Can you extend commercial roof protections to add measurable life to your business’s roof? Roofers often talk about extending the lifespan of a commercial roof material like BUR, PVC, EPDM, or Mod-Bit. But can the investment really pay off? Yes, if you work with your commercial roofer to pair simple, inexpensive actions by your in-house crew with a strategic outlay for professional services.
Any competent commercial roofer will advise against allowing people onto a commercial roof, including your building’s own facilities crew members. So, what simple steps can your facilities crew take which will not put them in harm’s way while still helping to extend the life of the roof? The first five steps are easy, and fall into three categories: prevention, protection, and preservation.
Prevent roof problems from even occurring by having your facilities crew take these actions.
- Keep trees trimmed back from your building — Trees should neither overhang nor touch the roof; you may need to enlist a local tree service with bucket trucks to perform this work safely and correctly so no trimmed branches fall onto the roof.
- Prohibit rooftop storage — A low-slope roof is a tempting place to park materials and equipment, but it is not a storage shelf. Keep the roof clean between regular cleanings by your local commercial roof contractor, and prevent ballast scouring, membrane tears, and seam rips (all possible if high winds shift the materials or equipment).
Your facilities crew may scoff at the idea of staying off the roof. Your insurance company will not, however, so remind your crew members that part of their work is to protect the roof. It, after all, protects everything else in your business, from employees to equipment. Protect your commercial roof with these strategies.
- Know your local weather risk factors — If your industrial or commercial property is in a hurricane zone, ensure your roof is updated to meet local building codes (which may include hurricane clips). If flooding becomes a problem, verify your drainage system is working correctly. If high winds are prevalent, consider semi-annual or even quarterly roof inspections by your local commercial roofer to prevent wind uplift.
- Know your warranty — Your roof’s manufacturer’s warranty can come into play during maintenance, spot repair, and assets management. Violating terms of the warranty (through neglect or improper repair performed by unqualified personnel) could void the warranty while simultaneously shortening your low-slope roof’s life.
You and your facilities crew can do a lot to preserve your roof’s life.
- Learn all you can about your roof — You may need to work with your commercial roofer, who will do a bit of detective work to figure out your roof’s history, previous repair work, and problem areas. Still, the more you know about your roof’s structure, composition, and history, the longer you can make it last.
Again, all these steps can be performed safely without having your facilities crew walk out on your low-slope roof. For commercial buildings with steep-slope roofs, the dangers are even greater. Always depend on your nearby commercial roofing contractor for any rooftop work, from cleaning to inspections, repair, and replacement.
Not everything you can do to preserve your commercial roof is in-house work. You need the services of a reliable, trustworthy commercial roof contractor to handle the last three ways you can extend the life of your commercial roof.
- Work with your roofer to ensure your roof has proper ventilation — The Southeastern United States may be blessed to avoid serious snowstorms and sustained freezing temperatures. Still, commercial roofs take a real beating from ultraviolet (chemically destructive) rays, infrared (heat) rays, and broiling hot days. Steady, adequate ventilation is crucial to avoid degradation of materials and energy-wasting high temperatures within your roof deck.
- Have your neighborhood commercial roofer inspect your roof after anyone accesses it for prolonged periods — Third-party vendors, HVAC workers, sign erectors, and window washing crews can all take a toll on your roof. Let your roofer frequently inspect seams, ballast, flashing, drainage, and more.
- Invest in regular maintenance — This is possibly the single most important, proactive step you can take to add years of service to your roof. Commercial roof maintenance plans exist precisely to extend the useful life of the roofing materials from EPDM to PVC and everything in between. Plans are usually tailored to your needs, so be sure to ask plenty of questions about your roof’s condition, future hazards, costs, and proactive measures included in the plan.
If you own a business in the Southeastern United States, please contact us today at Rackley Roofing to learn what we can do to preserve and protect your commercial roof. From inspection and maintenance to complete roof replacement, we can put our roofing expertise to work for you!