When is a Flat Roof Leak a Sign of a Bigger Issue?

September 01, 2020


It’s what commercial roofs do, right? Not so fast.

A leak is often more than a pesky drop in a bucket. It can be a sign of serious damage right around the corner—if it hasn’t happened already.

How to Spot a Leak

Dripping water, of course, is a clear sign of a leak. However, sometimes leaks look different than you'd expect. When you notice any of these additional signs of water infiltration, take action:

  • Puddles and pooling
  • Odor
  • Mold
  • Insects or rodents
  • Moisture, stains or discoloration on ceilings or walls
  • General dampness inside the building 

What it Means

If you’ve noticed any of these signs, chances are there’s more than one leak. Visible water damage points to the roof membrane and secondary protection failing to stop water. What looks like “just a little leak” could very well point to major roof decay, with potential damage to your property, or even serious health hazards due to mold, right around the corner. 

What You Can Do

Mark Leaks

If you find one leak, look for others, then make sure to place a visible mark near each one. This tactic is recommended for when you talk to contractors and insurance agents about the damage. It’s important to mark the leak as soon as possible, because it might prove difficult to find it once the area has dried. Remember, a dried leak does not mean a fixed leak! 

Reduce Interior Damage

Remove any vulnerable objects or equipment close to the leak, ranging from furniture to electronics and inventory. If you cannot move an object, use a plastic tarp to cover it. Minimize damage by placing a bucket or receptacle underneath the leak and taping plastic sheets to the walls if moisture is visible. If you have ceiling tiles, remove them from the affected area so the water damage doesn’t spread.

Protect Your Employees

Place warning signs around the leaks and the affected areas to keep people out of danger.

Once you have reduced and contained the leaks in your commercial roof, it’s time to call professional contractors to finish the job. Attempting to fix the damage yourself is dangerous. Contact Technique Roofing Systems for immediate inspection and repairs.
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