While some people enjoy an occasional rainy day, others dread when rain pops up in the forecast. For example, if you are a facility manager or business leader working in a building with commercial roof leaks, a rainy forecast may cause you alarm.

After all, a commercial roof leak may damage your roof, equipment, or inventory, cause a disruption to the business at hand, and create an embarrassing situation for you as you try to contain the water.

As one of the premier roofing services companies in the nation, we would like to answer your questions about commercial roof leaks, such as “what causes roof leaks?” and “what do I do if my roof is leaking?”

Common Causes of Roof Leaks

As you watch water drip through the ceiling of your commercial building, you may ask yourself, how common are roof leaks? Why does this always seem to be a problem at our facility?

Here are some causes of leaks in ceilings of commercial buildings.

Poor Drainage

The rainwater that lands on your roof has to go somewhere. Otherwise, it will stay on your roof and cause many problems.

One of the leading leaky roof causes is poor drainage caused by clogged drains, gutters, scuppers, and downspouts.

roof leak drainage issue

Damage to the Roof’s Membrane

Nothing lasts forever, so it’s not a surprise that your commercial roof’s membrane (or waterproof layer) will crack, split, or shrink over time. This damage may be caused by hail, foot traffic, or mechanical damage.

Damage to the Roof’s Flashing

Flashing protects the edges of the roof’s membrane. Commercial roof leaks may be caused when the roof’s flashing becomes damaged or loose.

water damage to commercial roof

Improper Sealing Around Roof Outlets

If you’ve ever been on top of a commercial building’s roof, you know how important it is that all the roof outlets are adequately sealed. Water can easily leak in around pipes, drains, vents, hot stacks, and HVAC equipment.

Improperly sealed outlets (or roof outlet seals that have broken down over time) need roof repair immediately, or a leak will occur.


All roofs eventually need to be replaced. Flat commercial roofs last approximately 15 to 20 years before it makes sense to replace rather than repair.

Preventive maintenance plans offered by commercial roofing companies can surely extend the life of your roof.

old roof with water damage

FAQs About Commercial Roof Leaks

We have given you some of the causes of commercial roof leaks, but you may have additional questions about the subject. Here are some answers.

Is a leaking roof covered by building insurance?

Commercial roof leaks are sometimes covered by insurance, but only if the leak is caused by a “covered peril,” such as wind, rain, hail, and fire. Your commercial roofing inspector can evaluate whether the damage may have been caused by natural occurrences that your building insurance might cover.

What do I do if my roof is leaking?

If your commercial roof is leaking, call Nations Roof at 866-454-8769. Nations Roof serves customers in all 50 states. We may be able to extend the life of your commercial roof by finding and fixing some of the common causes of roof leaks.

Contact us today