Common Low-Slope or Flat Roof Leaking Problems
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Flat or Low-Slope Roofs
Check the drains located close to the leak area. They may cause a leak if they are draining slowly or if they are plugged up. If they are plugged up, they are not waterproof because their purpose is for the water to flow through them downward only.
Check material seams in the leak area to determine if adhesive or tar is properly adhered. Gently run a pocketknife blade, or something similar, under any lap where you see adhesive sticking out. If it slides more than 1 inch under the lap, you should reseal the seam. If it slides in more than 2 inches, it is likely to be the cause of a leak.
Check the roof carefully for problems like shrunken pitch pan filler, holes in metal flashings, deteriorated caulking or curling flashing flanges poking up through the membrane of the roof. Check all penetrations for possible problems.
Check for punctured blisters on the roof.
Check the expansion joint seams because they are frequently faulty.
Walk along the leak area taking small steps with your feet close together, and turn in all directions to see if there are any splits. The roof will separate between your feet if there are any splits.
When a leak is located close to the edge of a building, look for edge metal that has separated at the seams and torn the roof membrane.
When debris sits on a roof for a while, it may hold water that encourages deterioration of the roof. Bird or rodent nests may be under debris piles on roofs, so check for problems in any areas where debris has been sitting.
Do not be concerned about several leaks that may appear after an unusually heavy rainstorm. That is normal for most roofs when they have to handle a huge quantity of water in a short period.
When you have carefully checked your roof without finding anything wrong, inspect the ceiling space or attic because you may have a plumbing problem instead. If you have a commercial building with fire sprinkler lines running along the attic space, a leak in those lines could mimic a roof leak. If that is the problem, there may be leaks when it has not been raining.
A poorly designed HVAC unit may have a faulty pan in it and allow water to get into a building when it rains.
Got a problem? Jim can help determine why a roof experiences recurring leak problems. Jim can even offer legal assistance by standing as an expert witness if needed.
Call 253-888-8888 for immediate assistance or for more information.
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Jim Hall's Favorite Kinds of Roofs
Unique building projects cause unique concerns and solutions. Even similar building just yards apart can be affected differently by the sun, trees, weather . . . and nature in general.
Here are just a few types of roofing Jim consults for (if you mix in the different types of materials with the styles of roof you'll get dozens or even hundreds of type):
"A an effective roof is one that adds beauty, versatility, and asset protection."
-- Justin Tyme
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