A roof system is arguably the most vulnerable part of a building’s exterior. Ultraviolet radiation, wind, rain, hail, snow, and sleet all affect a roof system’s performance.
Performance is based on good design, quality materials, proper installation, and a preventive-maintenance program. Roof maintenance is critical to preventing roof problems and keeping the roof in a watertight condition. Early identification and repair of roof problems will help provide a long-lasting roof system.
What is roof maintenance?
Roof maintenance is the periodic checking of all the vulnerable areas on a roof that could be susceptible to having a problem. Depending on the type of roof, whether it be residential or commercial, it will be annual, biannual, or quarterly maintenance.
When your local contractor comes out to do roof maintenance there are certain things they check right away.
Why is roof maintenance important?
Investing in roof maintenance goes a long way toward the long-term health of your roof. Even with a properly installed roof, it’s important that you have at least an annual maintenance inspection.
When you get an annual maintenance inspection potential problems are caught, your roof’s life is maximized, and you get peace of mind.
The overall benefits of roof maintenance are:
Preventing further damage
Keeping the integrity of your roof in check
Regular monitoring of any damage to your roof
These benefits are important in keeping the structure of your house in good health. If your roof is compromised, then your whole home could be compromised. It’s important that you keep your roof well-maintained regularly.
Roofing Maintenance Hints
Building owners should have and keep up to date a roof system historical file. Maintenance personnel should be familiar with the contents of the roof system’s historical file (which should be kept on-site) and the conditions of the warranty so that the proper course of action can be taken when a problem occurs. A detailed history of the roof installation, repairs, and changes made, and a roof plan should be included in the historical file. It also should contain the original plans and specifications, warranties, thorough documentation of maintenance and repairs, and, where possible, samples of roof system materials.
The file should be kept with the building when sold and purchased – it provides considerable information for pre-purchase and condition surveys of the property.
Inspect the roof surface.
Perform a visual inspection of the roof system. On single-ply roofs, inspect for holes, cracks, or fastener back-out. On built-up roofs, look for areas with missing gravel or exposed felts. Inspect roof seams and transitions for cracks or holes and have them sealed. This inspection may raise questions about the integrity of the roof membrane that justify a professional examination.
Inspect roof penetrations.
Roof penetrations include pipes, drains, and other components that protrude through the roof surface. Roof penetrations are highly susceptible to leaks. It is very important to examine HVAC units, conduits, vents, gas lines, rain collars, and pipe boots. Inspect the sealant.
Keep an eye out for sealants or caulking issues such as cracking, openings, deterioration, or crazing. Sealant failures are often found around penetrations and perimeter flashings. The sealant requires regular inspection and often has to be repaired.
Prevent leaks before they start.
A roof inspection may reveal areas of deterioration that will require repair. Repairing these small defects before they become major issues will save thousands of dollars down the road. If the damage is beyond the facility staff’s skill set, or you are uncertain of the proper repair, contact a professional.
Treat for Moss, Lichen, and Algae Annually
Allowing moss, lichen, and algae to grow on your roof can lead to extensive damage and an overall unsightly appearance. This often occurs during warmer months in shady areas of your roof. You can easily remove these growths by having your roof cleaned by a professional. Once your roof is clean and dry, you can apply preventative products containing zinc and copper that will keep the moss, lichen, and algae from growing back. When applied annually, these products effectively prohibit the growth of all substances on your shingles.
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