In last week’s blog we introduced this series and discussed the first few substrates: PVC, TPO, EPDM, Mod-Bit, and Smooth BUR. This week we will examine Metal and Spray Foam roof leaks as well as some other possible causes of water in your building.
Metal roofs have a lot of unique details that make assessing damage and repairs unique as well. Some common metal roof issues are open seams, fastener backout, rust, etc. Rarely will the installing contractor be able to find metal panels that are the full length of the roof. Because of this, a lot of metal roofs have both horizontal and vertical laps, each of which can lead to problems. While necessary, these end laps are prone to separation over time which allows water into the building. If your roof is leaking at the laps, many times it is a relatively easy fix. For end or side laps that have a gap of ¼” or more, they will need to be fastened back down.
Additionally, many of the materials that make up a metal roof are susceptible to oxidation which leads to rust. Rust corrodes the structure of the metal roof and diminishes its performance. Another problem area for metal roofs are the fasteners. Fasteners have the tendency to back out over the years due to wind uplift and cold-weather conditions. The neoprene washers also degrade over time allowing for water to get in even on seemingly tight screws. Regular roof inspections should be able to catch all of these problems before they become expensive repairs.
Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) is a fairly durable system because of its thickness. However, it can be prone to ponding water depending on the diligence of the installing technician. Uneven roofs lead to ponding water. If left untreated, these can become massive problem areas. To assess this damage, a certified contractor will need to use an infrared moisture detector and outline the area to be treated. All wet foam will need to be removed and replaced with new SPF. Coating and granules should follow after the new SPF has been installed. For addressing ponding areas or blistering areas on spray foam roofs you can check out our short “How-To” video here.
Additional Causes of Water in Your Building
When you see water in your building, the first thing everyone thinks is “The roof is leaking!” While it’s important to rule this out as quickly as possible, there may be other culprits for the water. First is the ductwork. You may not think your ductwork is a risk for leaking, but a study done by the State Energy Advisory Board reported that a brand new, state-of-the-art system built in military barracks showed 20% leakage within 1 year of installation. Another cause of the leak could be the HVAC unit. There are many reasons these can cause issues that appear to be roof leaks. If you’d like to read more about possible HVAC unit concerns, see here. It’s always best to check the roof first as prolonging that can lead to major issues, but if you can’t find anything there, make sure you are thinking outside the box as well. At the end of the day, if no issues can be found, but you are seeing water in your building, give us a call and we can have a CLA out to your building in no time to help you out.
As you know, repeatedly doing repairs is not a long-term solution for building owners. Roof leaks are time consuming and a hassle to locate and manage. Don’t let your leaking roof get out of control to the point where your only option is a roof replacement. Roof replacements take roughly twice as long as a roof restoration, cost roughly twice as much, and leave your building exposed to the elements. The silicone roof coating restoration system is a long-term solution with your budget in mind. Because of the seamless application, leaking seams are a thing of the past. No other restoration coating, and few other traditional roofing systems, can offer the benefits that silicone does. If you’re trying to determine the best route for your roof maintenance, reach out to your local PM Regional Manager!