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Roofing materials can outlive their warranties with a comprehensive roof maintenance program tailored to conditions. Of the two, proper maintenance is worth far more than the best warranty. But the longer the warranty, the more durable the manufacturer tests have shown the product to be.
Another clue to the roof's durability is whether the warranty covers issues such as ponding. Why? The warranty period is shorter than the expected life in order to hold down warranty costs. But it can take weeks and even months to get a response for warranty repairs while the leaks continue, and maintenance can have a huge impact on the length of time a roof lasts.
Once the first few years have passed after the roof's installation, its conditions and rate of wear are known, and managers can implement an effective annual maintenance plan that aims to aims to keep the roof clean and is customized to conditions.
Restoring a roof with a quality roof coating, supplemented with a good preventive maintenance program, will add years of protection to the membrane, seams, flashing, drain transitions, such as the scuppers, collectors, insulation, and deck.
Thomas A. Westerkamp is a maintenance and engineering management consultant and president of the work management division of Westerkamp Group LLC.
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