“Just a little leak” can be an indicator there’s a big problem with your commercial property roof. It’s the red flag you shouldn’t ignore because it can lead to a huge problem property owners want to avoid.
Damages from an Undetected Roof Leak
We live and work in Florida, one of the U.S. states with the highest annual rainfall. We see a lot of leaky roofs.
Leaky roofs can be repaired, but not all leaks are created equal. Some leaks are impossible to detect until the damage is done. That’s why most Floridian commercial property owners and managers schedule an annual roof “wellness checkup.”
Here are 7 ways a roof leak can cause damage:
- Collapsed ceiling – Furniture and electronics can be replaced. The only thing worse than a collapsed ceiling is a collapsed ceiling on top of you. An annual roof inspection can prove invaluable if your property has an undetected roof leak.
- Fire threat – Water can damage electrical wiring. If you suspect an electrical short, it’s a fire hazard; don’t ignore it. Turn off the electricity and call an electrician. This is one of the things your annual roof inspection company will check.
- High utility bills – If you notice your HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) is working harder, an unknown roof leak could be the cause.
- Interior ceilings and/or attics – A roof leak can damage the structural integrity of the roof itself, but it can also affect a room’s interior ceiling. You won’t realize it’s happening until the ceiling plaster bubbles and expands. The ceiling paint will spot-stain and then darken at the leak site. At that point, insulation, ceiling-mounted fans, and lighting may also be damaged.
- Mildew and mold – Mold and mildew can be deadly to your residents’ health. Behind the walls, mold can thrive and spread. Eventually, it can invade the HVAC system and wall or floor vents. Mold can damage carpets, ceiling tiles, fabrics, furniture, wood framing, and more. It’s difficult to successfully eradicate mold.
- Slip-and-fall – At this point, someone should be able to see water dripping from the ceiling, but elderly and young people may not. Kids run with abandon and seniors move carefully, but both of these age groups are at-risk for slips and falls from pooling water on a floor.
- Structural damage – Ceiling joists, exterior trim, fascia boards, rafters, wall framing…all can be damaged when a roof leaks undetected for too long.
Ways to Prevent Roof Leaks
Here in Florida, we are familiar with heavy rains for long periods of time. One of the ways to prevent roof leaks before they start is to fix what roofers call “ponding.” If water puddles or pools in spots on your roof after a rainfall, that area is more likely to decay.
Roof rot leads to roof leaks. This is more likely to occur on flat, commercial roofs rather than steeply pitched residential roofs, but it can happen to any roof.
Other ways to prevent roof leaks include:
- Clean gutters – Keep your rain runoff system debris-free. When gutters clog, they leave standing water on your roof, which can lead to leaks.
- Look up – It sounds elementary, but the fact is, most of us scan the perimeter for problems and forget to look upward. Be sure you/your property maintenance team looks up at light fixtures and ceilings regularly.
- Replace small, damaged areas immediately – A few missing shingles can be the beginning of a leak.
- Roof maintenance – A roofing professional will inspect:
Other roof areas that have seals or may be opportunities for roof leaks. If you have a pool or patio area on your commercial roof, a regular roofing inspection is more than “preventive.” It’s critical.
Roof Maintenance Can Save Money
Roof maintenance by the right roofing contractor can save money. If you partner with the wrong roofing company, you may receive less-than-honest advice. Facts:
- A roof’s lifespan can be increased up to 50% with regular roof maintenance.
- Commercial roofing replacement is about $42,500*.
- Regular roof maintenance can detect and repair an “invisible” roof leak before it does enough damage to be noticeable.
- Roof maintenance plans are tax-deductible.
Miami Commercial and Residential Roofing
Smart property owners and managers know an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially in terms of safety. Regular roof maintenance and inspections can also lower risks of expensive repairs for problems that could’ve been caught sooner.
A-1 Property Services is a GAF Master Elite™ roofing contractor. We use superior roofing materials and offer best practices repair/maintenance services. You’ll find our level of confidence in our work and materials is reflected in our warranties.
Call 301.547.8355 or contact A-1 Property Services, Inc. to learn more about the dangers of hidden roof leaks.