Roof Maintenance 101: Keeping Your Flat Roof Safe
Whether you’re installing a new commercial roof or taking care of an existing system, commercial roof maintenance is essential. Not only to protect your investment, but regular preventative commercial maintenance and timely repairs keep your team members, employees, tenants and the community safe.
At West Roofing Systems, we take pride in the new roofs we install and the maintenance we provide for our customers and their commercial, industrial and manufacturing buildings. Our M.a.R.S. (Maintenance and Repair Service) Program is available for new and existing roof systems.
In this article, we break down the essential information you need to get started with a proper roof maintenance plan.
What is Roof Maintenance and Why is it Important?
Roof maintenance refers to the work done on a commercial or residential roof to prevent extensive damage from occurring in the future. It takes a proactive approach to keep your roof from leaking. Preventative maintenance allows contractors to detect and fix areas of the roof that are vulnerable to future leaks.
Some services that fall under preventative roof maintenance include:
- Infrared Roof Surveys
- Clear Gutters
- Remove Debris
- Small General Repairs
- CAD Drawing
- Roof Coatings
As the person in charge of your facility, it’s your responsibility to maintain your roof system. It’s critical to keep your roof maintained because an average roof warranty requires not only regular inspections, but it also requires the proper maintenance to be performed within their guidelines.
If your roof system is under warranty and has been properly maintained, you have a better chance of getting your small repairs covered by your manufacturers’ or contractors’ warranties.
As a property owner/manager, safety should be your number one priority. You want to keep your roof in working order to protect not only your facility maintenance team that is on the roof from unsafe environments but also the occupants inside from falling debris or water damage.
Who Should You Hire for Your Roof Maintenance?
As with any service industry, you have good contractors, bad contractors, and people who aren’t contractors at all. You want to find a contractor that will work within your budget, on your schedule and leaves behind a long-lasting product.
In most cases, you will continue with your original roofing contractor that installed your commercial roof. But when you need a new contractor, it’s important to ask a lot of questions and to vet your contractor thoroughly.
Here is a short list of things to consider when hiring a roofing contractor for your maintenance plan:
- Communication: You want to hire a company that keeps the lines of communication open with you and your team.
- Services: In addition to regular inspections, you want your maintenance plan to include cleaning your gutters and roof, along with removing debris and other items that can cause damage.
- Warranty Adherence: You want to make sure that they understand the importance and can perform work that complies with your roof warranty.
- Safety: You can search the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website for safety complaints and violations.
- Reviews and Reputation: Review websites such as Google, Yelp, and BBB are great places to learn about reputable contractors from their past customers.
When to Schedule Your Roof Maintenance
The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends maintenance and repair be performed at least twice a year; this usually falls in the Spring and Autumn seasons. These scheduled maintenance inspections are to prepare your facility roof for extreme weather of the Summer and Winter.
In addition to scheduled maintenance, it’s more important to have your roof maintenance team to your facility before and after severe weather (such as tornadoes, thunderstorms, hail or winter storms) to make sure any damage from the weather is minimized. Keep in mind that you want a contractor that has an emergency line in the event of water entering your building or any other drastic roof damage.
Commercial Roof Maintenance Contracts
A maintenance contract for a commercial flat roof is a program facilitated by a commercial roofing contractor to perform regular inspections, cleaning, and maintenance of a commercial roof to prevent more severe damage from occurring.
A maintenance contract (or maintenance plan) is an easy way for building owners and managers to ensure their commercial roof remains under warranty and in excellent condition while staying within their budget.
Where Roof Maintenance is Most Important
There are areas on your roof that are more vulnerable to leaks and damage than others. These areas need extra care, attention and inspections to keep them in working order.
Seams are areas of the roof where two pieces of roofing material meet; this could be two pieces of metal, two sheets of membrane, etc. While these areas are sealed, these areas are vulnerable to leaks.
Most commercial roofing systems have accessories attached such as A/C units, skylights, air vents, plumbing vents and more. To accommodate for these units, your contractor needs to cut their roofing material to fit around the unit. Similar to seams, these areas are not flat roofing material, so they are vulnerable to leaks through the penetrations.
Flashings are metal pieces that are installed in areas of the roof where two areas join together. The purpose of these metal pieces is to prevent water from leaking through the vulnerable area. Since the area underneath is at risk of leaking, it’s essential to keep your metals flashings in proper working order.
Choosing West Roofing Systems as a turnkey roofing company will provide you with highly trained teams and award-winning service. Our services are flexible and diverse; we can recoat, repair or replace your facility’s roof so that it lasts decades.
- Why Do I Need a Roof Maintenance Plan if I Have a Warranty?
- Membrane Roof Blisters: Causes, Prevention and Repair
- 5 Common Causes of Commercial Roof Leaks
- Do I Need a Commercial Roof Inspection or Survey?
Author: Rufus West
Rufus West is a commercial roofing expert! You may see him on the West Roofing website and also on the West Roofing social media pages, giving fun facts and tips about the company and roofing industry.
Just like West Roofing System’s roof solutions, he isn’t bothered by water—it simply rolls off of his back!