Commercial Roofing Maintenance: Best Practices for Property Managers
Property managers have a lot on their plates. They must manage tenant requests, turnover rates, plumbing and HVAC maintenance, and more. Routine inspections can help property managers spot damage early on, such as missing shingles or sagging areas. It also helps them assess whether repair or replacement is necessary.
Inspect the Roof Regularly
Imagine this scenario: you schedule a routine inspection, and the professional spots a small tear in the membrane. This seemingly insignificant detail could lead to significant water infiltration and interior damage if left unchecked. But with early detection, a quick patch job is all it takes to nip the problem in the bud and avoid a potentially disastrous situation.
By catching these issues early, you can schedule timely repairs and ensure your roof continues to perform flawlessly. Remember, a stitch in time saves nine, and when it comes to your commercial roof, early intervention is the key to long-term performance and cost savings.
Inspecting the roof regularly is just the first step in a quality commercial roofing maintenance plan. A comprehensive approach should also include:
- Professional cleaning
- Minor repairs
- Maintaining proper drainage
By implementing these practices, you’re not just extending the lifespan of your roof; you’re also protecting your investment, ensuring the comfort and safety of your occupants, and maintaining the overall value of your property.
Clean the Gutters
While gutters may seem insignificant at first glance, they play an essential role on commercial roofs. They direct rainwater and snow melt away from the roofing system to prevent water damage. Gutters get clogged with leaves, twigs, dirt, and other debris accumulating over time. Regular clogging is necessary for them to avoid becoming cleaning that water backs up on the roof.
This causes additional stress on the roof system and can lead to leaks in walls and other parts of the building. Clogged gutters also provide ideal breeding spots for pests like mosquitoes, rats, and mice. The decomposing leaves and stagnant water in clogged gutters attract pests looking for their next meal or home.
Regular cleanings help eliminate these unwelcome guests and minimize their impact on the building’s occupants. Regular roof drain and gutter cleaning is significant during seasonal weather changes. Before winter, property managers should clean the drains to prevent ice dams from forming on the roof and blocking the drains. Similarly, property managers should check and clean drains in the spring to prepare for seasonal rainfalls.
Trim Trees and Branches
Maintaining a healthy commercial roof isn’t just about preventing leaks and water damage; it’s about safeguarding your entire building’s integrity and longevity. Think of it like a car – regular tune-ups and preventative measures keep your engine humming smoothly and avoid costly breakdowns.
The same principle applies to your roof, and just like you wouldn’t let your car run with overgrown vines and branches scratching the paint, neglecting your roof’s well-being can lead to severe consequences. One crucial aspect of commercial roofing maintenance is trimming trees and branches that hang over or near the roof. These leafy neighbors, while offering shade and aesthetic appeal, can wreak havoc on your roof in several ways:
- Clogged drains and gutters: Leaves and debris can accumulate in drains and gutters, blocking proper water flow and causing overflow and potential water damage.
- Physical damage: Branches can scratch, puncture, or tear the roof membrane, creating entry points for moisture and leading to leaks and rot.
- Increased wear and tear: Constant rubbing and scraping from branches can accelerate the wear and tear of your roof, shortening its lifespan and necessitating premature replacement.
Regularly trimming trees and branches can eliminate these risks and ensure your roof’s optimal performance.
Inspect the Roof for Leaks
Inspecting the commercial roof regularly can help prevent significant problems from occurring. It can also save money by catching and fixing leaks before they cause damage to the building or its contents. Ideally, the property manager will hire a professional roofing contractor to perform the inspection. A trained roofing expert knows precisely what to look for and can detect leaks that would be difficult for the untrained eye to see.
Leaks can lead to structural damage, water infiltration, mold growth, and interior deterioration. They can also clog gutters, putting extra strain on the roofing system and causing water to pool. The inspector should check the attic or crawlspace for signs of moisture, and they will also inspect the gutters, drains, valleys, pipes, and skylights.
Commercial roofs are not designed to be walked on and should only be accessed by workers or the property manager. Even a tiny amount of weight can place undue stress on the structure, so reducing the number of people who access the roof is essential.
Check for Damage
Commercial roofs are vulnerable to damage and leaks from all sorts of factors. Even minor problems can cause significant damage if left unchecked, so regularly checking for any signs of trouble is essential. For example, if the gutters are regularly clogged with leaves, debris, and other items, this can stress the roof’s structure and cause water to pool. This can lead to rotting, mold, and other issues that can damage the interior of the building.
It is also a good idea to regularly clean the field drains, valleys in the roof, and any skylights to prevent debris accumulation. Seams are another common source of leaks. If they are punctured by hail or separated from the underlying layer, water can enter the building and damage the interior and ceilings. Regular inspections will help you identify and repair damaged seams before they become expensive problems.