Chapter 4: Preventative Maintenance and How it Helps Keep Your Roof in Shape

In the last chapter of our Ultimate Guide to Commercial Roofing, we discussed the ins and outs of new roof system installation.

While constructing commercial roofs from scratch—or as next-generation replacements for existing roofing at the end of its lifespan—is an important part of our business, we pride ourselves in our strong inspection and maintenance capabilities here at Heidler Roofing, too. In fact, you may have noticed preventative maintenance for commercial roofs is a frequent topic here on our blog. This is because a professionally managed maintenance plan, including a thorough roof inspection process, is essential for ensuring the longevity of your commercial building’s roof.

In that spirit, the focus of today’s post is why maintenance matters and how it helps protect your commercial building’s biggest asset—its hardworking roofing system.

30 Second Recap: What is Preventative Maintenance?

Whether you call it preventative or preventive maintenance, the purpose is the same—to proactively stop problems before they start by completing a checklist of regular maintenance tasks. It’s an approach that’s promoted in a variety of industries for the protection of complex mechanical and structural systems, and it’s especially important for commercial roofing.

Preventative Maintenance is Proactive

While you may have often heard, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” preventative maintenance assures that nothing actually is “broke” on your roof that you don’t know about! After all, hidden problems on your roof can quickly cause a catastrophe for your business, as many common issues lead to damaging leaks. This is why we recommend that at least yearly—and, in an ideal world—seasonal maintenance is done to your roof.

Preventative Maintenance is Budget-Friendly

If your roof is newer, it likely will not need repairs as a result of these check-ins. However, if we spot problems during an inspection, professional commercial roofing contractors like us here at Heidler help you plan for fixes, and we can offer a variety of options that take your business’s budgeting processes into careful consideration.

What Does Seasonal Commercial Roof Maintenance Entail?

In the Mid-Atlantic region where the majority of our Heidler Roofing customers are located, we experience both cold, sometimes snowy, winters and hot, humid summers featuring plenty of thunderstorms. Because of this climate, it’s an excellent practice for commercial building owners to have their roofs assessed and maintained seasonally instead of just once per year.

While there are some tasks that your in-house maintenance personnel may be able to complete on their own, professional commercial roofers can offer you better peace of mind. What follows is a general overview of what we look for during spring/summer and fall/winter preventative maintenance work.

Spring Tasks – Preparing for Summer Heat and Storms

Once winter snow and ice have melted, it’s important to look for any damage that freezing temperatures—and the resulting natural contraction of roofing materials—may have caused. For instance, if low spots are developing on your roof’s surface, there may be ponding water. Leaves, branches, or other debris may be clogging drains and gutters, as well, as we discussed in an earlier post about spring commercial roof maintenance. Both of these situations can create leaks alarmingly fast.

One of the most critical aspects of springtime preventative maintenance is identifying potential weaknesses in your building’s roof that could make it more prone to damage during the intense storms that are frequent in summer. Your roof will also react to hot outdoor temperatures with at least some degree of natural expansion, and it’s vital to assure it will perform as expected.

Fall Tasks – Preparing for Winter

The main goal of fall season preventative maintenance for commercial roofs is typically winterization, which mediates the risks posed by heavy snow loads, ice accumulation, and the sometimes daily freeze/thaw cycle that can literally stretch roofing materials to their breaking point, especially if they are nearing the end of their service life. As during spring maintenance, fall tasks involve debris removal, drain and gutter clearing, and an overall assessment of the roof’s condition.

Why Your Roof Needs Regular Comprehensive Inspections

In short, your commercial roof needs inspection because roofing manufacturers recommend regular preventative maintenance inspections by a manufacturer-authorized roofing applicator. In other words, the makers of roofing materials want to assure that you’re getting the best performance out of their products by entrusting their care to professionals.

Beyond this, one of the most significant components of seasonal maintenance is an inspection process that is much more than simply “taking a look at the roof” from a ladder perched near its edge. Here at Heidler, we emphasize comprehensive inspections in which real, live commercial roofers physically climb onto your building’s roof to look for problems.

And that’s not all—inspections must also entail cataloging of all issues, damage, and deficiencies with photographic evidence—preferably through state of the art inspection software on tablet devices that make it easy for technicians to report findings and collaborate with clients.

In case you were not aware, this is the level of Legendary Service we bring to all of our customers. We even provide an online portal as an information sharing solution between our expert roofers and our valued clients that’s especially helpful to those managing multiple commercial buildings or properties. It’s a proven fact that inspections help your roof “live” longer and perform better, and it’s our goal to help make that happen.

Need a Maintenance Plan? Heidler Roofing Can Help

If you’re ready to get your commercial building’s hardworking roof on a regular maintenance schedule to help boost its performance and increase your awareness of what’s going on “up there,” it’s time to get in touch with Heidler Roofing. You’ll find that our professionalism and customer service are second to none in the Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. areas, and we put our decades of commercial roofing experience to work for your business.