Commercial roofing is a critical but often overlooked part of successful business operations. A building's roof shields it from the elements, helps to maintain a comfortable indoor climate, and protects the people and assets inside. Proper maintenance and regular inspections ensure that this important covering continues to do its job without having an adverse impact on profits.
Check for Problems After Extreme Weather
Surface damage caused by weathering or environmental hazards is usually most visible after heavy rain, high wind, or snowfall. Visual signs, such as standing water or bubbled materials, often signify trouble. Flashing, the material that protects the seam between the structure's walls and its cover, should be inspected for loose or missing sections.
Schedule Regular Inspections
Biannual inspections are the best way to keep commercial roofing in optimal condition. A professional examination is recommended, although some building owners check for damage and then call their contractors for an in-depth diagnosis. In best practice, inspections are scheduled in early spring and late fall, just after the harshest seasons.
Stay Alert to Signs of Water Damage
Neglected repairs eventually manifest inside the building. Stained ceiling tiles and discolored walls may indicate deteriorated or damaged decking material, while bulges or cracks could signify more extensive damage. Discolored or rotting window frames also suggest moisture or water damage that may be roof-related, as do signs of mold on the inside or outside of the structure.
Keep Gutter Systems Clean and Clear
The gutter system carries water away from the building. Clogged gutters or drainpipes often prevent proper drainage, causing rain and moisture to accumulate in certain areas. Systems should be cleaned twice per year, although storms and high winds sometimes necessitate more frequent cleanings.
Elevate or Remove Nearby Trees
Overhanging trees pose several hazards. Dead or storm-damaged branches may fall, puncturing or scratching the roof. Trees also drop leaves, pine cones, sap, and other debris onto the surfaces beneath them, often contributing to deterioration. Property owners should regularly remove dead branches threatening their buildings and keep healthy limbs trimmed so that they do not touch the structure.
Ward off Summer Sun
Harmful UV rays may decrease the lifespan of traditional commercial roofing, and hot sunny days typically increase energy costs. Cool Roofs are cost-friendly solutions. Coatings and single-ply membranes offer protection to flat coverings, and pitched types benefit from light-colored tiles or coated metal. These products can decrease rooftop temperatures by 50 to 60 degrees during summer.
Invest in a Commercial Roofing Maintenance Plan
Many contractors offer maintenance packages to extend the life of a structure's cover. These programs typically include regular inspections, as well as other preventive care services such as resealing. A maintenance plan provides peace of mind, and it makes it easy to detect problems early, minimizing unexpected expenses in the future.
The life expectancy of commercial roofing materials ranges from 25 to 40 years, or more. Proper maintenance, timely repairs, and the right preventive care are the most cost-effective ways to maximize the performance of a structure's covering.