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Roof Punctures: Causes & Solutions

The leading source of roof leaks are punctures to the roof membrane. Practically every type of roofing system is susceptible to punctures even multiple plied asphalt roofing systems. The roofing system supports essential facets of the facility like HVAC units, grease traps, exhaust fans, and solar assemblies.

During regular up-keep on these facets roof punctures could occur. Sometimes punctures and damage to the membrane, do not immediately present noticeable damage. If an object slightly punctures the roof membrane; over time the puncture exposes the roof system to the elements, thermal expansions, and contractions. The damage then works its way through the roof surface creating leaks.

TYPICAL SOURCES OF ROOF: PUNCTURES

ROOF TRAFFIC. HVAC technicians, plumbers, satellite providers, etc. often  utilize  the  roof to perform their duties. They may unintentionally drop tools and other hazardous materials that cause damage to the roof membrane.
WILDLIFE. Regardless of the area,  animals tend to enjoy rooftops. Birds peck at things, squirrels love  chewing on lead products and raccoons scratch at the roof surface.
INCLEMENT WEATHER. Strong storms create wind-borne debris that dislodge mechanical units off service doors, branches, and general  litter  blown  across  the  roof surface.

ROACTIVE MEASURES• Install walkway pad protection along heavily traveled routes and around the mechanical units.
• Inform vendors the roof is under warranty and actively monitored.
• Display warning stickers on roof hatch access and on mechanical units.
• On heavily serviced roofs, add thicker roof membranes and/or additional plies to the system  to
increase redundancy.
• Educating maintenance personnel on how to prevent damage and what to do if an incident occurs.
• Limiting foot traffic on the system only to qualified professionals.
• Fully secure and attach all items on the roof.
• Trimming excess vegetation and trees around the facility to prevent wind-borne debris.

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