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Commercial Roof Maintenance 101: Tips for Prolonging Roof Lifespan

June 3, 2024

As a property manager or owner of a commercial building, ensuring the longevity and performance of your roof is paramount. A well-maintained roof not only protects your investment but also provides a safe and comfortable environment for tenants and employees. In this blog post, we’ll explore some essential tips for prolonging the lifespan of your commercial roof through effective maintenance practices.

1.  Roof Access should always be done safely on appropriate ladders that are tied off properly.

2. Regular Inspections:

   Regular roof inspections are the cornerstone of any maintenance program. Schedule professional inspections at least twice a year, ideally in the spring and fall, to assess the condition of your roof. Look for signs of damage, such as cracks, tears, or punctures, as well as evidence of leaks or moisture infiltration. Early detection of problems allows for prompt repairs, preventing small issues from escalating into costly repairs or replacements.

3. Clear Debris:

   Leaves, branches, and other debris can accumulate on your roof, clogging drains and gutters and causing water to pool. Regularly remove debris from the roof surface and gutters to prevent water buildup and potential damage. In addition to scheduled cleanings, be vigilant after severe weather events, such as storms or high winds, which may deposit additional debris on your roof.

4. Address Ponding Water:

   Ponding water, or standing water that remains on the roof for more than 48 hours after rainfall, can compromise the integrity of your roof membrane and lead to leaks and structural damage. Identify areas of ponding water and take corrective action, such as improving drainage or repairing low spots on the roof surface. Proper slope and drainage are essential for preventing ponding water and maintaining the longevity of your roof.

5. Maintain Roofing Components:

   In addition to the roof membrane itself, don’t overlook the maintenance of other roofing components, such as flashings, seals, and penetrations. Inspect these areas regularly for signs of wear or damage and address any issues promptly. Sealant around penetrations should be inspected and replaced with the appropriate material to prevent water infiltration.  Note that not all products are compatible with every roofing systems; for example, traditional Asphaltic Plastic Cement is not suitable for use on Single Ply Roofing Materials such as TPO, PVC or EPDM.

6. Trim Overhanging Branches:

   Overhanging branches from nearby trees pose a risk to your roof, especially during storms or high winds. Trim back branches that hang over the roof to prevent damage from falling limbs and debris. In addition to protecting your roof, trimming trees also improves air circulation and reduces the risk of algae and moss growth.

7. Schedule Professional Maintenance:

   While there are many maintenance tasks that property managers can perform themselves, some tasks require the expertise of a professional roofing contractor. Schedule regular maintenance visits with a qualified roofing contractor to conduct thorough inspections, repairs, and preventive maintenance measures. A proactive approach to roof maintenance can help identify and address potential issues before they escalate and help to extend the serviceable life of the roof.

In conclusion, proactive roof maintenance is essential for prolonging the lifespan of your commercial roof and protecting your investment. By following these tips and implementing a comprehensive maintenance program, you can ensure that your roof remains in optimal condition for years to come. Remember, investing in routine maintenance now can save you time, money, and headaches down the road.

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