FLAT ROOFS LEAK. TRUE?Drone Infrared Imaging
What’s the real reason flat roofs leak?
If you talk to almost any facility manager they would tell you all flat roofs leak. In this article we are going to look at the reasons why a commercial roof would leak. Before we get started, please note that this is not about one particular roof or owner. This is about flat roofs in general. Doing an infrared scan of any roof is a good starting point towards taking care of any roofing system. With the latest technology, an infrared scan can be performed through drone technology. Most roofs can be scanned with several infrared photographs.
Roofing mistake #1
Owners, property managers, leasing companies, and retailers often make one mistake which is waiting until their roofs leak to take care of the problem. Commercial roofs are a major investment and they need to be taken care of similar to your car. Would anyone wait for their car to stop before they maintain the vehicle? Never changing the oil in the car will cause the car to fail way before its time. It is the same with any roofing system. If you don’t maintain the roof it will fail way before it’s time. Manufacturers of roofing material all want their roofs to be maintained. Why because they want to know how their roofing material is performing. There is also some things that are not covered in the warranty that need continued attention. All sealants such as pourable sealant and caulking are not covered under the warranty agreement. So if the pitch pocket (where wires and lines come through) dries out and or shrinks and the roof leaks, this makes one think that the roof system is failing. Not true. Please maintain your roof at least once a year if not twice a year, it will save you money in the long run.
Roofing mistake #2
Realizing that the above is the most important for any type of roofing system whether it is new or old, the next thing that needs to be done is know who is going onto your roof. I can’t tell you the number of times I have been on a roof that has a leak that was caused by other contractors. This is usually the scenario. A contractor goes onto the roof, works on a piece of equipment, finds out he needs to replace something and drops the part or tool on the roof causing a puncture. Sometimes these can be very small and take a good while to show up as a roof leak and sometimes they can leak immediately. Oil from condenser unit can cause havoc on a lot of roof system especially EPDM (rubber roof). They will begin deteriorating shortly after the oil is spilled. The bottom line is make sure you trust the people who are going onto your roof.
Roofing mistake #3
Putting additional pieces of equipment through your roof needs to have a professional roofing contractor install the flashing. What you don’t want is for a subcontractor to install the equipment and install roofing cement to the bottom flange. This is about a one year fix and sometimes it is less depending on the movement of the equipment as it is operating. A professional install of the flashing takes time and will cost some money, but it is well worth it in the end. The most vulnerable area of your roof is the penetrations through the roof, if they are done right, there is a better chance to extend the life of your roof.