If you’re a smart business owner, the last thing you want to do is neglect regular preventative commercial roofing maintenance. We’ve seen an extensive amount of commercial roof damage occur, and it’s usually for one reason: many people don’t take the proper steps that are required for safe roof maintenance. A roofing system is a foundational part of your place of business that needs to be checked for weak spots. Proper maintenance is required if you want to spend the least amount of money for your roof. It can be counterintuitive, but paying for a yearly roof inspection now will be much less expensive than paying for a large repair in the future. Here are the top 5 commercial roof maintenance tips.
Professional Roof Tip #1: Schedule Regular Roof Inspections
A regular roof inspection is like getting the oil changed in your car. It is a necessary item on the list, and it should be item #1. At least once a year – every year – make sure to get a trusted professional roofing contractor to come out and take a look at your roof. They’re trained to spot things on the roof that regular people are not. They also have specialized equipment that helps them look for any signs of possible roof damage.
The crew will inspect your roof for things like micro leaks, sagging shingles, and possible weak spots in the roofing substrate. Since weak spots almost always lead to some sort of damage, it’s a good idea to pay for the roof maintenance right then and there. This preventative maintenance ‘prevents’ costly repairs that may occur from the damage and replacement of roofing materials.
Make sure to ask a commercial roofing contractor for estimates for repairs when they do their maintenance reports, so you can be financially prepared in the future in the event of a worst-case scenario (such as damage from a hurricane).
#2: Proper Maintenance: Keep Records
Keep track of your roof, just like you would keep track of how long it’s been since you’ve replaced an important piece of your car. This is one of those commercial roof maintenance tips that people tend to ignore or neglect. The owners of a building or the manager of a building will change over time, depending on the age and status of the building in question. Regardless of the changing of hands, the building maintenance logs and preventative maintenance that has been done over the years should be tracked to make sure that no important work happens to fall through the cracks.
Great documentation to have for your roof can include:
- Any and all work related documentation, such as re-roofing, roofing repairs, patch work, and flashing tears/repairs.
- The original roof plan. This will help builders understand what work has been done in the event of a re-roofing, or a completely new roof build. It will also let them know the weight limit on the roof. This is very important if you want to install heavy building materials such as slate, as this is a heavy building material. If you can find the original manufacturer of the shingles, this will help in the event of patch work or a small repair to an area.
- Warranty documentation and equipment installation. Equipment can include air conditioning units, vents, and even satellites. If damage is done to the roof during this equipment installation, sometimes the damage may be covered under warranty. Equipment installation documentation can include when a vent or A/C unit was replaced, and when to call the relevant company for scheduled repairs or maintenance.
- Repair records. This is necessary so you can keep track of and schedule routine roof inspections. Roof maintenance is much less expensive than repairing extensive water damage, wood rot, and foundational damage.
#3: Commercial Roof Maintenance – Keep It Clean
Clogged gutters can cause much more damage than you might think. For any building, it’s incredibly important to keep your roof free from debris. Keeping a clean roof will probably save you an expensive repair bill in the future, because leaves, twigs, and rocks can lead to clogs, miniature pooling, and standing water on the roof. This can promote the growth of mold, mildew, and algae, which can promote roof deterioration.
Clogged gutters and debris can cause a backup of water, which can form pools of water on the roof. It’s better to clean your gutters and roof rather than not. This is one of our commercial roof maintenance tips that can be done by the occupants of the building if the clog is minor; however, to avoid liability and to make sure the clog is fixed professionally, it’s a good idea to call a roofing expert.
Since we live in Florida, severe weather conditions are a natural part of life for us. After tropical storms or hurricanes, it is not uncommon to find large piles of leaves, wood, branches, and debris on top of every roof in the neighborhood. If this is the case, try and get a roofing contractor or cleanup company to your residence or place of business as soon as possible. Tree branches, loose material, and water damage, left for a long time, can cause massive roof attrition. Don’t let your roof be buried under debris for a long time!
As a side note – especially after storms – check for debris that may be lodged in roofing equipment such as vents, A/C units, and hatches. Things accumulate in strange places after a strong storm, which is why regular roof maintenance and inspections are a good idea.
#4: Make Sure Your Roof is Prepared For the Seasons
You may need different preparations for your roof depending on where you live. For the residents of Florida, purchasing a tarp beforehand is a very smart idea, as many roofing contractors and stores sell out after a hurricane. Some people use tarps to block debris, while others use tarps to fashion quick patch-fixes in any hurricane-induced damage that may have occurred to their roof. It’s also a good idea to trim or chop down any branches or trees that overhang on your property. 100mph winds have been known to throw a branch or two around.
For inclement weather, check with your insurance and what it covers. Many insurances cover roof damage; however, there are policies that have stipulations and strings attached, so make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into when you purchase an insurance policy.
For those of you that live in snowy states, it’s important to learn how to prevent roof collapse from the weight of snow accumulation. Snow rakes are handy, and snow removal services are abundant up north. Even a few weeks of snow accumulation can cause damage to a roof. Never be afraid to call a professional, and use extreme caution when clearing ice; you don’t want to be underneath an ice block when it falls off your roof.
As always, the roof and gutter should be cleared of debris, regardless of what state you live in.
#5: Only Hire Professional Roof Contractors for Roof Maintenance
You don’t want just anyone in charge of your roof repair. Untrained individuals can miss weak spots in roofing and skim over important hints that a roof may be giving. Always look for a license # when dealing with a contractor, and make sure they are insured as well. By being licensed, it means that the contractor had to go through a testing process with the state to acquire a license. This means that they have to have a great deal of expertise in the subject matter to pass.
Make sure your roofing contractor is insured as well. This not only protects you, it protects your contractor as well. It protects both parties from possible financial damages. The other thing is to look at online reviews, previous work performed, and how much experience they have. A professional roofing service will pay for itself multiple times over.
Wrapping Up Our List of Top 5 Commercial Roof Maintenance Tips
- Schedule regular roof inspections
- Keep regular roof records
- Do your best to keep your roof clean
- Prepare for the seasons
- Always hire licensed and insured professionals
We can’t stress this enough: a professional roofing company will pay for itself multiple times over. A properly maintained roof will last longer, cost you less money in the long run, and protect your place of business – and its contents – from any damage that would have otherwise been caused by inclement weather. Roof repair bills, especially for large commercial buildings, can be leaps and bounds more expensive than a bill for a roof inspection. It’s up to you when to make that call.