Some commercial facilities are so large that it can be difficult to predict where roof leaks may occur – until they actually happen. As your roof ages, certain areas are more prone to leaking – being aware of these areas and checking them regularly will allow you to fix the damage before it gets worse.
- Penetrations: Flashing near penetrations through the membrane may be problematic. In most single-ply roofing systems these flashings are made of the same material as the membrane – look over sealants and seams in these areas frequently to check for leaks. Rain and other moisture on the roof will also reach the seals of roof drains that penetrate the surface. Your drain should be inspected to ensure it can handle heavy rain or snow. Have the drain cleaned or clean it yourself regularly. If at all possible, avoid roof penetrations in general.
- Along the perimeter: Near the edges of the roof, there are generally sheet metal flashings. Your roofing contractor should make sure that they shed water and that the sealants in the area are effective. Expansion joints at the perimeter tend to have leaks as well; you may want to consider pre-manufactured roofing accessories for your facility. If you choose to do this, you must be sure the accessories are compatible with other roof materials.
- Condensation: When warm interior air hits a cold surface in a building, such as a wall or ceiling, it creates condensation and may look like a leak, although it is not. Improper insulation or ventilation is the probable cause; however it could also be an inadequate air barrier. If you experience this issue, contact a professional.
As spring approaches, any built up snow and ice will begin to melt, so keep these problem areas in mind to avoid a surprise leak.
Courtesy of facilitiesnet