To keep your roof in tip top condition and prevent future disasters and unexpected expenses, you should learn the basics of how to do a commercial roof maintenance to give your roof a fighting chance to last longer.
This approach is actually great to follow in other areas of life, no one wants a surprise leaking roof, or a car that breaks down because of poor maintenance. If you manage a building, run a factory or own any commercial building, you need to do proper roof maintenance to avoid unexpected damage.
The benefits of commercial roof maintenance
We all experienced unexpected damage in some parts of our lives or business, but it shouldn’t be the case, with proper knowledge and preparation, we should be able to expect or at least manage these situations without losing our minds and budget. There are many benefits of keeping your commercial roof up to date, we outline some of them below:
1. Seeing the future of your roof
Now obviously we don’t mean you can see the future and events before they happen, but if you keep an organised maintenance schedule you should know exactly what’s the condition of your roof, what needs to be fixed, how long will it last ( in normal conditions ) and how much the cost of all of this will be.
So don’t just ignore your roof and think everything will be ok, you need to take a proactive approach and manage it.
2. Keeping costs down
Yeah, if you plan ahead, you actually lower your expenses.
Think of it this way, if you regularly check your roof and find things that you think needs to be fixed, catching them early while the damage is still small is way cheaper than waiting until the roof takes massive damage and only then calling your local roofer to fix it.
3. Your business will run smoothly.
No business owner wants to shut down for repairs, it costs a lot of money and disrupts the natural flow of the business. Having a good commercial roof preservation plan in place will make sure that you never have to close shop because the roof is about to collapse.
4. Safety of your staff
This should actually be the first point as we can all agree keeping your employees safe is the number one priority. You don’t want poor roof maintenance to cause any harm to anyone working for you.
Roof damage is not only small leaks and broken shingles, if you neglect it, serious issues can happen that will potentially hurt the people working in the building.
OK, I get it, but how do I do a commercial roof maintenance?
If you are a commercial building owner or a building manager, it’s your responsibility to take care of the roof. in order to keep the business going and not be caught unprepared, you should have a roofing maintenance plan in place that will help you keeping everything on the up and up.
Having a roof plan will help you identify issues that may arise before they become a serious issue that will cost more, and take more time to repair. So first things first, you need to build your plan
How to build a Commercial roof maintenance plan
We already established the need for a roof maintenance plan, now we are going to talk about building your roof plan. You need to decide how often are your going to inspect your roof, are you going to do it on your own or do you want help from a professional roofing company to do the inspection.
Please note there is a difference between a roof inspection and a free estimate. Another thing to consider is what parts of the roof are you going to inspect, if you have a huge building, the inspection alone could take hours, days and even weeks to complete, and if you don’t think you have it, you need to hire a professional.
Below are the three most important things to consider when writing your maintenance roof plan down, and yes, it should be on paper and not just in your head.
a. Your area and environment
When sitting down to write your plan, the first and most obvious thing to consider is your area right? Are you in an area that gets a lot of snow? Strong winds? Maybe you’re in a place like Nevada where it could get really hot most of the year, all these factors come into play and your building area could be the most important factor in determining your roof condition and how long it will need an inspection and repairs.
b. Building size
Managing a 10,000 square foot roof would obviously take less time than a 500,000 square foot. So you need to know how long each inspection is going to take before hand.
If you manage a really large building and know examining the entire roof will take two weeks, it’s a good idea to break these down into smaller inspections and have them spread around all year. This way you won’t have to set a side a few weeks and neglect your other responsibilities but still keep your roof in proper shape.
b. What’s inside
What’s inside your building matters, if you store merchandise worth $5,000,000 that should not be exposed to rain or moisture, you should keep your roof in excellent shape.
If you have hundreds of employees working every day, your roof needs to be checked thoroughly to make sure it’s in tip tip shape. But if you only store items that are not worth much in value and you only work 3 months out of a year, you could just do the inspection once a year before the building starts it’s season. Every situation is different.
To sum up the commercial roof maintenance plan, you need to check your environment, your size, and what’s inside, this will help you decide how often you need to inspect your roof, and what to do when you find failures.
Now that you have your plan in place, and you didn’t just write it down in a file somewhere and forgot about it, you have the basis of conducting your commercial roof maintenance schedule.
With your plan in place, the easiest and most simple way to keep your roof in good shape is to have it regularly checked and follow through with the results. It sounds so easy right? So simple, but you be surprised how many commercial roof managers neglect this part.
Stick to a schedule, have your roof inspect according to your plan, if you find anything that needs to be repaired, better sooner than later that’s what we say. Call a roofing company in your area and have them fix everything. Your roof will last longer this way, and your job will actually be easier.
How often should you do a roof inspection
A good rule of thumb here should be no lesser than twice a year. Ideally in spring and fall. This should keep you in a good place with eveything and keep your roof in good condition.
–> Please note though that you need to use your own judgement when decided how often you should inspect your roof, if your building is located in an area that gets harsh weather like Chicago, you probably want to have a few more inspections done throughout the year just to make sure everything is in place.
A good commercial roofing maintenance inspection routine
Now that we understood the benefits of a good roof maintenance habit for your commercial building, and we have a proper plan in place, let’s actually see the most common things you need to check once you’re on the roof.
- Roof top unites and penetrations.
- Look for any defects in general.
- Gutters, Drains and Scuppers.
- The surface area and field of the roof.
- Control joints, expansions, roof edges and flashings.
Don’t stress about the order of the things you check, as long as you follow a plan and do the same routine every time you inspect, you should be find.
Of course one of the most popular options with commercial building managers is to hire a roofing company to do their inspection for you.
If you decide on hiring such a company, you should check and make sure you get the best in your area and not just someone who is out to make a quick buck. Remember that you will need to use their service twice a year or even more, so it’s better not to take this decision lightly.
Chicago Brick co is one of the most established roofing contractors in the Chicago area and they are big enough to take any project, but small enough to care about you and your needs.
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