The proper maintenance of a roof system may extend the life of the roof as well as reduce the potential of water damage to the interior of the building. Roof surfaces do not wear evenly due to weathering and other environmental exposures. This may also be true for different sections of the same roof surface.
To reduce the potential for damage, it is generally recommended that commercial roofing structures be inspected at least twice a year. The suggested times for routine inspections are in the spring after the winter season, and late fall after the hot summer but before the winter weather arrives. Other roof inspections are warranted following a major weather event such as wind and/or hail storm.
Why do roofing systems fail?
Roof Maintenance Program
A roof maintenance program should be a systematic approach similar to any other mechanical system requiring maintenance. Automobiles for example, require regular inspections and routine maintenance to keep them in operational condition. As with any other maintenance program, management should assign this duty to a competent and trained person.
The maintenance program should include documentation (inspection forms, photographs, notes, repair invoices, etc.) to identify and record the issues noted during the routine inspections and to provide guidance to the contractors who will complete the repair. The goal of a roof maintenance program is to identify problem areas and complete repairs before they become major issues.
Commercial roofing systems include:
Establishing a roof maintenance program:
During the initial phase of establishing the roof maintenance program, the responsible individual should document some basics:
Roof Observation – Interior
When completing the initial observation as well as routine inspections, note any evidence of roof problems such as:
Roof Observation – Exterior
Items to look for include:
When any of these conditions are noted, the inspector/maintenance person should include this information in their report to management. If possible, also include photographs in the report. Management should then address the issues found during the roof inspection.
Note: Skylights should be protected per OSHA guidelines when personnel are on the roof.
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