While your building’s roof may be one of the last things on your mind, a quality roof’s ability to protect the people and items inside is one of the most valuable aspects of any building. However, the roofing on your commercial or industrial building is vulnerable to extreme weather and other elements. Proactive maintenance is crucial to keeping your roof in optimal condition so you can avoid the most prevalent roofing issues and help your roof last longer.
Common Roofing Issues to Avoid
Commercial roofing issues and damage are inevitable, and every industrial building will experience one or several roof issues over time. Despite this, regular roof maintenance can help prevent roofing problems that are typical among commercial buildings.
Commercial roof leaks frequently result from the roofing issues listed below. Leaks are detrimental to commercial roofing because they allow water and moisture to seep into your building. Leaks cause damage to insulation and your building’s interior, and if unrepaired, can cause your roof to collapse.
While many commercial and industrial buildings have flat roofs, an incorrectly installed roof or one that has settled in specific spots will cause rainwater to puddle in these areas, leaving it unable to drain correctly. Standing water can deteriorate a building’s roof and cause the roofing materials to swell. Standing roof water commonly results in leaks and even encourages mold or algae to grow on your roof.
Storm damage is a possible risk in most climates, especially in central Pennsylvania. High winds, heavy rain and hail can do severe damage to roofs. Strong winds can blow off weak roofing materials or cause tree branches and leaves to land on your building’s roof. Heavy rain can overwhelm ineffective roofing systems, leading to cracks and leaks.
In most climates, changing seasons can mean various damage risks. While summer storms can lead to roof damage, winter weather often causes the most damage for commercial roofs. Snow accumulation weighs down flat roofs, possibly leading to cracks and an increased risk of cave-ins. Freezing and thawing cycles make roofing materials like metal expand and shrink. The shifting metal causes joints and seams to break, creating unwanted holes and cracks.
Seasonal changes can significantly alter roofing materials, making commercial roof preventive maintenance crucial to a long-lasting roof.
Clogged Gutters and Drains
Gutters and drains are essential to clear water from a roof. Several things can clog gutters, including dirt, leaves, sticks and loose roofing materials. Blocked gutters prevent water from properly draining off the roof, creating standing water areas. Clear gutters and effective water flow helps ensure your roofing functions as it should.
Cracking and Punctures
Because flat roofs are more at risk of rain, snow, ice and sun damage, cracking is a typical issue. A heavy blanket of snow on a flat roof can crack roofing materials, especially if they are aging or have sustained unnoticed damage already. Punctures are common problems for single-ply roofs and can occur under heavy foot traffic. Roofing is more likely to puncture if weather or standing water has already weakened the materials.
What Does Preventive Maintenance Look Like?
Preventive industrial roof maintenance allows you to detect any potential problems with your building’s roof before they increase in severity. So, what does preventive maintenance consist of? It’s best to have a commercial roof maintenance plan in place so you know what to look for and when to call a professional roof inspector.
Using a checklist can help you organize your building’s roof maintenance needs. Consider the following roof maintenance checklist to be proactive about your roof’s condition.
- Inspect after severe weather: There’s a higher chance of damage during storms. It’s wise to inspect your building’s roof as soon as possible after severe weather. If your roofing sustains any damage due to heavy rain or winds, you must assess it and have it repaired to keep the damage to a minimum. If your building has any trees that provide shade to your roof, be aware of overhanging branches. They can easily scrape your roof, fall down in a storm or potentially puncture the roofing material.
- Regularly clean the roofing: As debris collects on your building’s roof, removing it and keeping the roof clean can help relieve the pressure that built-up debris puts on a roof. In addition to cleaning the roof, regularly remove leaves and dirt from the drains and gutters to keep water from pooling up around these areas. If your roof has any vents or skylights, keeping these areas clear of debris will also prevent seals from breaking or prematurely deteriorating.
- Maintain records: Keep your records organized and up to date. You’ll want to file roofing documents like the warranty, repair bills, inspection reports and records of who accessed your roof and when. One of the benefits our Roof Asset Protection Program (RAPP) is that we can provide you with detailed information about roof access. Roof access information can help you identify who has been on your roof and possibly help you recoup the cost for roof damages and consequential necessary repairs not covered by your warranty. Access and maintenance information is essential for general documentation and qualifying for warranty-covered repairs and commercial roof maintenance programs.
- Schedule routine inspections: While inspecting your roof yourself can be helpful, we also recommend scheduling professional commercial and industrial roof inspections at least twice a year. Professional roofers can spot areas of concern before an issue becomes severe. During the inspection, they’ll check for any blockage in gutters, signs of damage and proper ventilation. Professional cleaning is also wise to ensure a job well done.
Why Commercial Roofs Need Regular Inspection
Regular roof inspections are crucial for prolonging your commercial roof’s life. Without preventive maintenance and inspection, commercial roofing will deteriorate, and when small problems go unnoticed, they can quickly turn into costly repairs. While some damage is unavoidable regardless of how proactive you are, a lack of proper maintenance often results in some of the worst problems you can prevent with regularly scheduled inspections.
Most roofing manufacturers require a professional inspection as part of the roof’s warranty. Many manufacturers will not cover damages resulting from negligence.
Kautz Construction Roof Asset Protection Program
Routine maintenance is essential to extending the life of your commercial or industrial roof, and at Kautz Construction, we understand this importance. That’s why we offer a roof asset protection program — a roof maintenance package designed to take care of some crucial repairs your warranty may not cover. Through this program, we help you document roof service records and maintenance reports for your warranty to help extend the life of your roof and avoid a premature roof replacement.
Kautz Construction’s RAPP can help give you peace of mind when it comes to roofing issues. For more information about RAPP or our commercial roofing services, contact our team today.