A leaking roof affects your business in multiple ways. The leaks can cause structural damage, encourage mold growth, and damage your business equipment. The first step to fixing water leaks is identifying the leak points, which is not exactly a straightforward affair. Below are potential challenges with leak detection.
Water Damage Takes Time
You can use signs of water damage to detect affected roof areas. Telltale signs of water leaks include:
- Peeling paint
- Ceiling stains
- Wallpaper damaged
- Sagging ceilings
However, the signs do not always appear at the first occurrence of a leak. Thus, you might suspect water leaks but struggle to locate the leak points if the leaks haven't caused visible damage.
Leak Points and Water Stains Might Be Far Apart
Roofing contractors know that water on the ceiling does not always mean that the roof is leaking at that point. Water can flow dozens of feet from leak points. That means that the roofing contractors have several square feet to search for the leak for every sign of water on the ceiling.
At least in pitched roofs, contractors can focus on areas above the water stains since water flows downward by gravity. However, most commercial roofs are flat (with indiscernible gradients), so water leaks can flow in any direction.
Age-related Dirt and Debris Mask Leak Signs
As mentioned above, water stains and discolorations help to detect water leaks. However, such leak detection becomes complicated if the roof had stains before the leaks. For example, many aging roofs have stains and discolorations from corrosion, material deterioration, and debris accumulation.
Some Designs Slow the Process
Lastly, leak detection is more complicated in some roof designs than others. For example, leak detection is difficult in roofs with ceiling tiles since the tiles hide signs of water damage. In many cases, the roofing contractor has to remove some tiles during leak investigations. The tile removal increases the project's timeline and budget.
Similarly, leak detection complications increase with the number of roof systems. For example, leak detection is difficult if one system is leaking and the others are intact. In such cases, water can travel long distances before causing visible damage. The roofing contractor might also have to remove some structures to spot the leak point.
Nonprofessionals are more likely to struggle with the above challenges than professional roofers. Contact a commercial roofing company for help the minute you suspect a leak. That way, you will identify and plug the leaks before serious damage occurs.