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Fort Worth Roofing: Article About Fixing Leaks On Commercial Roofs

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Leaks are one of the most common roofing problems. They can also be especially difficult to accurately and precisely fix. A qualified Fort Worth roofing contractor will go through the complex process of hunting down the source of a leak and fixing the problem. A building owner can help the efficiency of service by being aware of how leaks happen on most commercial roofs so they are better prepared to answer the contractor's questions.

Most commercial roofs are flat or low slope roofs comprised of several layers. A leak starts with water penetration or seepage through the top membrane layers. This can happen if the membranes are punctured or torn by severe weather, walking damage, careless roof work or the installation of rooftop systems such as solar panels. It may also happen as the membranes wear down, crack or shrink with age. The leaking water then sits on the insulation boards until it finds a gap to fit through. Fully adhered roofs may limit the movement of water along the boards, but the water eventually finds its way down unless the seepage is caught by inspection.

Once it is through the membrane and insulation boards, the water hits the metal roof deck. The deck is usually comprised of overlapping metal panels, so the water flows along the panels, sometimes for a considerable distance, before it finds a gap large enough to get through.

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Finally, the water will soak through the layers below the deck, possibly dropping into and flowing along duct work, before finally soaking into and through the interior walls or ceiling. Only after this extensive journey will the leak be noticeable on the inside. This means the cause of a leak may actually be hundreds of feet away from where it appears.

The complicated maze of layers and materials through which the water flows from the initial point of penetration makes finding the real cause of the leak a serious investigation. The contractor, with some help from the building owner, will examine how long the leak has occurred, when exactly the leak occurs and if there is more than one leak simultaneously.

The best time to track the leak is when it is actively flowing. The contractor will likely work from the inside out, tracing the leak back along the path to its point of entry. Once the entry point is discovered, the contractor can analyze what caused the leak and recommend necessary repairs.

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