In our humble opinion, commercial roof preventive maintenance is the single most important favor you can do for your business. Your commercial roof protects just about every other part of your company, from raw materials, machinery, and finished products to office supplies, computers, and employees. Protect what keeps you in business by enlisting a local commercial roofer for preventive maintenance.
What is Preventive Maintenance?
Preventive maintenance on a commercial roof is a multi-pronged approach to slowing or even stopping the deterioration of your building’s most important asset, its roof. Preventive maintenance helps your roof last longer while hindering the damaging effects of aging, weather, and foot traffic.
Instead of reacting to water infiltration, your facilities crew and local commercial roofer prevent leaks. Instead of clearing clogged drains and rebuilding sloped insulation, your roofer keeps your scuppers and drains clear ahead of any storms.
Preventive maintenance has several facets:
- Generating a building history, including records of previous roof repairs
- Mapping your commercial roof
- Tracking minor repairs
- Planning for larger repair projects
- Inspections annually or semiannually
- Planning for roof succession
You must work with your commercial roofer to develop a strategy for ongoing preventive maintenance. No one-size-solution exists; costs and particulars of any program will necessarily vary for many reasons:
- Building size — The more square footage your commercial or industrial property has, the more work is needed to prevent leaks and prolong life.
- Roof condition — A deteriorated roof not only needs preventive maintenance, but it also needs remedial help to bring it up to a standard of dependability so you can sleep at night.
- Building age — The older your building, the more preventive work may be needed.
- Roof slope — Not all commercial roofs are low-slope; steep-slope commercial roofs require different safety equipment and work methods.
- Maintenance history — A neglected roof, or one with an unknown repair record, requires a more intensive approach to prevention.
Worth The Effort
A commercial roof preventive maintenance plan cannot be slapped together over the telephone or through an email exchange. You need to invest time and, yes, money in a cohesive strategy to extend the life of your commercial roof. Is it worth the effort? Is it worth the argument at budget crunch time?
Yes, and yes. Investing in your roof always pays off by preventing water infiltration, avoiding problems with mold and mildew, and adding months or years of useful life to your existing roof. By spending a small portion of the cost of re-roofing or tear-off and complete roof replacement, you can avoid:
- Poor indoor air quality
- Rot or rust in the roof deck
- Catastrophic roof failure
- Ruined equipment or inventory
The specific plan for preventive roof maintenance depends on your particular needs, but your local roofer is usually happy to invest time and labor in these areas:
- Visual inspection of the entire roof
- Clearing gutters, scuppers, and internal drains
- Verifying slope
- Cleaning the roof, including removing organic matter and windborne debris
- Physical testing of flashing, caulking, and seams
Beyond the physical work, your roofer will also prepare documentation, work with you to gather historical data on your roof, and prepare an inspection report. Depending on your goals, you and your roofer could start developing a path forward to roof replacement.
Not a Substitute
Preventive maintenance plans are not a substitute for emergency roof repair. If a major storm strikes your Grand Rapids-area commercial site, your roofer needs to know and respond. The preventive maintenance braces your business for the impact; it does not replace a post-storm visit.
A good commercial roofer will work with you on the preventive maintenance plan and emergency calls. Does your roofer work on weekends? Will your roofer make your business a priority after a snowstorm? If high winds peel back part of your roof, will you have to wait a week for service?
Develop a relationship with your local commercial roofer long before any emergency strikes. A preventive maintenance plan is an excellent opportunity to establish strong ties with your roofer. Then when an ice storm threatens to unleash water leaks, you can tap the resources of your commercial roofing contractor for quick action.
An umbrella approach to your roof is your best method for keeping your roof in service for many years. After all, your commercial roof is the umbrella sheltering the rest of your business, so combining preventive maintenance with spot repair is a wise one-two punch against the effects of:
- Blunt impacts
- Foot traffic
For your Grand Rapids-area business, we at Moore and Sons Roofing are your trusted, local experts for all your commercial roofing needs. Contact us today and tap our 10+ years of commercial roofing expertise for maintenance, inspection, leak prevention, and more.