SOME COMMERCIAL ROOF CARE ADVICE
Preventative maintenance programs, comprehensive roof plans, roof management, regularly scheduled roof investigations, PM’s: there are a number of ways that roofing contractors look to articulate and market their interpretation of the ongoing needs of a commercial roof. Regardless of whatever new and cool marketing jargon anyone uses, it comes down to this: your roof needs constant care and attention in order to do what you paid for it to do. We can talk about eliminating the need for costly, unforeseen expenses or increasing the useful life of the roof system, but at the end of the day, it really nets down to dollars and cents. If you do not believe roof maintenance will save you money, you’re likely to ignore it and focus on other issues that may be more visible at that time.
Some contractors now sell “preventative maintenance plans” and the consultant will lend his “expert advice” via an annual “roof study.” These contractors may not have your best interest at heart. It’s challenging to find a contractor who is genuinely excited about roof care, as it only accounts for a small portion of their business and there are bigger tickets in their books to focus on. This is why it is critical to gain an understanding as a building owner, property manager or building director about the true, expected benefits of having the right type of care administered to your roof.
Often you’ll see “roofing tips” indicating the importance of selecting the right kind of roof system for your building. But how often is it that you are choosing a roof system for the building you are currently occupying or managing? The most important advice should be about what you have over your head now. You should want to make that work as long as possible! With a new commercial roof easily costing building owners over $100,000, it makes absolute sense to do everything possible to hold onto the one you already have. By selecting the right people to care for that roof and make the appropriate recommendations, you’ll quickly realize not only the helpful benefits, but the real financial benefits. A well-executed roof care plan will pay for itself three times over on an annual basis if handled correctly.
Professional help is critical to get the most benefit from your commercial roof. A roofing professional can help building owners, property managers and facility directors ensure that a range of routine tasks are performed throughout the year. Here are a couple of basic tasks that you can make sure are done to keep your current roof working, saving you money:
- Gathering debris, such as paper, bottles, broken glass, tree limbs, vegetation or other foreign matter, and disposing of it properly.
- Trimming tree limbs or other items that could fall onto the roof and cause damage.
- Removing all obstructions from roof drains and scuppers, ensuring that they are free flowing. Backed up and clogged drains are often a reason water is able to migrate into the building.
- Examining all areas of the roof to determine any physical damage that has incurred as a result of debris, foot traffic and element exposure including the roof membrane, flashings, pipe boots, curbs, drains, vents, skylights, etc.
- Addressing the first signs of roof decay during and after any change in your area’s thermal cycle in order to eliminate any issues before they create a problem on the interior of the building. Caulk, wood, metal, etc, all expand, contract and deteriorate at a different rate. Having someone who understands this basic principle will be able to best address the current issues as well as forecast future problems and allow for proper budgeting.
Even if you can’t see it every day, don’t ignore the ongoing decay or your roof repairs will often cost twice as much to correct and cost five times more in residual damage and lost productivity. Caring for your commercial roof should be thought of in the same manner as contracting someone to mow the grass, seal the parking lot or service your HVAC units. Once you partner with the correct firm to establish the right roof care plan, the many benefits will soon be realized!