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September 14, 2016
By Molly DavenportPerhaps a new roof has finally been installed on your building, and you have a good warranty on it. But just as anything else on your property, your roofing system needs the right maintenance in order to serve you as long as possible. Here are a few guidelines for how you can get the most out of your new commercial roof.
After your commercial roof has been subjected to strong winds or rain, have it inspected for possible damage. A highly trained and experienced roofer will look for loose, lifted, or missing shingles.
Besides repairing or replacing damaged shingles, your roofer will tighten or replace nails and other hardware straightaway. Don’t hesitate to take care of roof issues as ignoring the problem can mean having to deal with leaks and further damage later.
A good time to get your roof inspected is fall as this is when significant damage can occur from autumn foliage, especially on a flat roof. It only takes a small amount of moisture for leaves to clog drains or block scuppers.
When this occurs fungi, mold and mildew can develop. Failing to remove debris and leaves can cause water to back up, which puts more pressure on a roof deck. Vegetation roots and other organic debris can easily get into a roofing system, creating severe leaks and damage.
Drains and scuppers need to be kept clear to prevent clogged drains from trapping standing water on a roof and causing leakage. Have your roof inspected on a dry, cool autumn day because this is the ideal time for a roofer to determine areas where standing water has accumulated.
A roof inspection the spring is highly recommended as well. Just as harsh winter conditions can be a contributing factor to a roof declining, summer UV exposure can be detrimental to roofs, especially when they suffer from thermal shock as a result of summer downpours. It’s best to get your roof inspected before severe weather is expected to arrive.
Only hire a highly trained and experienced roofing contractor to install or repair your roof. It’s better to use a contractor who has a long list of satisfied customers, rather than someone who’s just getting started in the business. Even worse, there are some scammers who pose as roofers. When repairs are required, you’ll need to educate the people making them, regarding how to properly enter your building or access your roof. Be sure they’re aware of all the rules involved.
• Be sure to regularly remove debris like leaves, sticks, and trash to prevent standing water and buildup in roof drains. This can lead to condensation and drainage issues if not properly taken care of.
• Check your roof for actively growing greenery. This could indicate that there is a hole or crack that will likely lead to leaks and further damage in the future.
• Be sure to evaluate any HVAC, skylight, vents, and rain caps on the roof to ensure they are draining properly to avoid moisture and warping underneath. There are moisture detection tools available for those leaks not visible to the naked eye.
• Only hire a highly trained and experienced roofing contractor to install or repair your roof. It’s better to use a contractor who has a long list of satisfied customers, rather than someone who’s just getting started in the business. Even worse, there are some scammers who pose as roofers.
With all the daily concerns that facility managers have, especially those managing multiple facilities, there isn’t time to worry about the roof on every building. That's why it’s essential that minor issues are corrected quickly before they become so problematic that they take out a lot of money from your budget.
Molly Davenport writes for Magnus Construction, a Central Ohio roofing contractor specializing in commercial roofing solutions for more than 10 years.