Question Of The Week: Roofing Maintenance Procedures

A roof is a significant investment, and it’s essential to watch for the most common roof problems. Catching roof damage early and repairing it can save facility management departments thousands of dollars and, in some cases, the cost of replacing the entire roof. Bade Roofing, Inc., a St. Louis, MO roofing service provider, offers the following steps to help prevent damage and/or identify it as soon as possible.

roof damageDoes your building envelope maintenance plans include some or all of the below steps? Which have you found most useful in protecting your facilities, and your budget?

Work with a professional. Proper installation is critical with the best roofing warranties awarded for the best roofing installation. When a roof system’s materials are not properly installed, the likelihood of problems occurring dramatically increases and the roof system’s life expectancy is reduced.

Perform routine inspections and maintenance. None of us has any control over the weather, but we can control our response to it. Moisture from wind, rain, hail, snow, ice, and debris can get under the layers of a roof and cause leaks, mold and rot. Having the roof routinely inspected and maintained can identify problems early and stop leaks from getting any worse.

roof damage
Photo: Bade Roofing

Evict the critters. You’d be amazed at the amount of damage that small animals, birds and insects can cause to a roof. You’re better off evicting them before they get a foot in the door, let alone a foothold.

Insist on properly installed flashing. Flashing seals the areas around vent pipes, sky lights, chimneys, and HVAC units. In addition to open seams and laps that can ultimately cause tiles to blow off, improperly installed flashing also reduces the puncture resistance in the roof.

Ensure proper drainage. A sure sign of a problem is water that stands or ponds on a roof. Debris from fallen tree branches and leaves as well as improper drainage around HVAC units and gutters are all common causes of ponding water. Routine inspections and maintenance should identify and resolve any drainage problems with the roof.

Inspect sealant and flashings regularly. With the recent spring severe weather, many roofing systems have sustained damage in the form of punctures and penetrations in the roofing materials. Inspecting the sealant and flashing around penetrations added after the roofing was completed should be conducted.

Cut back trees. If a tree is close enough to a building to pose a threat to the structure, you’ll want to have it trimmed or removed. Tree branches can fall on a roof and cause serious damage. Overhanging tree limbs can rub on roofing materials and wear away the protective top layer.

Install roof walkways. Walking on a roof can cause damage. This is why many professional roofers install walkways with double the roofing materials to allow access to HVAC units and other rooftop areas.

Ensure proper ventilation. An integral part of making a roof last is proper roof and attic ventilation. If ventilation is left unchecked, heat and moisture can build up resulting in damage to rafters, sheathing, insulation and rising energy costs. Additionally, this can also cause mold and mildew problems.

Does your building envelope maintenance plans include some or all of the above steps? Which have you found most useful in protecting your facilities, and your budget? Please share your comments or questions in the Comments section below.