant shrinks and dries out, it cracks and pulls away from the sides. As soon as the sealant becomes concave, it traps water and leaks are inevitable, especially during storms.
Whatever the cause of a roof leak (e.g. sealants that have dried out, older roof membrane that succumbs to drastic temperature swings, lack of maintenance, etc.), if you didn’t notice it before, you certainly will during periods of heavy rain.
A word of warning, though. Not all leaks that appear during or after a storm that delivers both substantial rain and strong winds are roof-related. Even the best weatherproofing around doors and windows can be tested. It’s easy to mistake water coming in around an upper-story window, skylight, or roof access door as a roof leak.
Debris left or blown onto the roof can very quickly find its way into drains. When drainage paths are obstructed, a bad situation becomes worse. Rainwater is trapped without a path to escape. It pools on the roof and if perimeter edge drainage cannot alleviate the water, the roof fills up like a bathtub. As the water level on the roof rises higher than flashings and pitch pockets, the risk for leaks also goes up.
Regular inspection and maintenance of the roof will ensure drains are clear before storms ensue. Checking the roof and drains after is also advised. If ponding water is a perpetual problem during periods of heavy rain, your roofing contractor can investigate the cause and if necessary, advise installing larger drains, gutters, or downspouts.
Ponding water also increases the weight load that structural members and the roof deck may not have been designed to hold. Too much water compromises structural integrity; it could result in roof collapse.
Questions? Contact D. C. Taylor Co.
Get in touch with us if thunderstorms or extended periods of heavy rain have taken a toll on your commercial or industrial roof. D. C. Taylor Co. offers roof inspections, maintenance, and several other roofing services to keep your roof and facility in optimal condition. We have offices across the country ready to go to work for you.