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3 Ways We Check for Water in Commercial Roofing

When it comes to checking your commercial roof for water leaks or damage, it is important to know what to look for, where to look, and what to do about it. Doing a walk through of your own property to look for obvious signs of leaks is recommended as you are eyes on sight at all times. However, to narrow in on specific leaks, erosion, and severe damage it is crucial to call a professional.

Interior Damage 

The first place a professional roofing contractor will look is in the interior of the building. There are a few factors that will indicate water leaks or damage. Signs such as, looking up at the ceiling tiles for water stains, sagging ceiling panels, or dripping water. Seeing water coming down the walls or even building up inside of the light fixtures on the ceiling can be an obvious sign. 

Another sign of damage would be one you cannot see, but you can feel and smell. If the air feels overly moist or you smell a strong musty smell, that can indicate a water leak. This can also lead to mold issues which can not not only be hazardous, but can even be deadly. Mold forms over time due to trapped moisture and it can be hidden, so hiring a professional to do a thorough walk through of the interior is highly recommended.

Exterior Penetrations 

Once the interior of the building has been thoroughly inspected, we move to the rooftop. We start by looking for obvious penetrations which would consist of any cuts or tears to the membrane. This could be due to extreme weather, age erosion, or objects causing penetration by force. Some of these objects from our personal experience can be anything from other parts of the building flying on top due to extreme weather, tree branches, and even bullets! 

Besides looking for cuts or wear and tear on the membrane, any signs of squishy areas, bubbles, or uneven areas is also a clear indication of water intrusion. The membrane is what covers the entire roof so a professional will take their time to walk every inch of the roof. Looking at the pipe boots as well as the transition bars is another  can show obvious signs of a penetration which can lead to water damage.

Moisture Meter

When a thorough inspection to the interior and exterior of the building is complete and there is enough evidence of a current leak, moisture testing will be performed. Infrared Thermography, also known as an IR scan, is a non- destructive testing method to detect and record temperature differences across the surface of an object. IR scanning is the most common moisture detection method for identifying wet insulation on non-ballasted commercial roofing systems. 

To take a step further, if needed and with owners approval, a core sample will be done. Core sampling is a test that involves the cutting and removal of roofing layers until a structural deck is reached. The core sample is analyzed on the roof for thickness, layers, composition, slope, hazardous material, roof deck and moisture.

Water leaks and damage are something you do not want to put on the back burner as it can lead to serious issues and pricey replacements if not taken care of right away. Walking your property to look for obvious leaks is a great place to start, but call a professional to assist with narrowing in on damage so they can help get ahead of it before it becomes a bigger burden.

 If you’re looking for peace of mind, maintenance agreements can help address problems with your roof before they become a bigger issue. A maintenance agreement is a preventive care plan for your roof in which a roofing specialist will walk your roof a number of times per year and check for any inefficiencies. With a maintenance agreement, you can learn about leaks, damage to your roof, and more before it becomes a major headache. To learn more, contact us today or call (303) 619-7640.

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