Perhaps one workday you find yourself walking around the office getting a cup of coffee, but then you unexpectedly feel something drop on your shoulder. It rained in the morning but stopped a few minutes ago. This is when you realize the ceiling is leaking.
You might ask yourself, “What do I do if my commercial roof is leaking?” and fret about it, but you shouldn’t need to worry. While leaks can escalate into serious problems if neglected, you can take action quickly. This can minimize the damage and prevent excessive repair costs.
Simple Steps to Take Against Leaks
When you detect a leak, you should immediately work to reduce the damage to your surroundings. Get a bucket to prevent further damage to carpets or important documents. This also applies to electronics, particularly computers and printers.
For objects too large to move away, you can cover them with plastic sheets or bags. Keep the water from falling on them and on the floor. If you manage to capture the falling drops in a bucket, you can start wiping or mopping the puddles on the floor.
After this, you should try to mark the point of the leak immediately. You’ll need to do this to help contractors and insurance agents find the leak as proof. If this is not done, it will be more difficult to find the leak once it dries up.
Leaks might stain the ceiling with brown dirt carried by the water, so that’s another way to identify a leak even when dry. However, it’s always better to do it while the leak isn’t gone yet.
Keep in mind that just because you find one source, it doesn’t mean it’s the only one. You should look around the entire building to make sure there are none left. If you do find more, you should either mark it or take a photo should it be too high up.
If there is a leak even when it hasn’t rained, chances are there is an issue with the plumbing or A/C. You should also mark the location down and try to minimize the damage.
What Leaks Can Do to Your Building
Leaks can be extremely dangerous if left untreated. Not only do they damage valuable items, but they can even affect your electrical wiring. We recommend you get leaks plugged up immediately, since commercial buildings have comparatively more risks.
The water that seeps in from leaks can potentially damage electronics and wooden items. These can cost a lot to replace and slow down the workflow of the office. While wooden items aren’t always found within offices, furniture warehouses can potentially lose a lot of money to replace damaged furniture.
If a building is made of wood, then leaking water can cause it to rot. This can compromise structural integrity and you’ll have to spend a lot of money to replace the wooden components. However, commercial buildings wouldn’t suffer from this problem as often.
Other than printers and fax machines, the electrical wiring itself is at risk when your commercial roof starts leaking. There’s always a chance of the wires’ coating being worn out or compromised. This means that there is a chance for them to short out.
When this happens enough, the interaction might produce sparks, and should there be enough airborne particles to ignite, it can start a fire. If detected too late, you risk losing the entire building and everything in it. This will lose you more than tens of thousands of dollars, maybe even beyond a hundred thousand.
The Dangers of Unwanted Moisture
A leak in your roof can also lead to moss growth. Moss is very unpleasant to deal with and it can discolor your ceiling and walls should it fall out. It can even go around the entire building if left untreated and stain everything.
Moisture means mold and mildew growth, and this can turn into a serious health concern. Mold allergies can be very dangerous if triggered. If customers and employees find out, they will have to leave your business until it is solved, financially damaging your company.
The water itself can be a hazard, especially when it forms puddles. People can slip and injure themselves, and that can lead to a lawsuit.
What Should I Do If My Commercial Roof Is Leaking?
Other than the above steps, you can call a professional roofing company. They can plug the leaks up and even conduct an inspection for further damage. In the event that they do find more problems, they can repair them for you for a fee.
If you have a warranty, check if it covers leaks. Provided it does, you can relax a bit and let the contractors fix the leaks. If not, you can ask for quotes from other contractors in the area.
Unfortunately, if the leak is too serious, you might be looking at a roof replacement. This only happens if there hasn’t been regular maintenance done on the roof. If you constantly check the roof, it’s rare to see this required.
If you prefer to stop a leak temporarily, you can use roofing cement, but it doesn’t work with all commercial roofs. It’s also only a temporary solution and doesn’t last long.
In the end, it’s better to ask for professional help and check if your building’s insurance covers leaks. Professionals are qualified to fix leaks and can even detect additional problems immediately when they check your roof. They’ll know what to do due to their years of experience plugging leaks.
Try to cooperate with the contractors and your insurance agent and provide them with all the information they need to make repairs and calculate costs. This helps streamline the process and you can get back to business sooner.
Is Your Roof Leaking?
Now that we’ve taken a look at what to do when your commercial roof is leaking, you should consider signing a maintenance plan from a trusted roofing company. We can help deal with leaks and you can save money in the long term. As an added bonus, you’ll know who to turn to if you have questions!