Best Practices for Commercial Roof Maintenance

As a property manager or facility owner, you know how important the roof is on your commercial building. The roof is important for residential buildings, too, of course, but the difference is that with a commercial building, you have your all your tenants, their customers, and expensive equipment to think about.

Roofing costs can be a concern, but you can keep to your overall budget with a little planning that includes regular inspections, thorough maintenance and preventative repairs. Making minor or preventative fixes during regular maintenance can mean paying 14 cents per square foot on repairs every year compared with the 25 cents per square foot you’ll pay if you let the issue snowball into a major problem.

How Often Should I Perform Routine Maintenance?

How often you should do a thorough inspection on your commercial roof will depend on a few things, like how old the roof is, the kind of weather your area typically experiences (and if you’ve had any recent storms), and after any type of construction work has been done to the roof. But generally speaking, it’s a good idea to do an inspection twice a year, and you can time that with the major seasonal changes, like just before winter and summer kick in.

Many building owners are not very diligent about inspecting the quality of their roof on a regular basis. Maybe it’s laziness, maybe they’re trying to keep costs down, but by performing routine maintenance and repairing those little issues before they get out of hand (or before they even become a little issue), you’ll also reduce the need for bigger, costlier roof replacements.

Common Signs of Roofing Trouble

  • Ponding water on a flat roof. After heavy rainfall or melting snow, water can pool on a flat roof and eventually cause deterioration, rotting, rusting and leaking.

  • Bubbles or blisters. Bubbles in the roof cover aren’t necessarily a cause for concern unless they’re filled with water. If this happens, the roof cover will prematurely age and cause leaking.  

  • Torn or cracked seams. Any kind of tears in the roof cover will eventually cause the roof to deteriorate and leak.

  • Gaps in the roof cover perimeter. If there are any gaps in the strips of metal installed on the edge of the roof or base of a vent pipe, etc. (called roof flashing) not only will water leak underneath, but in the event of any high winds or heavy storms, it could cause further damage to the roof cover.

How to Perform Your Routine Roof Inspection

  • Get up on the roof and take a look at your gutters and drains. Look for leaves and such that may be causing blockages and be sure to remove them. Inspect all drain seals and gutter straps.

  • Walk around and look for bubbles or ponding water.

  • Check all seams for tears or cracks.

  • Check all flashings on the roof edges, vent pipes, skylights, etc. to be sure they are well sealed.

  • Inspect all recent repairs to ensure that nothing shifted or was damaged.

  • Trim any trees that may be contributing to the wear and tear of your roof or shedding leaves into your gutters.

  • In addition to your regular, twice-yearly inspections, always get up on the roof after a heavy storm to assess any damage. If you’ve had a hail storm with large hail stones, have your roof inspected as a preventative measure.

If you require any help planning your roof maintenance to make sure you haven’t missed anything or feel you need a professional assessment, give us a call at Signature Exteriors! We offer a free inspection and we’re always happy to answer any questions you have.