Martin Commercial Roofing:
Common Problems

Common Leak Spots for Rooftop Equipment

  • Poorly designed filter access covers on HVAC ductwork.
  • Improperly sealed joints, seams and holes on HVAC ducts.
  • Bent, loose or missing filter access panels on HVAC units.
  • Holes and loose edges on HVAC fresh air intake hoods.
  • Holes and poor weather stripping in HVAC air intake panels.
  • Concrete wall crack leaks above the ceiling line reported as roof leaks.
  • Wind-blown rain through skylight louvers.

pooling water roof damage



Top Single-Ply Problems & Solutions


  1. Poor, inconsistent weld
  2. Seam voids
  3. Fastener placement
  4. Fasteners too long, short
  5. Unadhered membrane
  6. Unadhered base flashing
  7. Contaminated roof substrate
  8. Flashing displacement
  9. Abuse of installed roof


  1. Conduct test welds; probe all seams
  2. Don’t start and stop welding excessively
  3. Adjust screw gun clutch setting
  4. Ensure fastener engages deck, in top flange
  5. Use correct adhesives at right rate and temp.
  6. Use initial priming, 2nd adhesive application
  7. Use broom or blower prior to installation
  8. Follow fastener placement guidelines
  9. Protect membrane; use job sequencing

Top 10 Hot Bituminous Problems & Solutions


  1. Temperature control of asphalt
  2. Mopping practices
  3. Poor interply integrity
  4. Improper flashing
  5. Dry laps
  6. Inaccurate head laps
  7. Fire safety
  8. Poor base sheet attachment
  9. Gravel embedment
  10. Lack of coping moisture barrier


  1. Use infrared thermometers
  2. Follow specs; ensure equipment is okay
  3. No foot traffic; don’t install too hot
  4. Ensure proper height, length of flashing
  5. Broom felts
  6. Check ply lines; use chalk lines
  7. Check thermometers on kettles
  8. Relax sheets; conduct pull-out tests
  9. Don’t overheat asphalt; embed gravel quickly
  10. Ensure blocking and cap attached properly

Top 10 Torch-Applied Problems & Solutions


  1. Fire safety
  2. Over, under torching
  3. Dry laps
  4. Voids
  5. Improper flashing
  6. Backwater laps
  7. Poor base sheet attachment
  8. Improper material preparation
  9. Inadequate head laps
  10. Lack of moisture barrier (coping)


  1. Train installers, use extinguishers, infrared scans
  2. Perform inspections, ensure proper bleed-out
  3. Roll in laps
  4. Relax sheets, avoid phasing
  5. Prime metals, ensure proper adhesion
  6. Start at low point of roof; install shingle fashion
  7. Relax sheets, increase fasteners at corners
  8. Store materials properly; protect roll ends
  9. Follow manufacturers’ specs
  10. Use 2nd barrier, slope coping cap

Top 10 Asphalt Shingle Problems and Solutions


  1. Decking spaced improperly
  2. Installing over rotted plywood
  3. Installing over buckled underlayment
  4. Underlay not installed under drip edge
  5. No leak barrier in valleys
  6. Valley shingles not clipped and sealed
  7. Improper step flashing
  8. No sealant at starter strip
  9. Improper ventilation
  10. Improper nailing


  1. Contractor checks deck
  2. Repair/remove rotted plywood
  3. Repair/remove underlayment
  4. Install underlayment, then drip edges
  5. Install leak barrier for all systems
  6. Seal every shingle to metal or shingle beneath
  7. Install step flashing for every shingle
  8. Cut starters to align sealant at the edge
  9. Install ridge and soffit vents to FHA min.
  10. Nail in location recommended by supplier
Commercial Roofing Repairs


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