If you haven’t noticed, fall is upon us—and winter will be here soon enough. To keep your roof in tip-top shape, it’s always good to refresh yourself on some best practices for preventative maintenance in the fall. This is a critical time for most roofs. Many roofs have been exposed to a lot of heat and UV rays, and they’re about to be subjected to cold weather, freezing rain, and snow (depending on where you live).
To help you cover your bases, we put together a quick guide of fall preventative maintenance tips you can use pre-winter. Remember: Never put yourself in an unsafe position when it comes to your roof. If you’re uncertain or just want to be cautious, it always pays to have a trained technician perform certain tasks or inspections for you. They know what they’re looking for and have the safety knowledge to protect themselves and your property from accidental damage.
Perform a fall audit on your roof’s condition
Because many business owners and property managers lack the knowledge needed to assess a roof’s condition properly, many opt to hire trained roofers. You could perform a more general assessment yourself by noting any obvious damage or obstructions, but you should always exercise caution when trying to get a closer look at your rooftop. Depending on the issue, you may even spot indicators from inside your building, such as leaks, staining, or standing water.
You may be able to remove things like old boards and lumber, garbage, leaves, tree limbs and loose pieces of debris yourself but utilize a trusted roofer to inspect the roof more thoroughly. You definitely don’t want a damaged or weak roof as you go into the winter season. After all, you need to ensure your roof is capable of protecting any assets, tenants, or employees you have located in your building.
Winterize your roof
Because winter follows fall, part of your fall roof maintenance should be to get it ready. This means doing what you can to prevent things like ice dams, which occur when snow builds up on the roof and prevents proper runoff drainage.
The freeze/thaw cycle can have a huge impact on commercial roofing systems. As ice accumulates, it puts added weight on the roof that can affect its structural integrity or even damage the membrane. You also have to watch out for “scrubbing.” Scrubbing is when ice formations move across the roof due to changes in temperature, causing damage to the membrane in the process. There’s also the matter of your roof’s age and current condition; and the older/more damaged it is, the more the freeze/thaw can damage it.
There is prep work your roofer can do to ensure the roofing system holds up against wet and wintery weather. Preventative maintenance is the simplest and most cost-effective way to keep your commercial roof strong. With the right contractor, your roof can last decades with proper maintenance and care. By regularly maintaining your roof, you can save on repair and replacement costs over the long term.
A Few Known Facts
- Your roof is the most IMPORTANT part of your building. It has the greatest amount of exposure to the elements and is usually the least maintained.
- As the roof begins to age, PERIODIC CARE is NEEDED. NOT EXPENSIVE CARE, just CONSISTENT CARE.
- If problems are evident inside the building this means problems are worse on the roof.
- ALL ROOFS & ROOFING SYSTEMS require periodic inspections and maintenance to perform as designated to keep your LIMITED WARRANTY in full force and effect from the manufacturer.
Advantages of a Preventative Maintenance Program
- “Proactive” not “Reactive”.
- Longer Roof Life.
- Experienced & Qualified Roof Repair Technicians and Inspectors.
- “Preventative Maintenance” vs. “Roof Replacement” (Can be Very Costly).
- Assist in budget planning for roof needs.
- Provides a detailed, semi-annually updated, history of the facility’s roof areas, problems, and future projections.
A Final Thought
There is a tendency for people to “forget” about their roof system until there is a problem (i.e. leaks noticed inside the building). Unfortunately, much damage can be done to the roofing system and the decking which goes unnoticed. Heidler Roofing Services PM Program will help prevent the damage caused by roof leaks and you can expect to get the “full service life” out of your existing roof. It’s just one less thing for you to worry about!