Common Causes for Leaks in Your Commercial Roof

When it comes to leaky roofs, you may immediately think of having to put a pot under a drip in your home during some heavy rain. Rarely do people first think of their commercial or industrial roofs leaking, however, this is a fairly common issue that many business owners face at some point. It is a common conception that industrial and commercial roofs are much more durable and resilient, and therefore should not experience leaks in the same way that homes can on occasion. While it may be true that these various kinds of roofs are made from vastly different roofing materials, it does not mean that commercial and industrial businesses never have any leaks ever occur. Let’s take a look at what some of the most common causes are for leaks in your commercial or industrial roof. 


While this list of common causes is certainly not all-inclusive, these are a handful of the circumstances that often lead to the most trouble with leaking roofs. 

Pooling Water / Poor Drainage

Many commercial and industrial businesses have what is known as flat roofs. When these are designed or developed poorly, there can be dips or grooves that collect water over time. Pools of water can weigh more than most people realize, and this weight will gradually bog down the roofing material. This causes a bigger, deeper dip in the roof, which collects more water, which weighs more, and so on and so forth. Eventually this cycle repeats itself enough times to have collected enough water to break through the roof and ceiling below, often causing a tremendous amount of damage to the inside of your business building. 

Poor drainage on your roof can also result in the same outcome. This is not initially caused by an uneven commercial or industrial roof surface, however, but is instead caused by a lack of drainage, poorly constructed drainage, or just not enough drainage to keep the roof free from any excess water. When there is no way to keep up with draining the amount of water that collects on the roof during a heavy rain, it results in a buildup of water, weighing the roof down, and eventually breaking it down, just like discussed above. 

Damaged Roofing

While this may be common sense, a damaged roof can also cause leaks if your commercial or industrial roof. These damage can occur to many parts of your roof, so while this cause is self-explanatory, it also encompasses a lot. If there are cracks or crevices that appear because of a shifting foundation or building in general, this is an opportune condition for water to seep in and leak through the ceiling. In addition, sealants and protective layers may shrink or blister over time especially after being exposed to extreme heat or direct sunlight. This can cause gaps in the protection of your roof, allowing water to make itself at home inside your business. 

Bad Sealing

Another common cause for commercial and industrial roof leaks is bad or faulty sealing. Even if the rest of your roof is in good condition, any sealing that is subpar can begin to let water in, and even a small drip will lead to bigger problems in the future. Check the sealing around any seams in your roof, as well as along any edges and around chimneys, vents, and more. Regularly maintaining this is a fairly simple task, and will prevent you from having to replace your entire roof before it’s necessary. 


Last, but not least, a roof that has been around for a while can simply just not be in the best shape anymore. Weaknesses in your aging roof can lead to a thinning of the material used, and this can mean that it is unable to withstand the elements as well as it has in the past. The durability and resilience of your commercial or industrial roof decreases over time, and just like any other part of the building, eventually it will need to be repaired and then replaced. If you cannot find any faults with your roof but you know that you have a leak, it could be due to its age. 

How General Roofing Can Help

When you experience a commercial or industrial roof leak, it can be overwhelming to know where to start with fixing it. Our experts can help you determine where the source of the leak is and what is causing it. Once we have figured this out, we can guide you through deciding whether a repair or a replacement is the best course of action. There are many roof material options, and we can also assist you with figuring out what the best solution is for your particular commercial or industrial roof. What are you waiting for? Contact the experts at General Roofing today!