A new roof for your commercial building or business location is a major investment. How can you protect a building from structural damage or extreme weather? Proper maintenance and care will go a long way to ensuring the lifespan of the structure. Check out our top five tips on commercial roofing maintenance.
What happens if a commercial roof isn’t adequately maintained?
A well-built and cared for roof is one of the first lines of defense against structural damage to your commercial property. But the roof is very easy to forget. For one thing, you never see it. Roofs are very out of sight, out of mind. Because the roof isn’t something you frequently see or encounter, property managers are apt to neglect this critical component of a building.
Depending on the material your roof is made out of, a roof can last for fifty or more years. But ensuring your roof reaches the end of its natural lifespan with minimal muss and fuss requires routine maintenance. Without it, you won’t get the full value of your investment. The roof can leak prematurely, and damage the inside of the building. You could even jeopardize your profits if your roof is poorly maintained and giving you trouble.
During new roof construction on a commercial building, you may have to shut down the business for a period. Why put your business operations on the line when you don’t have to? The bottom line is, proper roof maintenance and care can protect not only your building’s structural integrity, but also your business operations.
Tip #1: What’s on the Roof?
In many retail spaces, tenant turnover can be quite high. If you own a commercial building and are renting it out to retail clients, they may have had some people on the roof at one point. Your tenants may have made a few upgrades to the building’s exterior, or added signs or other decorative materials to the roof. In these cases, the roof may have been penetrated at different levels to accommodate new signage or other upgrades. Have the roof inspected to make sure all sealant and flashing are intact. Finished work improperly sealed can cause leaks and other problems with the roofing system.
Tip #2: Who’s on the Roof?
Commercial roofs often house many structural components of the building, such as HVAC equipment and systems. Technicians and mechanics will often need access to the roof to service this equipment. The weight of repair materials and human beings walking around on the roof and dropping their tools can cause punctures and tears. Did you know that most roof issues happen because of human error? Avoid this problem by inspecting the roof for holes after service is complete.
Tip #3: Ask to Avoid Maintenance Nightmares from Simple Neglect
If you’re a property manager or landlord of a commercial property, then you’ve got a lot on your plate. It can be easy to forget about things like the roof of a commercial building. And if no one says anything? You can go months, even years before giving the roof any thought. Simple neglect can lead to a host of roofing nightmares. Remember to ask your tenants about any leaks or issues they’ve noticed with the roof periodically.
Tip #4: Proper Drainage for Commercial Roofing Maintenance
Does your commercial property sit next to a lot of trees and other shrubbery? Better (or worse) yet, do tree branches overhang the structure? If that’s the case, then a lot of leaves, twigs, moss and mold can find their way into the roof’s drainage system and clog the gutters. When water can’t drain from the roof, the roof structure will turn into a swimming pool. Also, leaves and twigs that are allowed to sit and collect on the roof can feed moss growth. Moss will damage roof shingles over time.
Be sure to clean gutters and drains. And remember to clear away debris and junk from other pipes, valleys, and skylights on the roof. Overhanging branches should be trimmed.
Tip #5: Location, Location, and Climate
Florida weather and the overall climate in this area of the US can be rough on roofs. For one thing, massive storms can drop the temperature with lightning speed and dump a ton of water onto the building, which can stress the roofing components. Humidity and rain are also prime fuel for moss and algae growth. In addition, the heat and strong Florida sun can shorten the lifespan of sealants, allowing for water ingress and mold growth.
The location of your building and the climate it has to contend with should help inform your commercial roof maintenance routine. In Florida, inspecting your roof after a storm and during the high-heat of summer is often necessary.
Commercial Roof Maintenance Tips: The Bottom Line
You want your roof to last for as long as possible. After all, a new roof is a pricey building component. While roofs aren’t the flashiest thing to consider, their care and maintenance is arguably one of the most important parts for keeping your building structurally sound. Keep these tips in mind for maintaining the health of your commercial property’s roof.