Establishing a roof maintenance program protects the capital investment of a new roof. When it comes to owning and managing a commercial property, regular maintenance is essential to ensure that unexpected damages are identified and costly repairs are avoided. Having a commercial roof maintenance program is designed to make certain your commercial roof system receives proper maintenance and repair services on a correct schedule. In addition to maintenance at the roof membrane level, accessories such as coatings, skylights and other multiple roof penetrations all require regular maintenance as well, in order for them to continue providing their energy-efficient return on investment.
Quarterly commercial roof inspections consist of a detailed checklist used to identify any areas of defect, points of deterioration, interior signs of roof problems and compromised roof accessories and assemblies. Based on the results of an initial inspection, a customized plan will be developed and a contract will then be formed. The plan consists of two sections, general upkeep and a procedure for dealing with major storms or damage.
The General upkeep section in a roof maintenance program is necessary to protect the roof from developing serious damage. General upkeep includes gutter and drain cleaning to avoid debris getting stuck in the pipes, causing poor run-off and standing water. It also includes debris removal such as removing branches, leaves, trash and miscellaneous items and power washing the surface to avoid mold, algae, grime and dirt on flat roofs. A professional cleaning service should be utilized with specialized pressure washing equipment.
Single-ply TPO, PVC, EPDM, Asphalt Shingle, Low Slope, Modified Bitumen or any other roof type will need an inspection after every major wind, rain or hail storm. Different styles of roofs require different inspection methods. No matter what style of roof, the inspection begins with an interior examination. This allows a roofing professional to see obvious damage with a naked eye such as water leaks and rust. Depending on the type of material the second step, the exterior examination, will differ.
Asphalt-Shingle Roofs – When examining an asphalt-shingle roof, your inspector will look for loose, broken or cracked shingles. They will also check for any bubbling or blistering in a shingle, as that indicates moisture has made its way to the interior of the shingle. A shingle with any damage will be replaced immediately to avoid leaks or further structural damage.
Flat Roofs – Flat roofs are prone to resist most storm damage as they are constructed of waterproof material. However, your inspector will still look for damage such as indentations or tears in any seams where moisture could gather or water could seep through. Your inspector will also check the drainage system to ensure it is working, since flat roofs don’t have a self-draining incline like other roofs.
Gutters, Vents & Skylights – The roof itself is a very important aspect, but the gutters, vents and skylights are just as important. If a gutter can’t effectively take water from the roof to its intended destination on the ground, it could gather around the properties foundation. If the gutters are still attached but full of debris, the debris could gather on the roof leading to the deterioration of roofing material. Checking the quality of the sealed edges around the skylights ensures water does not seep inside. Finally, inspecting the vents to make sure they can release air appropriately and aren’t blocked or clogged is essential to the examination.
What are the Benefits?
Signing a maintenance program allows you to find roofing solutions and avoid expensive problems. Signing with a professional eliminates the hassle of regular inspections and the unknowns associated with lack of scheduled upkeep. Trained professionals can spot problem areas before there is damage and find solutions to protect your building’s most valuable assets. Your contractor can do repairs the right away so there is no need to pay for a second inspection prior to getting the roof work done. Establishing a roof maintenance program is key to the long-term success of any commercial roofing system and will help keep the warranty intact. To learn more about establishing a maintenance plan for your commercial roof see our Commercial Roof Maintenance & Repair page.