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Four Types of Commercial Roof Leaks and Ways to Prevent Them

December 13, 2019

Leaks are an inevitable occurrence in roofs be it a residential or a commercial one. However, those can be prevented with proper maintenance. Among the most common commercial roof leaks are pitch pan leaks, metal flashing leaks, heating, ventilation and air condition (HVAC) vent leaks and gutter leaks. Indicated below are their characteristics and the ways on how to prevent them.

Pitch Pan Leaks

Pitch pan leaks, otherwise known as pitch pocket roof leaks, are commercial roof leaks characterised by the drying and shrinking of the sealer in the pitch pan. The pitch pan is the flanged, metal container placed around a pipe, conduit, or other roof-penetrating element and filled with bitumen or flashing cement to seal the joint. Manufacturing facilities experience such leaks more often than other commercial establishments because their roofing systems have a large number of penetrations. However, it is possible to happen in roofs with a single penetration.

Usually, pitch pan leaks occur when the building has experienced structural movement, or a roof penetration that the pan surrounds has experienced movement. Pitch pan problems almost always result in leaks but a qualified roofing maintenance technician knows what to look for and can resolve the problem before it damages your building.

Metal Flashing Leaks

Damages in the metal flashing often result to leaks on commercial roofing systems. Flashing is the impervious material that’s installed at joints where the roof terminates or transitions from a horizontal position to a vertical one. Flashing surrounds penetrations on commercial roofs. Many flashing leaks result from some failure to adhere to the joint it is meant to seal. Common reasons for flashing leaks are building movement, improper flashing installation, or moisture behind flashing from an adjacent wall, window or masonry section.

HVAC Vent Leaks

Most HVAC vents are extremely common roof penetrations on commercial buildings with multiple areas requiring flashing, sealing, and maintenance. Consequently, roof leaks associated with the vents are often classified as a specific source of flashing leaks. When a pitch pan is also involved, the vents are especially problematic because they often emit heat that causes the filler in the pan to dry out sooner than expected, compounding the problem. An experienced roof maintenance technician will pay particular attention to HVAC vents and take steps at the first sign of trouble to correct problems before they start.

Gutter Leaks

Gutters are part of your commercial roofing system. Gutter leaks are generally caused different damages and installation mistakes. It could be from the improper sealing between gutter segments. Or it can be caused by clogged front elbows and downspouts. Also, some downspouts have a diameter that is too narrow for drainage volume, so this too can cause gutter leaks. Aside from that, there could be a corrosion that creates holes in gutter components. Another cause would be improper gutter cleaning measures that damage the gutter structure.

Prevent commercial roof leaks by consulting All Safe Roofing. We are a top, innovative industrial and commercial roofing company that is dedicated in delivering excellent quality work within the customer’s budget, providing exceptional customer service and attention to detail.

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