Rain. Snow. Wind. Sun. Salt. It’s a wonder that some things last as long as they do with all the weather variances we face. The roof is the important building component when it comes to weather protection and is the one thing that significantly protects the investment of the owner, by protecting the structure. Maintenance-free roofing systems do not exist, because all types of roofs require a certain amount of attention.
If you haven’t already done so, now is the perfect time to start an annual maintenance program. The importance is obvious – to extend the service life of the existing roof system. You want to catch problems early or even before they occur. Comprehensive repairs not only make the roof last longer, but also provide cost savings to the facility’s owner.
Walk the perimeter of the building to ensure that any unsecured objects, such as trash cans, signs, tree limbs, and loose building materials cannot become airborne projectiles during high winds. Trees should have all dead or broken branches removed and should be trimmed away from the building to prevent possible fires or damage to the roof.
Roof edge details should be checked to ensure that they are tight fitting and properly sealed. Corners of the building are the most susceptible to wind and rain damage. Immediately fix anything that lacks integrity.
All debris and loose materials should be removed from the roof. Leaf grates, if part of the roofing system, should be cleaned and secured in a manner that keeps them in place. Make sure there is no blockage of any kind in drainage areas. Look for cracks or leaking on all areas of the roof and repair as needed.
Check all sealants on penetrations and terminations. All roof mounted equipment (HVAC units, satellite dishes, antennas, duct work, etc.) should be secured in a manner which will not allow movement. If it can be moved by hand it will become displaced in a storm or with wind. All service panel doors should be inspected to ensure that they are properly fastened. Any missing fasteners should be replaced.
A thorough maintenance program will address problems at their initial stage, minimizing or eliminating damage to interior furnishings, equipment, building materials and finishes. In this way, building owners avoid expenditures and preserve their investment, from top to bottom.