The roof is one of the most important parts of a commercial property. It plays a crucial role in shielding the property and its inhabitants from the elements while maintaining its overall structure.
Unfortunately, not even the most well-built commercial roofs are immune to damage. At some point, commercial property owners may find themselves needing the help of a water restoration company in Arlington, VA.
Commercial roof leaks can occur due to a wide variety of reasons. Learn more about what causes roof leaks on commercial properties and what you can do to mitigate water damage below.
What Causes Roof Leaks?
No property owner wants to see damage on their property. However, when you spot stains on the ceilings or walls, warping, microbial growth, or puddles of water, these are signs of water damage on your commercial property and must be dealt with immediately by a water restoration company in Arlington, VA.
These issues are usually caused by the following:
Cracks in the Roof Membrane
The roof membrane is a type of material that is typically installed on flat and low-sloped roofs, mainly on commercial buildings. It is generally made from a flexible or semi-flexible roofing material that provides insulation and moves water off the roof to protect the building underneath from water damage.
Over time, some form of damage, such as a crack or a split, can appear on your roof membrane and threaten its integrity. This can be due to falling branches or hail storms. Regardless of the cause of the damage, anything that weakens the integrity of the membrane could allow the flow of water, dealing water damage to your property.
Poor Roof Design and Insufficient Drainage
Flat roofs are quite common among commercial buildings. Unfortunately, when these are poorly designed and constructed, heavy rains can create pools of water due to insufficient drainage, putting unnecessary weight on your roof. In some cases, the added pressure may be too much for your roof and damage it, causing water to leak.
Flashing acts as the main protector of the membrane’s edges. These are typically installed in leak-prone areas of your roof, such as along chimneys, valleys, skylights, dormers, and vent pipes. Because they are more commonly made from metallic materials like galvanized steel and sheet metal, they will likely expand and contract with temperature changes. Eventually, the flashing comes loose, decreasing the amount of protection during heavy downpours of rain.
Most commercial properties require water restoration in Arlington, VA, due to various roof penetrations on their roofing system. These penetrations are created during the installation of vents, drains, gas lines, pipes, HVAC units, and other systems that go through the roof membrane. The existence of these holes makes the roof vulnerable to leaking.
Other Sources of Dripping Water and Leaks
- Plumbing issues
- Problems with your HVAC unit
- Pest infestation
- Clogged gutters
How to Manage a Roof Leak
The best way to manage a roof leak is to fix it immediately. However, in many instances, fixing the leak is quite challenging or nearly impossible due to various circumstances. Protecting your property and its inhabitants should be your priority during those situations.
Here’s how you can manage a roof leak before water restoration in Arlington, VA, can be applied:
Clear the Affected Area
As mentioned before, when water is dripping from your roof, your main priority is to protect your property and its inhabitants. As such, your first course of action should be to clear the area of any equipment and supplies that may get damaged due to the leak. These include expensive office equipment, appliances, priority documents, and water-absorbent supplies.
Take Measures to Mitigate the Damage
If you can’t clear the area from some pieces of equipment because they are too heavy or immobile, then cover them up with a plastic tarp to prevent any damage. Unplug all electric cables and cords to prevent electrocution. Finally, place a bucket underneath to collect the water and protect your floors.
Look for the Source of the Leak
Identify the source of the leak. This is a crucial step as it will help you control the spread and prevent further damage to your property. Determine if water ingress is caused by an external leak that lets rainwater in or an internal issue.
Mark the Entry Point
Once you’ve located the leak’s point of entry, mark it down. Use a marker or a colored piece of tape to mark the leak area to avoid wasting valuable time searching for the leak later on. Make sure to complete this step as quickly as possible while the leak is ongoing, as it becomes considerably more difficult to locate once it stops.
Call For Assistance
Depending on the source of the issue, it may be difficult for you to fix the leak on your own. When that happens, you can enlist the help of a roofing contractor to help you locate and seal the leak or fix the issue to ensure the problem doesn’t return. If you’re faced with considerable water damage, call for an expert water restoration company in Arlington, VA, to restore your property’s pristine condition.
Protect Your Commercial Property From Water Damage with Restoration 1
A leaking roof is one of the most common issues commercial property owners face and a leading cause of property damage. Acting swiftly is key to mitigating the damage to your property and other assets. Keep your belongings away from the point of ingress and look for ways to seal up the leak or make it easy to pinpoint for a fast resolution of the issue.
However, when the damage to your property is too much despite your best efforts, you can rely on a team of expert restoration professionals to repair the damage and restore your property to its pre-loss condition. Contact Restoration 1 of Arlington, VA, to get started!