Water infiltration accounts for over 70% of legal disputes in the construction industry. A leaking roof is a concern for commercial building owners as it can lead to significant damage if left unattended.
It is always recommended to hire a professional roofing contractor for complex repairs. However, there are some temporary solutions to minimize further damage.
In this guide, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to fix a leaking roof from the inside.
Assess the Situation
Nothing is more frustrating than discovering water dripping from above, jeopardizing the safety and comfort of your property. Let’s get started by first assessing the situation and understanding the extent of the damage.
Observe the Signs
It is essential to locate the source of the commercial roof leak. Look for signs of water damage on the ceiling, walls, or around light fixtures. Water stains and discoloration on commercial roofs are indicative of the leak’s location. Pay attention to any areas where water appears to be pooling or dripping.
Trace the Stains
Trace them to their highest point on the roof. Start from the interior and follow the path of the water upwards. This will help you narrow down the general area where the leak is occurring.
Check Roof Penetrations
Inspect areas like vents, chimneys, skylights, or HVAC units. These areas are common sources of leaks. Look for signs of roof damage, such as cracked flashing or deteriorated seals.
Inspect the Roof
Before proceeding with repairs, conduct a thorough inspection of the commercial roof leak. Follow the guidelines below.
Take all necessary safety precautions when accessing the roof. Use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and work with a partner if possible.
Look for damaged or missing shingles. Check cracks in the roof membrane, gaps in the flashing, or any other visible signs of damage.
Document the Findings
Take photographs or notes of the areas that need attention. This information will be useful when consulting with a professional roofing contractor in Springfield, IL.
We understand the urgency of the situation and the need to minimize further damage to your building. Here are practical solutions to temporarily address a leaking roof while awaiting professional repairs.
Tarps and Plastic Sheeting
If immediate repairs are not possible, you can use tarps or plastic sheeting to temporarily cover the affected area. Simply follow the following steps:
Select the Material
Choose a durable tarp or plastic sheeting. Ensure it is larger than the affected area and made of waterproof material.
Secure the Material
Position the tarp or plastic sheeting over the leak. Extend it beyond the damaged area and secure it in place. This will prevent water from seeping in.
Monitor the Situation
Check the temporary covering to ensure it remains secure and intact. Make arrangements for professional repairs as soon as possible.
Sealant or Roofing Cement
For a minor leaky roof repair, you can use sealant or roofing cement to provide a temporary fix. Follow the steps below.
Identify the Leak’s Location
Determine the specific area where the leak is occurring. Look for cracks, gaps, or damaged sections.
Clean the Area
Clean the affected area, removing any debris, loose material, or old sealant. This ensures a clean surface for effective application of the temporary solutions.
Apply the Sealant
Using a caulking gun or putty knife, apply a generous amount of roofing sealant or roofing cement to the damaged area. Ensure complete coverage.
Smooth and Blend
Use the putty knife to smooth and blend the sealant or cement. This ensures a uniform surface, promoting proper adhesion and water resistance.
Allow Adequate Drying Time
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on drying time. It is essential to allow the sealant or cement to dry completely before re-inspecting for any more leaks.
Long-term solutions are essential to ensure lasting effectiveness and prevent recurring issues. Learn more below.
Professional Roof Inspection
To address the leakage and determine the most suitable repair options, schedule a professional roof inspection. Here are some tips to help you get the best one in your local area.
Choose a Qualified Roofing Contractor
Select a reputable commercial roofing contractor. One that is experienced in handling leaks and repairs for commercial buildings. Look for contractors with a proven track record and positive customer reviews. One with appropriate licenses and certifications.
Request an Inspection
Contact the roofing contractor and request a thorough inspection of your roof. Provide them with the information you gathered during your inspection. This includes the location of the leak and any visible signs of damage.
Consultation and Recommendations
The contractor will conduct a comprehensive assessment for roof repair. They will examine the areas you identified, as well as other potential problem areas. The contractor will provide you with a detailed report that includes:
- Identification of the underlying cause of the leak
- Assessment of the condition of the roof
- Recommendations for necessary repairs or replacements
- Estimated costs and timelines for the recommended solutions
Repair or Replace Damaged Components
Based on the professional inspection, the roofing contractor may recommend specific repairs or replacements for your roof. To address these recommendations effectively, there a few guidelines to follow.
Follow Expert Recommendations
Adhere to the contractor’s recommendations on repair or replacement. Their expertise ensures the best long-term solution to patch a leak.
Repair Flashing and Seal Gaps
Damaged flashing or gaps around protrusions should be addressed. This include vents, chimneys, or skylights.
Sealed flashing prevents water intrusion and helps maintain the integrity of the roof system. The contractor may recommend repairing or replacing the damaged flashing with high-quality materials.
Replace Damaged Shingles or Membrane
If the inspection reveals damaged shingles or roof membranes, it’s essential to replace them. Damaged shingles can allow water to penetrate the underlying layers of the roof. This leads to leaks and further damage.
A compromised roof membrane can result in water infiltration. The contractor will recommend suitable replacement materials. The materials should match the existing roof and meet the necessary quality standards.
Address Structural Issues
If the inspection identifies any structural issues that contribute to the leaking, address it immediately. Structural repairs may involve reinforcing weakened areas and correcting sagging sections. It improves the overall stability of the roof structure.
Your roofing contractor will guide the appropriate measures to rectify the structural issues.
Improve Roof Drainage
Inadequate roof drainage can lead to leaks and water damage, posing a significant risk to the integrity of your home. To mitigate these issues effectively, consider the following.
Additional Gutters and Downspouts
Install additional gutters, downspouts, or roof drains as necessary. This helps distribute the water evenly across the roof. It prevents excessive pooling or concentrated water flow in specific areas.
The additional gutters and downspouts should be strategically placed to effectively divert water away from vulnerable sections of the roof.
Clear Existing Drainage Systems
Regularly inspect and clear all existing gutters, downspouts, and roof drains. This ensures they are free of debris, such as leaves, twigs, or other obstructions.
Clogged or blocked drainage systems can cause water to back up and overflow. This leads to leaks and potential damage. Clean the gutters and downspouts at least twice a year, or more frequently if your commercial building is located in an area with heavy foliage.
Maintain Regular Roof Maintenance
Want to prevent future leaks? Have a proactive maintenance plan for your commercial roof. Learn more below:
Schedule regular inspections to identify and address any potential issues promptly. Inspections should be conducted at least twice a year. Ideally in the spring and fall, and after severe weather events.
Consider hiring a professional roofing contractor to perform thorough inspections and provide a detailed report of the roof’s condition. They can identify any signs of damage, potential weak points, or areas that need maintenance.
Regularly clear debris, such as leaves, branches, or dirt, from the roof surface, gutters, and downspouts. Accumulated debris can obstruct proper water flow, which leads to water pooling and potential leaks.
Clean rooftop HVAC units, vents, and other equipment regularly to prevent blockages. Create a maintenance schedule and assign a professional cleaning service to carry out these tasks consistently.
Trim Overhanging Trees
Trim overhanging branches that are near the roof. These branches can rub against the roof surface, causing damage to the roofing materials. During storms, they may also pose a risk of falling onto the roof and causing significant damage.
Regularly assess and trim any trees near the building to prevent such hazards. Consult with an arborist or tree service for professional guidance and tree maintenance.
Proactive Measures on How to Fix a Leaking Roof from the Inside
Learning how to fix a leaking roof from the inside can help mitigate further damage. Focus on safety when accessing the roof. Consult a commercial roofing contractor for a comprehensive assessment and long-term repair options.
You can protect your commercial property and extend the lifespan of your roof. This can be done by taking action on how to fix a leaking roof. Remember that commercial roofing repairs require specialized knowledge and skills.
It is crucial to rely on professional expertise to ensure the best possible outcome for your building. Contact us today for professional consultation.