Canada has seen its fair share of long periods of rain, sometimes lasting days and even weeks. During colder times of year, combine this moisture with wind and cold, and quite easily, a commercial roof can begin to see leaks spring up. Prior to having your roof inspected and repaired, it’s key to know the early signs of a leaking commercial roof.
Interior stains and discolorations
Check the walls, ceilings, windows, and fixtures for any signs of staining or discoloration. If there is yellow beginning to appear in these areas, it may be a sign that your commercial roof is leaking. Also, if the staining appears on an upstairs ceiling, always check the attic or crawlspace above it. Keep in mind the leak may be far worse than it appears on the ceiling. The presence of moisture in these type of spaces are generally a sign of a major roof leak or a ventilation system that is not working. If there are dark spots, such as the appearance of mold, ensure these are addressed as soon as possible and appropriately remediated. They pose an immediate health risk for anyone on the property.
Exterior discolorations indicate ineffective drainage
Be wary of exterior discolorations, as they can sometimes be as serious as internal stains. Sometimes, commercial roofs fail to divert water from the surface of the roof. Though this is not necessarily a problem in the short-term, as cracks, gaps, and other imperfections form, the moisture and the rain will begin to make its way inside. Be sure to complete a ground-level inspection on a dry day to ensure that any exterior discolorations are identified and repaired, if need be.
Curling or broken shingles or roof panels
Commercial roofs that have been improperly installed, that have been worn with time, or that use traditional shingles may experience buckling, curling, slipping, and breaks. It is very common for roof panel materials to damage over time and water that pools on a rooftop can further this type of damage. For inexpensive commercial roofing shingles, this type of wear can easily cause them to curl and slip out of place. As they continue to break off, potential entry points for moisture points are eventually revealed and before you know it, the protection you thought you had now leaves you with a leak.
Flashing that is in the process of breaking, damaged, or missing
Flashing that has been properly installed around skylights, vents, and other penetrations is a must. If flashing has been broken off, bent, lifted, or is missing creates openings where moisture can easily make its way in. Though not every commercial property may have vents and skylights to worry about, many do. Just as important as any other component of a commercial roof, flashing is the ultimate way to prevent water from coming in around these penetrations. It’s key to remember that leaks don’t always present themselves right away. It may be months before a commercial property begins to see the effects of a leaky roof. That makes it all the more important to ensure any leakage is checked out and that a commercial roof inspection is completed with regularity.