Don’t Mistake Condensation for Leaks; Here’s How to Tell the Difference
When you see a sign of a leak on your roof, don’t be quick to think that it is a leak caused by a damaged roof, because it could be something else. One possibility to consider is condensation. Leaks can occur on your roof when cool, dry air within causes a change in the warm and moist air outside, making it become liquid droplets. Moths can also grow as a result of the liquid condensation.
If you’re just finding out about condensation on your roof, here’s a guide to help you understand, navigate, and prevent it from happening.
What is Condensation, and how does it affect your roof?
Condensation refers to the process by which water vapor gets converted from gas to liquid state. When warm, moist air touches the cool wooden or metal surface on the deck or walls of your building, the moisture cools and becomes water droplets.
The interesting thing about condensation is that it’s not exactly a leak because there’s no perforation to the membrane of your roof. But, when the buildup continues, water begins to accumulate inside your house, similar to a leak.
How can you tell a condensation leak apart from a perforation leak?
Well, leaks caused by perforation can look just like leaks from condensation, so how do you tell them apart?
There are signs particular to leaks caused by condensation, such as water puddles on the floor, warm patches on the walls outside, bubbling paint or moisture stains, as well as patches on your roof caused by melted snow.
Once you notice one or more of these signs, there is a high chance that condensation is behind the leak on your commercial property. Reach out to a commercial roofing expert for advice.
You will need to seal all the holes in the insulation to ensure that condensation doesn’t cause leaks in your commercial building. The first proactive step towards moisture reduction is to install ventilation fans or floor fans in different parts of your building as a way to increase airflow.
Here’s How to Prevent Condensation from destroying your commercial property
The solution lies in closing all gaps in the wall insulations and ceilings to prevent the mixture of warm and cold air that turns into water droplets inside your building. You also need to insulate all areas where your building walls are in contact with exterior surfaces, especially areas close to the windows because they are very prone to condensation leaks as glass has poor insulation.
It is possible for some condensation leaks to not be connected to your roof’s integrity. Sometimes, the leaks happen on your walls leaving you confused as to where they came from. When this happens, your best bet is to speak to our team of commercial roofing professionals who will help you identify the source of the leaks and help you prevent reoccurrences.
Remember! Condensation leaks should be taken seriously and handled urgently, whether they originate from your exterior walls, roof, or ceilings, to prevent further damage.
Bear in mind that the higher the quality of your roofing material, the less chance of leaks. Good quality roofing materials reduce the incidences of leakage caused by condensation or perforation, and they can also increase the lifespan of your commercial roofing system. Some of the best quality roofing materials come from companies like Elevate (previously Firestone), GAF, Johns Manville, and Carlisle SynTec.
Benefits of Frequent maintenance for your commercial roof
Frequent maintenance and speedy repairs of your roof go a long way to maintaining its integrity for long periods, thereby preventing leaks that occur due to exposure to harsh weather. When you carry out frequent inspections, you’re also able to identify faults with your insulation, which can cause condensation leaks. Overall, regular maintenance ensures that your roof lives up to its highest potential.
You don’t need to see signs of leakage or reasons for repairs before you check out your roof, because at this point, the damage might have become serious, and it would cost more to repair.
The best way to prevent condensation leaks and ensure that your commercial property’s roof is damage-free is to schedule regular maintenance. This will go a long way to prevent all kinds of leaks and increase your commercial roof’s lifespan.
If you have found a leak or there’s water coming into your building through the ceiling or walls of your commercial property, you need to locate the source of the leak immediately to prevent the occurrence of further damage and reduce the cost of the repairs.
Our Premium Preventative Maintenance Program is designed to ensure that your commercial roof is ready to face all weather conditions and situations from one year to the next. Reach out to a trusted commercial roofing contractor, they can help you extend the lifespan of your commercial roof while saving money for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is condensation and how is it similar to commercial roof leaks?
Condensation occurs when water vapor present in the air turns to liquid due to contact with a cool surface. When condensation happens under a commercial roof, it looks like a roof leak because it has signs that resemble leaks, such as stains, wet spots, as well as dripping. The difference, however, is that with condensation water doesn’t penetrate through the roof system, while with roof leaks, it does.
What are some factors that make a commercial roof susceptible to condensation?
The factors that contribute to instances of condensation on a commercial roof include poor ventilation or insulation within the building, which leads to a difference in temperature between the building’s interior and exterior, thereby causing condensation. High levels of humidity, especially in originally warm climate regions during cold seasons, can cause a higher likelihood of condensation on the underside of the roof.
How can I distinguish between condensation and an actual roof leak?
While it can be difficult to differentiate a leak from condensation, with some identifiers, it becomes easier. For instance, if you only notice moisture under some given weather conditions, such as humid or cold days, the chances of condensation are high. Similarly, condensation hardly leaves signs on the surface of the roof or affects the roofing systems. Its issues are often localized.
Can condensation pose long-term issues to my commercial roof?
First, it is important to note that condensation doesn’t cause damage to your roof system directly. However, if not addressed, it can lead to the deterioration of some components of your roof. Over a period, worsened cases of condensation can cause mildew and mold to grow. As they grow, they weaken the integrity of your ceiling tiles, insulation, and other building materials, which can cause long-term damage.
How can I Prevent or Resolve condensation issues on a commercial roof?
Whether you are working on prevention or resolution, you will need to combine proper humidity control with proper ventilation and insulation. Make sure your building’s insulation is properly installed based on recommended standards. You will need to ensure adequate ventilation by ensuring that exhaust fans and ridge vents are in place, thereby regulating moisture levels and ensuring that condensation doesn’t build up. You also need to ensure that the humidity levels within the building are adequate, and you can achieve this by installing HVAC systems or dehumidifiers. If you’re not sure where to start, reach out to a professional roofing contractor to assess your building and advise you on the best solution based on your unique situation.