Some leaks are just too small to show up inside the building. Roofs can be leaking for months—or years—before the leak appears and maintenance is called. The leaks you can’t see, called “micro leaks,” often cause more widespread damage than a normal-dripping, visible leak.
Most micro leaks on flat roofs are caused by small cracks in the seams, nail holes and poorly placed metal fasteners (positioned too low to the roof deck). Because the damage is covered by the roof membrane, even professional roofers can struggle to identify these issues; they just know that there’s a micro leak somewhere due to cracked block, damaged brick, rusting window lentils and general wall damage. A highly experienced roofer, who has torn off and replaced thousands of roofs, is often more equipped than the average roofer to identify these problems early and develop a plan to stop the leaking.
How do micro leaks damage my building?
After every rainfall, water travels until it finds a way off the roof. While normally, it finds the drain, rainwater can also access holes. Once there is a breech in the membrane, the water infiltrates the roof system and begins to cause damage that increases over time. This infiltration deteriorates the roof, starting with the insulation, then the decking, and finally the roof trusses. The building owner or tenant is unlikely to notice the deterioration, so it’s important that roofing professionals inspect the roof regularly.
If micro leaks are not discovered early, they will damage the roof and the building over time. Eventually, the structure and load capacity can become compromised, causing safety concerns for the building’s tenants.
How do I determine if I have any leaks on my flat roof?
- Routine inspections and cleaning by onsite maintenance.
- Retaining pictures and records of any maintenance or changes on roof.
- Annual or bi-annual inspections by a roofing professional
How do I fix the leak?
- Schedule a roofing professional to assess the damage
- Request an estimate to fix the area.
- Determine if the roof can be repaired or it needs a reroof.