Top 5 Causes of Commercial Roof Leaks

Top 5 Causes of Commercial Roof Leaks

When it comes to maintaining a commercial building, one of the most critical areas to monitor is the roof. A leaky roof can lead to significant damage, not only to the structure of the building but also to the valuable assets inside. As a business owner or property manager, understanding the common causes of roof leaks can help you take preventive measures and ensure the longevity of your roof. If you’re already facing issues, it’s essential to consult a professional commercial roofer like Paramount Commercial Roofing to address the problem promptly. Here are the top five causes of commercial roof leaks:

1. **Damaged Flashing**: Flashing is the thin piece of metal installed on the roof to direct water away from critical areas, such as where the roof meets the walls or around vents and chimneys. Over time, flashing can become corroded, cracked, or detached due to weather conditions or poor installation. When this happens, water can seep into the gaps, leading to leaks. Regular inspections by a commercial roofer can help identify and repair damaged flashing before it becomes a significant issue.

2. **Ponding Water**: One of the most common problems in commercial roofing is ponding water. This refers to the accumulation of water on the roof, usually due to poor drainage. If water stands on the roof for more than 48 hours, it can start to penetrate the roofing material, leading to leaks. Factors contributing to ponding water include clogged drains, inadequate roof slope, or structural deformities. Regular maintenance and cleaning of drainage systems can prevent this issue.

3. **Roof Membrane Damage**: The roof membrane acts as a waterproof barrier, protecting the building from external elements. Over time, this membrane can become brittle, shrink, or get punctured. Factors like foot traffic, UV radiation, and harsh weather conditions can accelerate the wear and tear of the membrane. Once damaged, it becomes an entry point for water.

Regular inspections and timely repairs by experts in commercial roofing, such as Paramount Commercial Roofing, can help maintain the integrity of the roof membrane.

4. **Age of the Roof**: Like everything else, roofs have a lifespan. As roofs age, the materials start to deteriorate, making them more susceptible to leaks. Even with regular maintenance, an old roof can become less effective at keeping water out. If your commercial roof is nearing the end of its expected lifespan, it might be time to consider a replacement or an overhaul by a reputable commercial roofer.

5. **Improperly Sealed Roof Penetrations**: Commercial roofs often have various penetrations, including vents, pipes, skylights, and HVAC systems. If these penetrations are not sealed correctly, they can become weak points where water can enter. It’s crucial to ensure that all roof penetrations are adequately sealed and inspected regularly for potential vulnerabilities.


A leaky roof can lead to significant expenses and operational disruptions for businesses. By understanding the common causes of commercial roof leaks, you can take preventive measures to protect your investment. Regular inspections, maintenance, and timely repairs by professionals like Paramount Commercial Roofing can help ensure the longevity and efficiency of your commercial roof. Remember, when it comes to commercial roofing, proactive care is always better than reactive repairs.

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