When it comes to your commercial properties, the roof can be one of the most often overlooked parts of the building when you are planning out annual maintenance. Don't wait for tenants to complain about a leak before calling in a roofer. Regular, ongoing maintenance is the only way to ensure your roof has a long life and doesn't require a premature replacement. The following tips can keep you on the right maintenance track.
Tip #1: Monthly Inspections Are a Must
An inspection is the best way to find a minor issue before it becomes a major problem. You can do this yourself or train your maintenance crew to do the job. You are looking for the first signs of damage. This includes visible damage to the roofing membrane or places where the caulking or flashing around roof top items and vents has become damaged. You should also make sure all drains are functioning properly and are not blocked, otherwise rain or snow melt can collect on the roof and cause a collapse. When up on the roof, it's important to stick to marked walkways if you have a membrane roof, otherwise you may cause damage to the structure.
Tip #2: A Clean Roof Is a Functioning Roof
Debris on the roof can lead to major issues. Leaves, garbage, and bird nests can wash into the roofs drains, causing a blockage. These should be cleaned out monthly. Also, sweep up and remove any debris on the roof. A pile of wet leaves can become heavy, leading to a leak. Check around air conditioners and other roof top items to make sure there are no debris blown against them. If you notice a lot of bird droppings on the roof, you will need to have it professionally cleaned and you may want to consider installing bird spikes or a similar exclusion device. The acids in the droppings can eventually damage a roof.
Tip #3: It's Better to Repair Than Replace
When you spot trouble, schedule a prompt repair. A little bit of loose caulk around a vent costs only a few cents and a few minutes to run a fresh bead of caulk around it. Put it off and you may end up with a major leak that could compromise the entire roof, or at least a major section. Even the roof membrane itself can be patched if the damage is caught early enough.
Tip #4: Professional Assessments Are Key to Damage Prevention
Although you or your in-house maintenance crew are capable of monthly inspections, cleanings, and minor repairs, it's also a good idea to bring in a professional roofer to inspect it at least once a year. Their trained eyes can detect potential problems before they fully develop, so they can give you warnings for any major repairs you may need to be planning for. Fall is a good time to schedule this inspection, since you will want to catch any major problems before the wet winter season arrives. Click here for more info about professional commercial roofing.