How to Set Up a Maintenance Program for a Commercial Roof
Inspecting a commercial roof is one important preventative maintenance task that shouldn’t be overlooked. Proper maintenance can extend the roof’s life and reduce the potential for damage to the building’s interior, protecting one of a company’s biggest assets: its building.
Setting Up a Maintenance Program
We recommend inspecting twice a year, spring (after the winter season) and late fall (between summer heat and winter weather). While the time and cost of these inspections falls to the building owner, other inspections, like those following a major event such a hurricane or hail storm, will be covered by insurance.
Also, once every two years, have your plumber check the roof drain lines.
Creating standardized documentation for each building that is being inspected will help maintain proper records. The documentation should include:
- A file for each roof
- The roof’s installation date
- Records of repairs or updates
- A map of any current leaks
- The administrator of the roofing program, along with contact information
- How often maintenance is performed
Blank, printable inspection reports can be found online (you can download ours here). We recommend using one for each roof, plus taking photos at each inspection, and giving the file to management when the inspection is complete.
What to Look for During a Commercial Roof Inspection
Whether a member of the maintenance staff or a contractor is performing the inspection, the inspector should examine both the interior and the exterior every time.
When inspecting the interior, these are signs the roof needs maintenance:
- Discolored or water-stained ceilings and walls
- Raised or deteriorated areas on the walls
- Discoloration or water staining of window frames
- Rust or other deterioration of roof decking, joists or other structural components
- Mold on any interior surfaces
On the building’s exterior, look for:
- Excessive standing water on the roof’s surface (may be caused by structural failing – broken purlins or joists)
- Stored materials (these should be removed and stored elsewhere)
- Loose, buckled or damaged flashing or membrane
- Nails or screws from deck backing out through membrane
- Vegetation in contact with the roof surface
- Gaps or cracks in caulking round roof penetrations (vents, antennas, skylights, HVAC units, etc.)
- Debris on roof or in drains and gutters
- Missing domes on drains
- Excessive shingle granules on roof surface or in drain/gutter
- Cracks, blisters, punctures or alligatoring on the roof’s surface
- Cracked masonry caps or parapets
- Defective, damaged or missing masonry joints
When repairs are needed, turn to an experienced commercial roofing company like Highland Commercial Roofing. And if water intrusion is an issue, consider a roofing system like RainShield® that is made to provide a superior, long lasting, sustainable surface.