One way or another, the outdoor elements will find a way to wreak havoc on the roof of your commercial building. Once we emerge from the harsh cold temperatures of winter weather, with its heavy snow loads and the freezing ice, mother nature has a new season of severe weather complete with its own set of challenges for roof maintenance. Awareness of these signs of damage and spring cleaning at your commercial property can be the difference between building owners looking at small repair services, warranty work or very costly repairs like new roofs! Here are some commercial roof maintenance tips that will improve the lifespan of your commercial roofing system.
1. Conduct A Moisture Survey
Once every five years of commercial roof ownership, it’s important to do a moisture survey on the roof materials, since these problems aren’t always visible to the naked eye. These problems can be due to the presence of water, heat retention or loss of heat through the insulation. Conducting a roof membrane inspection and seeing what’s underneath is invaluable to get ahead of many roof issues before they build up. Sometimes there can be a clog in the downspouts and drainage systems or punctures in the roof surface where standing water can pond up. Roofing services like a moisture survey done with an infrared scanner can be one of the most important inspections coming out of the winter months into springtime.
2. Trim Tree Limbs/ Clean Gutters and Scuppers
Trees add a beautiful landscaped aesthetic to almost any property, commercial or residential, but that vey landscaping can add maintenance to your roof after a harsh winter. Tree branches and limbs can cause major damage to your commercial roof during storms and high winds.
Branches cause damage because of excessive debris to the surface of the roof, clog the downspouts, gutters and scuppers causing algae to grow, and tree limbs can damage your building, puncture your roof surface and even worse. Being cognizant of trees surrounding your commercial property year round will negate costly roof repairs and pay dividends for the lifespan of your roof.
3. Check For Damage After Storms
Coming out of the harsh winter months, you have your own set of roof issues to deal with but the weather in the spring can be just as troublesome. It’s important to inspect your roof for damage after heavy rainfalls, high winds, hail, severe thunderstorms and in some areas, tropical storms and tornadoes. Schedule roof inspections twice a year by a roofing expert or commercial roofing contractor. Clean your gutters or scuppers (drainage system), inspect the flashing to see if it needs additional caulking or replacement and check for leaks or water damage and inspect for structural damage with larger storms. These simple steps will go a long way, before the little problems become even bigger ones.
4. Check For Roof Leaks
After a harsh winter, the weight of the snow and ice loads up on top of commercial roofs and causes water to pool or even seep through areas once adhered by a roofer with sealant. During your inspection, examine the roof for evidence of leaks. Inspect surface materials for evidence of damage, especially around seams, vents, downspouts, caulking, edges, membrane, and other areas that are susceptible to damage like near your HVAC.
Leaks Are Just The Tip Of The Iceberg
Single-ply roofing membranes are a great barrier from the elements when moisture is present, but water can also be retained on the roof in the same manner. Moisture tends to build up mildew and other problems on a flat roof at a commercial property, but these issues can manifest in residential roofing as well. If the flashing, membranes and rubber are damaged after your roof installation, it’s only a matter of time before water elements get into the roofing materials. Getting up there and checking for things like this curbs costs later on in the life of your roof.
5. Clean and Remove Debris
Multiple times throughout the year people end up on your roof and the amount of folks up there, not completing a roof inspection might surprise you. HVAC contractors, commercial roofing contractors, random people, the list goes on. There can be a mess of unnecessary items and trash up there, and that’s not even counting the amount of leaves, twigs, tree limbs that end up there. Unused materials and forgotten tools from multiple maintenance persons are also commonly found atop of commercial buildings. This is the first step in making sure your roof is ready for spring cleaning or inspection by your local roofing company.
6. Clean And Wash The Roof
The build up of branches, dirt, trash and other debris from the environment or otherwise needs to be removed and the surface of the roof must be cleaned. These things will sit upon your roof and begin to decay, which begins to break down the surface and membranes of the roof over time.
Tools Of The Trade
Using a lower setting on a power washer and soft bristle brush, commercial roofers will clean away algae, dirt mold or moss from the surface of your commercial roof. You must be careful with the delicate single-ply roofing materials, however, so not to puncture them with your scrub brush or too high a setting on the power washer. With all of these items cleaned and cleared away your roof will be ready for a more thorough professional inspection.
7. Schedule A Professional Inspection
Call in and schedule your appointment for a professional from your roofing company to evaluate the roof thoroughly and inspect for damage and any needed repairs. They will diagnose any problems before a job of a couple hundred dollars turns into one that costs you thousands in out of pocket costs, and if things get bad enough, lost revenue from having to shut things down while repairs are made! Fall and spring are the two recommended times every year to have a professional inspection done on your commercial property. Damage to the seams, seals and other membrane punctures and problems are noted and any needed repairs are recommended.
TEMA Roofing Can Help!
The combined 112 years of experience in the commercial roofing industry at TEMA Roofing Services can ensure these standards are met and exceeded for all clients of our Roof Asset Management (RAM). The client portal will be updated with current conditions, data and photos of all work performed on your property. You can trust the three generations of experience and care of a family owned and operated local business to keep up with the preventative maintenance of your facility’s roof. From updated progress reports of current work to service requests, the client portal is a great way to stay aware of all of your roofing needs. Contact us today to see what TEMA Roofing Services can do for you!