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  • Writer's pictureMark Forbes

Water in a Building Isn’t Always From a Roof Leak

Updated: Oct 28, 2021

Common Sources of Indoor Leaks

A puddle of water on the floor or a drip from the ceiling are often signs of a leak in the roof, but it’s not always the case. Water inside a building can come from a variety of sources.

Here are some common sources of indoor puddles and leaks provided by Retail & Restaurant Facility Business.

HVAC Equipment

Old or poorly maintained HVAC equipment can result in water condensation, which can drip inside a building. One of the main sources for these drips are plugged or rusted condensate collection pans, which can overflow when full.

To determine if an HVAC unit is the cause of indoor water:

  • Check if the filters are dirty or plugged. Poorly maintained filters can cause the evaporator coil to freeze and build up ice. When the ice melts it can overflow the catch pan and drip into the building.

  • Check the condensate trap to ensure it’s clean.

  • Be sure all panels are properly attached to the HVAC unit. If panels are not reinstalled correctly after servicing, they can let water into the unit.

Gutters and Downspouts

Clogged gutters and downspouts are common causes of leaks and can cause expensive damage. Another source of leaks is gutter systems that don’t have enough downspouts to handle the water volume.

Plumbing and Drain Pipes

Malfunctioning lawn sprinklers and plugged drain pipes can be the cause of water on the first floor and basements of buildings.

Windows and Walls

Poorly sealed windows, or windows with failing glazing, can let water into a building during rainstorms. Cracks in walls and poorly sealed joints can also let in water. Penetrations in walls, such as where conduit goes through the wall, can be leak points if they’re not properly sealed and waterproofed.


Water can sometimes seep under door thresholds.


Improperly waterproofed foundations, or foundations with cracks or failing waterproofing, can let water into the basement and where the foundation meets the floor.


Condensation can build on the ceilings and walls of uninsulated metal buildings when the inside and outside temperatures differ widely.

It Takes Detective Work

It’s not always easy to track down the source of a leak and may take some detective work. Despite the difficulties, it’s always a good idea to track down the sources of leaks when you first detect them. Doing so can prevent expensive damage later on.

Keep Your Roof in Top Condition

It’s never a bad idea to inspect your roof if you’re experiencing leaks inside your building. The experienced staff at United Materials can inspect your roof and track down the sources of potential roof leaks.

Regular maintenance can often prevent roof leaks from occurring. Get the most out of your commercial roof with the RoofGuard® maintenance plan from United Materials. With the RoofGuard plan, a trained professional will conduct a thorough roof inspection at six-month intervals and provide you with a roof condition report.

If you have any questions about the condition of your roof or how to maintain it, contact us. Our experienced staff is ready to help.

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