Replacing a roof on a commercial facility is a huge investment and rarely in the budget. This is why annual roof inspections are extremely important. A successful roof management program should consist of periodic inspections and regularly scheduled maintenance. Annual inspections and routine maintenance reduce ownership costs, reduce leak frequency and severity, extend roof life, and reduce management inefficiencies. It sounds like it all makes sense, but most organizations overlook the importance of annual inspections. A commercial roof system is similar to a car in the way that a car doesn't run to its full potential without performing routine maintenance such as an oil change or tire rotations. But why do most organizations not have a routine maintenance plan? Out of sight, out of mind. If the roof isn't leaking yet, then there must not be a problem, right? Wrong. If action is delayed until a leak starts or damage is visible, then then cost to fix the situation has already become extensive.
By the time many organizations consider implementing an annual inspection, they actually need a roof-replacement program. The obligation to fund and implement roof replacements has exceeded any opportunities to maintain and repair the roof. It’s important to commit to extending on maintaining the life of the commercial roof system early on, especially during and after storm season. Flat roofs often fail more often than residential roofs because of poor drainage or ponding.
To begin a successful annual inspection plan, it is important to know the history of the roof. Start by collecting historical data such as date of installation, warranties, type of roof system, leak history and repair history. With all this information in place, then a visual assessment can begin keeping in mind all the prior history and trouble spots. A successful commercial roof maintenance plan should include a comprehensive visual roof inspection annually. These inspections can help catch small fixes before workmanship or manufacturer warranties expire. It is also highly recommended to perform housekeeping work on most roof areas monthly. Housekeeping tasks should include cleaning roof drains, replacing misplaced drain covers, removing debris, sealing seam voids, caulking where needed, and filling pitch pans.
Schedule corrective steps or repairs soon after the monthly housekeeping to minimize unnecessary costs due to water intrusion. Contact a contractorfamiliar with design, installation, repair, and types of failure specific to the roof system being surveyed. Thecontractor can help assess the housekeeping tasks that should be maintained monthly and if used consistently each year, can compile a working knowledge of the life and problem areas of the roof and can handle them accordingly before major repairs occur.