Loss Prevention Presents Roof Leaks

Creating a Plan to Prevent Leaky Roofs

A leaky roof can cause devastating damage to your property and present several safety risks, including structural problems and the development of health-threatening mold. Leaky roofs account for millions of dollars in claims every year, and losses can mount quickly.

In cold climates, cycles of freezing and thawing can create ice dams and water flows, compromising the structural integrity of the building and necessitating expensive repairs.

Knowing what to look for and preventing roof leaks from happening in the first place is critical to protecting your property and business from this often quiet and sneaky threat.

How do I know I have a leaky roof?

These are the most common signs of roof leaks:

What are the most common causes of a roof leak?

Bad weather: Hail, heavy rain, or snow may damage the roof. Shingles can be damaged or blown away in high winds, providing an entry point for moisture.

Improper or deteriorated roofing materials: Materials used for construction may have been improperly chosen or installed. Time can also cause wear and tear.

Missing or improperly-installed flashing: If bad weather causes the metal installed around the roof edges, chimneys, dormer windows, or skylights to become loose or broken, the edges of the roof membrane cover may be exposed. Moisture can then work its way through the roofing system and into the building.


While flat roofs need special attention, here are some tips on preventing ice buildup and damming on all roofs:

Flat roofs, common to many commercial buildings, including warehouses and manufacturing sites, are particularly vulnerable to the formation of ice dams.

The weight of ice and snow can cause seams to open and allow melting water to seep into the building. Water migration beneath the membrane can require the replacement of the entire roof and insulation.

While flat roofs need special attention, here are some tips on preventing ice buildup and damming on all roofs:

Regular inspections and proper maintenance are your best protection against leaky roofs and the damage and disruption they can cause:

The material contained in this document is for informational purposes only. Your individual circumstances may vary depending upon location, type of construction and other factors and you may therefore be required to implement unique approaches to address particular issues that exist at your location. Please consult with licensed professionals and your utility providers to ensure that any safeguards or improvements you undertake are appropriate and safe.

The C&F logo, C&F and Crum & Forster are registered trademarks of United States Fire Insurance Company.

The Crum & Forster Enterprise. which is part of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, is comprised of leading and well-established property and casualty business units. The insurance companies within the Enterprise. rated A (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company, are: United States Fire Insurance Company, The North River Insurance Company, Crum and Forster Insurance Company. Crum & Forster Indemnity Company, Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Company, Seneca Insurance Company Inc Seneca Specialty Insurance Company, First Mercury Insurance Company, and American Underwriters Insurance Company.