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Moisture can enter into a roofing system many different ways. In addition to water entry due to roof membrane leaks, moisture can enter a roofing system due to condensation from internal humidity, infiltration through building walls, water entry through equipment housings and latent moisture entrapped beneath the roof system.


  • Building Walls & Parapets. Many types of wall construction, especially masonry and stucco, can allow moisture infiltration due to porosity and cracking. Particular attention should be paid to metal flashings associated with walls, including wall copings, reglets, counter-flashings, and termination bars.
  • Large Rooftop Units. Frequently the metal housings around these units may allow water entry. 
  • Skylights. Skylight glazing beads and metal trim flashings typically require periodic maintenance. 


Although improper roof drainage can best be observed immediately after a rain storm, most impacted drainage conditions will leave "tell-tale" indications even after standing water has evaporated:  "Soft" Roof Insulation. If the roof insulation appears to be "soft" under foot, it may have absorbed excessive moisture.

  • Cracking, Spalling or Discoloration Of Walls. The deterioration may be an indication of moisture entry. 
  • Loose Metal Wall Flashings. Look for any discontinuities in the firm, uniform compression between metal flashings and the wall surface.
  • Covered "Weep Holes". Look for masonry weep holes that have become clogged or were accidentally covered over by the roof flashings.  
  • Missing Or Broken Weather Seals On Equipment Housings. Frequent maintenance of rooftop equipment may allow weather seals and sheet metal joints to loose watertightness.
  • Cracked or Sunken Caulking. Almost all joints in metal flashings are sealed with an application of sealant or caulking. Any cracking or other discontinuity is a potential source of water entry.


  • Replace Wet Roof Insulation. A licensed roofing contractor should perform this work. 
  • Re-Attach and Re-Caulk Metal Components. Maintenance of metal flashings and caulking joints typically can be performed either by a roofing contractor or trained maintenance personnel.
  • Repair Deteriorated Walls. Repair of walls can be performed by a variety of trades. Be sure to select a recognized professional.


  • Roof Moisture Survey. If a new roof will be installed over an existing roof, or whenever moisture is suspected to be entrapped within a roof deck, a roof moisture survey should be conducted by a recognized professional, and the findings of the survey should be used by the roof designer to select the most appropriate roofing system.
  • Rooftop Equipment Maintenance Standards: A roof access log should be maintained in order to review and monitor the maintenance of rooftop equipment.



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