Essential Tips for Preventing Commercial Roof Leaks

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Maguire Brothers - Commercial Roof Leaks

Roof maintenance often takes a back seat for many commercial property owners until a leak becomes evident. Unfortunately, by the time a leak happens, the associated costs, efforts, and time needed for repairs become significantly greater than if action had been taken earlier. This highlights the importance of understanding the causes of roof leaks in commercial buildings. Proactively addressing these issues before they escalate can prevent further damage and ultimately save building owners a substantial amount of money in the long run.


The following factors contribute to roof leaks in commercial buildings:

  1. Poor Roof Installation.

    Incorrect installation ranks among the primary culprits of commercial roof leaks. When the roof isn’t positioned accurately, gaps, loose seams, and faulty waterproofing can emerge, providing avenues for water infiltration.

  2. Age and Weathering.

    Exposure to all types of weather conditions, from scorching heat to freezing temperatures, rain, snow, and storms, takes its toll on a commercial roof over time. This results in structural degradation, rendering the roof more susceptible to leaks.

  3. Lack of Maintenance.

    Regular maintenance is crucial for identifying and addressing potential issues before they escalate. Neglecting routine inspections allows problems to go unnoticed, eventually leading to leaks.

  4. Damaged Roofing Materials.

    Commercial roofs, often comprising slates/tiles, membranes, or metal panels, can suffer damage from hail, wind, or foot traffic. Such damage creates openings for water to seep into the roof system.

  5. Clogged or Blocked Drains.

    Roof drains that are blocked or clogged impede water flow, resulting in water accumulation and potential leaks.

  6. Intrusion Points.

    Commercial roofs often feature protrusions like HVAC units, vents, pipes, and skylights. Improperly sealed or damaged penetration points offer easy access to water, causing a leaky roof.

  7. Flashing Issues.

    Flashing, which seals joints and transitions on a commercial roof, can allow water infiltration if damaged, improperly installed, or degraded.

  8. Harsh Weather Events.

    Extreme weather events, such as severe storms, can damage commercial roofs, dislodging materials, tearing off shingles, or causing structural damage leading to leaks.

  9. Neglected Repairs.

    Delaying necessary roof repairs can exacerbate existing issues, permitting water to penetrate and cause further damage. Timely repairs are crucial to preventing leaks and avoiding expensive repairs.



Preventing Commercial Roof Leaks – Actionable Tips:

Maintaining a well-kept commercial roof is indispensable for the longevity and success of any business. Given the potential for substantial damage, operational disruptions, and costly repairs resulting from roof leaks, adopting preventative measures is the wisest course of action. Here’s what you can do to safeguard your commercial roof:

  1. Regular Roof Inspections.

    Schedule biannual inspections with a certified professional, ideally during spring and fall. A trained roof inspector can identify minor issues before they escalate, allowing for timely repairs and preventing potential damage. Learn about our Inspection and Survey Services.

  2. Promptly Address Roof Damage.

    Remediate discovered damage immediately during routine maintenance checks. Cracked or missing shingles, damaged roof flashings, or deteriorated sealant should be addressed promptly to prevent severe water infiltration.

  3. Keep Gutters and Drains Clean.

    Clogged gutters and drains can lead to water pooling on the roof, increasing the risk of leaks.

  4. Maintain Proper Roof Drainage.

    Ensure your roof has a proper drainage system to divert rainwater from the building. Poor drainage can lead to ponding, putting unnecessary strain on the roof and increasing the likelihood of leaks.

  5. Choose Quality Roofing Materials.

    Invest in high-quality roofing materials from reputable manufacturers to extend the lifespan of your commercial roof and reduce the risk of leaks. Work with experienced contractors to select materials suitable for your building and climate conditions.

  6. Professional Installation.

    Always hire a certified, experienced commercial roofing contractor for proper installation. A poorly installed roof is more prone to leaks and may invalidate manufacturer warranties.

  7. Regular Roof Maintenance Program.

    Start a structured roof maintenance program for routine inspections, cleaning, and minor repairs. Assign responsibilities to staff or contractors to ensure consistent maintenance.

  8. Monitor Interior Spaces.

    Leak detection isn’t confined to the roof’s exterior. Check walls and ceilings for water stains, discoloration, or mould growth. Address internal issues promptly to prevent further damage.

  9. Prevent Ice Dams.

    In cold climates, ice dams can form along the roof’s edges, leading to leaks. Adequate insulation and attic ventilation can prevent ice dams from forming.

  10. Educate Staff.

    Instruct your staff to promptly report any signs of roof leaks. Encourage vigilance during heavy rains or storms and prompt reporting of any unusual water infiltration.

By adhering to these preventative measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of commercial roof leaks, extending the life of your roof.


Has your roof been leaking or just want to speak to someone about your commercial roof? Speak to Maguire Brothers today!

We’re here to assist with all your commercial roofing and external refurbishment needs.

Whether you have questions about our services, want to discuss a potential project, or need professional roofing advice, our experts are dedicated to providing personalised solutions and exceptional customer service.

Our roof surveys will give you all the tools to make a completely independent and impartial decision, ensuring you are able to get the most value for money.

We look forward to hearing from you.

This article, as with all other articles we produce, is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute formal advice and should not be relied upon as such. For bespoke, unbiased advice relating to your commercial roofing project please contact us and we would be pleased to assist.

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