Maintenance is a non-negotiable part of owning a property. The aim is to preserve the structure and functionality of the building components, prolonging its lifespan while keeping occupants comfortable and safe. One of the most vulnerable parts of the building is the roof because of its exposure to the elements.
Due to complex design and construction, commercial roofs stand up better than their residential counterparts. Being more robust and resilient only goes so far – regularly scheduled maintenance is essential to protect this vital asset. How often should you have your roof inspected and maintained? Let’s find out.
Frequency of Inspection
Ideally, you should have your commercial roof inspected twice a year. When discussing commercial-grade roofing, it is the acceptable norm in the roofing industry. But remember that the weather may not always be on your side. You must inspect your roof following a storm or other severe weather conditions. After all, the total degree of the impact usually becomes apparent over time. PVC roofing has more robust elemental durability than your typical roofing material, which is one of the factors commercial roofing experts highly recommend for climates that change frequently.
During transitional seasons, your commercial roof may also require additional inspection. The optimal times to complete any roofing project, even minor checks, and repairs, are in the spring and autumn. As they fall between the two severe seasons of summer and winter, people in the industry refer to them as “transitional” seasons.
When Do You Need a Replacement?
Roofing typically lasts 20 to 30 years, depending on the roof’s composition. Experts advise changing your roof if it is nearing the end of its useful life or exhibiting indications of irreversible wear and tear. It would be best to do such a task through a roof door hatch since it offers safe and convenient access to the area.
You can consider getting low-slope roofing. It is a suitable replacement if your commercial roof is outdated. Its design, however uncommon for commercial buildings, forces water to flow downward due to gravity rather than collecting on the roof or pouring down the walls. It is also the best choice if you want to add solar panels because they are resistant to heat damage.
Typical Commercial Roof Maintenance Guidelines
Below are the basic steps to conduct commercial roofing maintenance. Contact a licensed contractor if you don’t have any personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect yourself against fall hazards. They may also spot other issues you could not see, so it’s better to have their services.
Check Your Roof Cover
For Flat/Low-Slope Cover: Persistent standing water can lead to excessive weathering and brittleness in your roof membrane for these roof types. Plant and mold growth are indicators of prolonged stagnant water. Look for any indications of water damage, a symptom that your roof covering system has damage underneath or on your drop ceiling. Be sure to:
- Check the ballasted roof system for uneven rock distribution. If bare patches exist, reposition the rocks uniformly to cover the entire roof membrane. Avoid damaging the roof membrane at any cost.
- Check single ply for gaps, damaged or broken seams, rips, ruptures, punctures, and brittleness. Examine the bonded or glued-down systems for extremely slack membranes and blisters.
- Check metal panels for damaged screws and worn-out rubber washers, which can degrade over time. Check for corrosion and faded or discolored paint, an anti-rust coating. In addition, search for divots or dents.
- Check built-up and modified bitumen for the presence of bubbles/blisters, fractures, excessive wear at connectors, rips, punctures, and severe weathering that could cause the loss of embedded material or surface texture surface coatings for built-up roofs.
- Check sprayed polyurethane foam for significant weathering, rips, or ruptures that could result in the loss of the acrylic covering.
Ensure that the roof is not drooping and maintains its shape. Be sure to:
- Check metal panels for worn rubber washers and loosened screws, which can become problematic over time. Look for symptoms of corrosion and faded paint or discoloration. Search for dents or divots as well.
- Check clay and concrete tiles for any cracks or places they’ve detached.
- Check shingles to find any that are bent, missing, or broken.
Check Your Roof Drainage System
- Get rid of any debris from your roofs, such as leaves, branches, construction waste, dirt, and other particles from inside drains, gutters, and downspouts that could clog during a storm.
- Securely fasten your gutters with straps to withstand the strong winds brought on by storms and other severe thunderstorms.
- Inspect gutters for long-standing standing water and remove any obstructions that may be to blame. Ensure the drain has the proper angle to the downspout if stagnant water persists despite no blocks.
- Check the gutter system for loose or missing pieces, particularly those close to the downspout.
To ensure the longevity of your roof, plan a scheduled maintenance program for your commercial building. By setting a plan and consulting with a licensed professional, you’ll be able to customize your procedures to fit your current settings. Talk to a contractor for a better plan suitable for you.