Tips for Repairing Water Damage from a Roof Leak

Tips for Repairing Water Damage from a Roof Leak

When a roof is leaking, the resulting water damage could lead to costly repairs for your commercial property. As the property owner or manager, it’s most likely going to be your job to correctly identify the cause and where potential water damage exists so the problem can be dealt with efficiently and hopefully resolved without a huge budget, and before it gets worse!

How can you tell if you have water damage from a roof leak?

You, your staff members, board members, and even tenants should be vigilant in looking for water damage. Aside from obvious water falling from the ceiling, be on the lookout for cracked, sagging, crooked, stained, or misshapen areas in the ceiling panels or ceiling finish, or any unexplained discolorations, even around windows and doors. You may notice a musty smell, especially in carpeted areas, or bubbling paint on the wall.

If you or anyone else who frequents the property notice any signs of water intrusion in your commercial property, call a restoration professional! They will thoroughly investigate to find the source and can help mitigate, remediate or restore the damaged areas.

What are some causes of roof water damage?

Numerous factors could contribute to water damage from a roof leak. Causes can differ widely, depending on where your property is located and where the damage to the roof is located.

Potential external causes:

  • Damaged metal flashings
  • Fractured or curled roof shingles
  • Improperly sealed valleys and crevasses
  • Cracked vent bootings
  • Formation of ice dams
  • Clogged gutters
  • Broken chimney
water damage from a roof leak

Potential internal causes:

  • Improperly installed lights and fixtures
  • Condensation buildup in the attic
  • Peeled paint or rotted wood around skylights

How should commercial property owners or managers handle leaky roof repairs?

The most crucial step in repairing water damage from any roof leak is first identifying where the problem exists. The most effective way to repair the damage is to hire a licensed professional. Look for service providers who are certified in commercial water damage restoration, mold remediation, and reconstruction services. This ensures that the repairs are done correctly, taking into account the health and safety of the occupants and the commercial property, itself.

There are some things you can try if you choose to attempt to fix it yourself, but again, we highly recommend having a professional evaluate any situation before you begin. Attempting to fix the roof of your commercial property on your own is something that should only be done if the damage is minor.

Water will typically accumulate around the source so the priority should be to thoroughly dry these affected areas. Be mindful of any areas where mold is especially likely to occur.

If you spot mold and insist on removing it yourself, be sure to seal off the area and wear protective gear to prevent potential respiratory issues. Once the areas are completely dried, cleaned, and disinfected, patch the drywall and use sandpaper to smooth any rough spots where the new drywall meets the original structure. Lastly, prime and paint over the drywall to make it as good as new!

What can be done to prevent water damage from a roof leak in the future?

The best advice for preventing any possible water damage from a roof leak is to regularly maintain the quality of the roof and the surrounding areas of your commercial property. To prevent roof leaks, a professional roofing contractor can inspect the roof’s integrity and fix or patch broken or missing tiles or shingles, warping, corrosion, or other issues.

Be aware of fallen debris from trees and storms, as these can create punctures. Furthermore, debris on the roof is a common cause of water leaks when the materials decompose, they cause corrosion and can damage surfaces. It is best to have the roof cleaned of twigs, leaves, branches, and limbs frequently. Likewise, have the gutters and downspouts cleaned and inspected for damage regularly. These tasks can be dangerous to perform independently, especially on larger properties, so we recommend contacting an insured contractor to perform these maintenance checks

When dealing with water damage from a roof leak, ensuring that the job is done thoroughly and correctly the first time is essential. Improper restoration techniques or neglect can compound the issues associated with the property damage and become more costly in the future. While attempting to fix these issues within your own staff might seem like the best way to save money, in the long run, it could end up being more expensive.