WEB EXCLUSIVE: Proactive Maintenance for Low-Slope Roofs

This post was submitted by Jay Rintelmann, president of Hartford South.

Proper maintenance is a key aspect to extending a roof’s lifespan. Once there is an active leak, it is too late for proactive measures.

Many variables and issues can cause damage and lower the roof’s performance. Check for these five common problems affecting low-slope commercial roofs:

  • Proper drainage – Debris from wind and storms can clog drains and gutters. Drains should be checked and cleaned every six months to one year to ensure proper flow of water.
  • Ponding water – Older roof systems, and sometimes systems where insulation was not installed correctly, have the propensity to pond water. Ponding can occur anywhere on the roof deck, stressing the roof and causing premature failure of most membranes.
  • Flashings – Identify roof membrane problems at vertical surfaces including walls and curbs. Look for holes in the membrane, open laps, hail damage, or membrane slippage.
  • Penetrations – Inspect condition of roof at locations where vent pipes, soil pipes, heater flues, electric conduits, or gas lines pass through the roof. These penetrations and pitch pans are often the first areas to fail on a roof, but their lifespan can be extended indefinitely through proper maintenance.
  • Walk pads – Facility managers should request that any individuals accessing the roof use these pads while performing maintenance or repair services to equipment on the roof.

Of course, age and severe weather can also affect the longevity of your building’s roof. Most have a lifespan of about 20 years – although the factors mentioned above can cause damage that necessitates a re-roof or repair. So, check your building’s roof regularly, because proactive maintenance can help save money (and hassle) in the long run.

Hartford South specializes in low-slope commercial roofing applications – both re-roof and new construction. Since 1984, Hartford South has installed more than 60 million square feet of product and completed numerous high-profile jobs throughout Central Florida. Clients have included Orange County Convention Center, Orange County Public Schools, Florida Hospital and Rosen Shingle Creek.


  1. I remember Hurricane Andrew hit Florida and the roofers from hell all went south. Hartford guys from New England went south and established themselves as the cream of the crop in FL, and set the bar for roofing in Florida. I understand there have been a few bad jobs and have washed out a few buildings over the years, but roofers from New England are the best in the country.

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