The Importance of Regular Roof Inspections
Your building’s roof may be out of sight, but that doesn’t mean it’s out of danger. Regular roof inspections are integral to any preventative maintenance plan.
When was the last time you looked at your roof or had somebody do it for you? If you’re like most building owners, it may have been a while. Perhaps the only time you check the roof is when there’s an issue, like storm damage? That reactive approach to roof maintenance is all too common, but it can be dangerous and lead to big problems in the future.
To keep your roof functioning properly for it’s designed lifetime, it must be inspected regularly as part of a comprehensive preventative maintenance plan
What should a roof maintenance plan include?
We’ve all heard the expression “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” On the surface that might make sense, but when it comes to roofing, even when nothing looks broken, there may actually be important things to fix. This is the crux of preventative maintenance: To identify possible issues and take care of them before they can become major problems.
A comprehensive preventative maintenance plan has three parts:
Because your roof is exposed to the elements, it is always at risk of being damaged and should be inspected at least two times every year.
We advise clients to have their roofs looked at in the spring to evaluate how the winter weather affected them, and then again in the fall to get ready for the cold and wet months. While you can go up there yourself and check it out, signs of roof damage may not be apparent unless you know what to look for. So, bringing in a professional is your best bet. A comprehensive inspection from a roofing expert will cover these areas:
- Drains and downspouts: These must be free of any leaves or debris so water can flow freely through them. If they get backed up, that can lead to standing water, which puts a strain on the roof’s structure and can result in leaks.
- Membrane: This needs to be checked for any tears, holes, cracks, or blistering.
- Flashings: The flashings need to be firmly secured to the roof without any gaps.
- Penetrations: Anything that penetrates the roof — like pipes or equipment — must be examined to make sure it is sealed well.
- Overall condition: It’s also important to look for things like rot, rust, algae, peeling paint, sagging pipes, or missing parts.
2. Repairs or upgrades
The point of preventative maintenance is to take care of the small stuff before it can become big and costly. This is why even minor issues should be addressed quickly. Especially these days, when you just never know when the weather will turn ugly and bring strong winds or harsh precipitation.
Small cracks or blisters may seem harmless, but they only get worse, particularly as we get closer to the end of the year and temperatures drop. Flashings that are pulling away from the roof or a vent that isn’t sealed properly can be easily fixed if they are discovered early, and the repairs are not typically very expensive. However, the longer you wait to address things, the better the chance they will grow into larger problems.
In addition to affecting your wallet, you can’t ignore how your inaction might affect others, including:
- Occupants: Whether they are residents, workers, customers, or a combination, as building owner or manager, you have a responsibility to keep your occupants safe and protected.
- Equipment: A small leak may not be too troublesome to the building itself, but it can be devastating to equipment like computers, servers, copiers, or anything that runs on electricity.
- Insurance company: If you need to file an insurance claim and the issue could have been avoided with basic maintenance, you could be on the hook for some of or all of the damage.
Even when the weather is nice and there isn’t any wind, rain, or snow, something else affects the roof every day: The Sun. UV rays that emanate from the sun can cause roofs to get extremely dry, and this can cause splitting or cracking. Even a small crack allows water to seep inside, which can compromise the entire roof system. The solution to the harmful effects of the sun is a reflective coating.
A roof coating applies fluid to the membrane that will protect it from various harmful conditions. There are many options, including silicone, acrylic, and styrene ethylene butylene styrene (SEBS). While each coating has different attributes, they are all designed to protect a roof by reflecting the rays of the sun. An added bonus is that these coatings may also reduce energy usage in the building, which is typically a major expense.
Do you have a preventative maintenance plan for your roof?
Instead of waiting until something goes wrong with your roof to call in a professional, it’s better to be proactive. To make sure that your roof is always in great shape and giving your building the protection it needs, Peck Brothers will create a customized preventative maintenance plan for your building. This will keep your roof healthy for its entire intended lifespan and let you avoid expensive repairs. To learn more about what we offer, call us at 201-791-3235 or send an email to email@example.com.