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The typical, flat roof on your commercial building is a workhorse that keeps your business and property dry and secure. Preventative roof maintenance can help against leaks and roof damage, but in the event of peril, or if a commercial roofing contractor makes an error during installation, it’s important to be prepared for how to fix it.

Leaking is more likely to happen if you have an aging roof, but a new roof can leak, too. Foot traffic, poor installation of flashing, gutters, and sealants, or inadequate grading can all lead to water penetration. Property owners dealing with damage on a new roof may be able to get repairs made under warranty, but may need more than just a roof repair. 

If a leak has gone undetected for a long period of time, it could also cause damage to your flooring, walls, or furniture. A full-service restoration company can help you get your business back in working shape, providing roof repairs and more.

How Do You Know If Your Commercial Roof Is Leaking?

Learn to notice the signs of a leaking roof and be prepared to take action to prevent damage.

Moisture staining

Drywall and ceiling tiles are quickly affected when exposed to moisture. Leaks will absorb into the material, and the excess water will leave its mark in the form of stains or water rings.

Bubbling paint

Moisture between a painted cement block wall or painted drywall can also cause blistering and bubbling in latex paint. Warped paint may be a sign of water damage.

Visible mold or odor

Moist and humid environments foster mold growth, so it’s not uncommon to see or smell signs of mold around the walls or ceiling in a space affected by a roof leak.

Pooling water

An unexpected puddle on the ground is a surefire sign of a leaky roof. If you intermittently need to place a bucket under a drip in the ceiling to collect leakage, it’s time to seek assistance to make commercial roof repairs.

How Do You Find a Leak in a Commercial Roof?

If you suspect water damage, it’s important to try to identify where the leak is coming from. Professionals will use moisture scanning equipment when auditing commercial properties, but property owners can also take steps to identify a problem. 

On a large commercial roof, you’ll want to pay attention to the area you believe to be leaking and the surrounding area. Even on a roof that’s presumed to have good pitch, it’s possible for moisture to pool and enter at a vulnerable point and then travel down the roof joists further away from its point of entry.

When you’re on the roof, do the following:

What Are Common Causes of Commercial Roof Leaks?

Age can affect older roofs, but there are additional factors that can cause newer roofs to leak, including inadequate roofing materials. 

Commercial roofing system installations are laborious and require great attention to detail from qualified roofing contractors. Drainage needs to be considered to avoid ponding water, and careful professional installation is necessary to prevent damage to the flashing and membranes during installation.

The most common reasons a roof may leak include the following.

Damaged membranes

Any number of problems can cause damage to the waterproofing membranes on a commercial roof. Foot damage, for example, can cause tears or holes in the membrane. Small nails that protrude through the surface can also become big problems. 

Left unaddressed, a hole in the waterproofing is an invitation for a leaky roof.

Poor flashing

Metal roof flashing seals seams and edges where moisture can permeate. Not only can it age with time, but weather and temperature can also impact the quality of its seal.

Open penetrations from vents or skylights

Anything that protrudes through the roof membrane,—whether it be mechanics for venting, access points, or skylights—requires additional weatherproofing, grading, and flashing to prevent water damage. Water can easily get indoors through any opening in the roof if it’s not properly sealed.


A roof that’s 15-20 years old is more prone to leaks than any new commercial roof. The limited lifespan of the flashing and membranes can lead to common roof leaks. Weather damage may more easily affect older roofs.

What Is the Best Way To Fix a Leaky Roof?

Preventing further damage is imperative for commercial building owners, and commercial roof restoration starts with prompt repairs. Professionals will know what to look for and will recommend what level of repair is necessary to fix the damage and prevent it from happening again. 

Professionals may recommend patching, new or improved flashing, or sealants. In the case of older roofs or for an old building with multiple layers of roofing, an entire roof replacement may be required to properly mitigate damage before proceeding with interior repairs. Beyond the roof, issues like mold, drywall damage, or flooring damage requires a skilled professional to restore your commercial property completely. ATI Restoration can handle everything from mold remediation to water extractions and dry-outs.

Things you can do yourself to reduce the likelihood of damage in the event of a rainstorm or windstorm include:

How Long Will It Take To Fix My Leaking Commercial Roof?

The extent of the damage and construction of the roofing system are contributing factors in determining price and how long it can take to make repairs. 

Weather conditions also play a factor because most roofing repairs can’t be made in the rain. Small repairs, such as sealing around a penetrating vent pipe or patching a small area, can often be made in a day to prevent future damage. 

After the roof structure has been repaired, it’s also important to mediate any interior damage to prevent mold growth. If mold growth has already begun, then remediation services may be necessary, as well.

Call Now for Fast Commercial Roof Restoration

Water damage restoration requires quick action, and when time is of the essence, you can count on the fast and reliable commercial roof restoration services at ATI Restoration. The first step after filing a claim is to schedule a roof inspection so our
water damage experts can help the insurance company determine how much can be funded for repairs.

Consult with our team if you need emergency services, or if you have a mold problem and need commercial remediation and repair. Though the experts at ATI Restoration aren’t just roofers, our network of roofing contractors and knowledge about the commercial insurance process makes it easy for commercial businesses to get the repairs done.

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