Client: Skyline Roofing Alabama
In various aspects of our blog, we’ve discussed roof maintenance for both commercial and residential applications. Up until now, we haven’t dived into more detail about preventative maintenance and what to look out for as time goes on. This blog will act as a walkthrough for understanding the major sources of leaks as well as how maintenance can positively affect your operating budget. First, we’ll explore the common leaks and how to prevent future problems. Secondly, we’ll cover the correlation between maintenance services and your budget.
Major Commercial Roof Leaks
The first major causes of a roof leak are the biggest additions to any commercial roof. These are the vents, HVAC units, fans, antennas, and any other heavy building equipment. Upon finishing construction, a commercial roof is sturdy, but over time, the building will settle. This same principle can be applied to a house. If there’s heavy equipment placed on your building’s roof, they too will settle and can cause cracks in the roof deck. It’s part of building ownership. Cracks allow for infiltration and further damage caused by rain, snow, and/or hail (depending on your location). Excessive rain can wear through ventilation panels as well. Make sure all parts of heavy equipment are thoroughly inspected regularly by your maintenance staff or an outside professional roofing team.
With that being said, weather alone comes in at number two on our list. We all are aware of the somewhat recent hurricanes that ran up through Florida and slammed Houston’s coastline. Wind is a major destruction to rooftops. When you factor in heavy rain, the combination can give any rooftop a brutal beating. In colder areas of the country, ice and snow can weigh heavily (no pun intended) on gutters and downspouts. The overbearing weight can break and crack gutters. Additionally, wild fluctuations in humidity and temperature will also degrade a roof’s condition. The location and weather are not something you can directly plan for. Areas with higher concentrations of rain will see wear and tear more often. However, it’s the constant barrage of rain that breaks down the roof decking, panels, seals, and around other protrusions. This is a great time to insert our last blog on pitch pans to prevent against water erosion (snow and hail will melt and become water). It’s the best line of defense against rainy weather.
As a result of the construction process, there will be long seams over large areas of your roof decking. They will be secured to either the insulation or deck itself. However, those seams allow for vulnerabilities from elements. The way to best secure seams is to overlap them like you would with installing a pitch pan. Depending on your budget, paying for extra overlapping seams upfront could save several headaches later on. Seams in the roof’s center are better protected than seams around the perimeter of the roof. The best way to prevent seam damage around the perimeter is to, again, regularly inspect all aspects of your roof.
The fourth and fifth major causes of roof leaks go hand-in-hand. The fourth cause is us—human beings. Professional roofers know where to walk to avoid causing any damages. It is okay to walk on a roof; after all, a one hundred and seventy-five-pound man is nothing compared to an HVAC unit weighing a few tons. Constant walking can have the same hazardous effects on a roof as consistent weather elements. The solution is to limit foot traffic to professionals or when absolutely necessary. Those who work on the roof, professional or maintenance staff, can contribute to small damage by dropping tools. Be sure whoever you let up on your roof (or if it’s you) you treat the roof with delicate care. Rushing leads to added problems.
Human beings are not perfect. Neglect and procrastination when it comes to anything only exacerbate the problem. Do not ignore your roof. It’s important to have a roof over your head and not everyone does. Left unchecked, any small problems can turn into big problems fairly quickly as a result of variables like weather, animals, equipment, etc. Again, regular checks and inspections will do you wonders for your building and bottom line.
Next week, we’ll be discussing part two of this blog—how maintenance services can positively affect your budget.
Last week, we blogged on commercial roof ownership and discussed the problems of (and solutions) to roof leaks. Some were preventative measures, while others were as simple as being careful and observant when working. This week in part two of your guide to commercial roof ownership, we are discussing the positive impacts that routine maintenance can have on your bottom line.
Your Roof’s Lifespan Is Everything
Manufacturers such as the ones we regularly work with (Conklin Manufacturing, Central States, ABC Supply Company, and Mule-Hide Products) agree that routine roof maintenance can extend your roof’s life by at least 25 percent. This statistic applies to any roof, regardless of the construction type. What matters are not only the right products but the diligence in maintaining your well-built roof.
Weather can be a real pain in terms of cleanup, but this is no reason to neglect the state of your roof. As discussed in last week’s blog, negligence only worsens the small problems. If you know inclement weather is coming, beef up your roof by re-sealing any vulnerabilities before the weather hits. For example, if you know heavy rain or snow is coming, clear your gutters of any clogging debris so snow doesn’t add too much weight. Once it melts, clear gutters will allow water to flow down smoothly and away from your roof.
Older roofs should be treated with extra amounts of the same preventative care via routine maintenance. We feel a re-roof or new roof is required only when it’s absolutely necessary. When regular maintenance has been exhausted and a smaller patch job will not solve the problem, it’s time to look at other options.
From a business ownership perspective, most owners will choose not to shell out any money until it’s needed. Like we just mentioned, a new roof or major overhaul will eventually be needed if things get bad enough. The bad news is that the financial pain would not have been necessary if the owner chose to attack the problem before it started. This is why routine maintenance expenditures are so valuable. A little bit spent here and there regularly prevents a major expense when you may not have it readily available.
Maintenance Checks Are More Than Finding Issues
Of course, maintenance checks are preventative, but what they also allow you is the opportunity of time. After all, time is money and vice versa. One seems to operate both positively and negatively with the other, depending on the circumstances. In this real-world example, knowing what upcoming work is needed and by when, a building owner can plan ahead (budget) for the necessary expenditures.
Alleviating Pain Of A Major Roofing Project
Here’s a great point that may not come to mind for a typical building manager or property owner. Let’s say you avoid regular maintenance and small fixes of leaks, cracks, panels, seams and so on. Undoubtedly, those small problems can come together to ruin your roof. By the time you need a new roof or major overhaul, the cost can be exponential. On the contrary, say you perform those regular fixes all along and, years later, a big necessary project does come to light. You will have saved yourself pain and money in the long run by improving your roof’s state all along with minor fixes.
Leaks Are The Devil
Leaks really are the devil. They can ruin any roof surface and get into any space. The more water gets into that space, the worse off things can get. Metal roofs can rust and their strength can degrade. Water can ruin insulation whether it’s sprayed in your attic or installed in your commercial warehouse. We, along with our suppliers, also agree that properly maintaining insulation can save approximately 30 percent of the total cost of replacement.
Many owners ignore routine roof maintenance when budgeting. Don’t let this be you and if it is, make the necessary steps today to course correct. Get ahead of the curve and save yourself money and headaches. Keep any minor problems minor and, in the long run, you’ll protect your property. After all, it is an investment.