As a whole, the roofing industry has steadily grown more than 1% between 2017 and 2022. In the United States alone in 2022, roofing contractors generated $59 billion in revenue.
Much of those numbers can be attributed to severe weather patterns hitting the U.S., which have continued through 2023.
Regular commercial roof maintenance can help reduce the likelihood of damage in extreme weather conditions and also means you that don’t have to join a waiting list for a new roof when the need finally arises.
There Could be Waiting Lists
As most industries in the U.S., there is a labor shortage hitting the roofing industry, but that’s not all.
Inflations continues to climb and so does the cost of roofing materials, along with roofing services. The aftermath of COVID-19, conflict in Russia and Ukraine, and low raw materials like steel are contributors to why it’s hard for commercial roofing companies to obtain materials. These are reasons it’s important to maintain your roofing system.
The longer you wait, the worse the damage and, ultimately, the more expensive of a repair. So what can you as a commercial property owner do?
Create a Roof Maintenance Program
Create a maintenance plan for your commercial property from the top down. In regard to the roof, outline the basics of your roof maintenance needs, and decide how often a roof inspection should take place (a professional, experienced commercial roofing company can help you estimate).
Include a detailed checklist of conditions to be on the lookout for, and understand the plan of action needed for anything that requires repair or maintenance work. Also, include a section in your maintenance plan with all of your essential roof information (read on to get an idea).
Essential Roof Information
Know when the roof was originally installed, and if available, have a list of the materials that were used to construct the roof.
Have a list of the access points, their types, and date of certification. Include a log of previous repairs (it’s helpful to have pictures of the repairs) and list the name and contact information for the company (or companies) who completed those repairs.
The Roof Inspection
Even if you don’t implement an internal maintenance plan, you can still hire a professional roofer to come and perform a commercial roof inspection.
An experienced contractor will note any signs of structural damage or potential for damage while also providing roofing maintenance tips along the way. This will help you prevent a small problem from turning into a major one, and improve your roof’s lifespan.
The contractor will look at the installation of the roof and may even take a sample.They will also look for any roofing attachments that might need extra attention, which include items like skylights.
Different parts of your commercial roofing system will be inspected, including checking for clogs in gutters and downspouts. Other potential roof problems will be looked at and determined.
Anything that attaches to the roof is called a penetration. These penetrations have flashing that should be free of gaps or tears, and any vents should have secure seals around them.
Benefits of Regular Inspection: Catch Repairs Early
The commercial roofing company you use for preventative maintenance or regular inspection can make repairs on any items that need attention, and they can also bolster any weak points to prevent future damage.
You may need to schedule an appointment for any larger repairs like water ponding on a flat roof, or roof leaks caused by water damage within your structure.
Bi-yearly inspections and repairs cost far less than a major roof repair or roof replacement, and your business can remain open during these visits.
Major Weather Events
Let’s circle back to weather. Aside from regularly scheduled maintenance, it’s also a good idea to inspect after a major weather event, to see if it’s still in good condition.
Extreme weather is your roof’s worst enemy. Since your roof is the first line of defense, it experiences the brunt of wind and rain. Strong winds will tear at the roofing materials, while debris can blow onto the roof.
Warm Weather Storms
Rain will pool if the drains, downspouts, and gutters are full of debris, and overflowing or standing water can seep into the building (where it should not be). It’s important to perform a roof clean after a storm that can knock all kinds of stuff onto your commercial roof.
Hail can crack or puncture your roof, while extremely warm temperatures can cause your roof materials to expand and crack.
Cold Weather Events
It’s important to have a plan for snow removal from your commercial roof. That doesn’t matter if it’s low-slope, flat (bitumen or EPDM), or metal roofs.
Following any of the above-mentioned weather events, inspections can help locate issues from the storm or just give you peace of mind!
Perform Repairs Immediately
Problem areas left over time can turn into major issues, hindering your roof’s service life or lifespan.
Small holes or openings in your roof can become a home for rodents and other small animals as they look for the warmth or protection of your building. Openings also create a place for water to flow, resulting in leaks that can affect day-to-day business.
Standing water becomes a haven for mold and mildew to grow, and unfortunately, mold infestations are notoriously hard to eradicate. This also creates a dangerous health environment for your employees and customers.
Hiring a mold removal company or partially replacing your roof costs significantly more than having the roof inspected twice a year. As they say: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Preventative Maintenance Plans
The most important roof maintenance tip: get regular inspections.
As we stated above, a good rule of thumb is to have inspections performed twice a year to catch any developing problems (typically after the coldest and hottest times of the year, since extreme weather causes the most damage). Reliable commercial roofing companies will often incorporate preventative maintenance packages into their service offerings.
An effective roof maintenance plan can reduce leaks by up to 70% and double a roof’s life expectancy; the less amount of time damage has to build and grow, the lower your repair cost!
Preventative maintenance plans often provide 24/7/365 leak response and storage of the data relating to your roof and its repairs. Best of all, you will have a trusted contact for major changes or emergency situations!
Commercial Roofing Take-a-Ways
The best way to preserve the life of your roof is to be proactive with inspection and repairs. By spending a small amount of money now, you save a large amount in the long run.
Take the first step by scheduling your next roof maintenance inspection and have a professional, licensed commercial roofing contractor inspect your roof.
Go one step further and hire a commercial company to complete regular maintenance visits and implement an internal maintenance plan for your entire building. By doing so, you can anticipate issues, repairs and (most importantly) costs!
Finally, if there is an extreme weather event, have the roof inspected again (even if your regular maintenance visit was just completed). Have any leaks, tears, or weak points repaired ASAP.
Don’t get bogged down with handling your entire commercial roof maintenance plan alone. Our team at TEMA has more than 100 years of combined experience, and we’ve installed more than 50 million square feet of footing for clients. Schedule your roof inspection today with one of our experienced professionals.