As the leaves change over and the temperatures drop, property owners must think about fall maintenance for their commercial roofing. A commercial building is a significant investment, and you want every part of it to last as long as possible. Once the roof fails, you risk damaging other areas of the building. And let’s not forget a roof replacement can come with a hefty price tag. With the right know-how, you can maximize the life of your commercial roofing and protect your property from potentially costly damage. This blog post will provide you with helpful tips and tricks for fall maintenance and upkeep of your commercial roofing, so you can be sure to start the season off on the right foot.
1. Pre-Season Inspection
As the summer draws to a close, it’s key to inspect your commercial roof before the fall season starts. This is a crucial step in ensuring that your roof is in good condition and prepared for the challenges that autumn may bring. “For all low slope and flat roof types, long-term standing water can cause excessive weathering, allowing your roof membrane to become brittle. Signs of long-term standing water are mold and vegetation growth. Check the underside of the roof or on your drop ceiling to see if there are any signs of water damage, which is a sign of damage to your roof cover system.” (Disaster Safety).
With pre-season inspection, you can catch and address any potential issues early on, preventing more extensive damage and costly repairs in the future. Your warranty should give you guidelines to follow regarding inspections and maintenance tasks, each of which can help extend the life of your roof and give you more peace of mind from season to season.
Look for membrane punctures from roof-mounted utility service, loose flashing, or any other signs of potential leaks or problems. Pay close attention to areas around HVAC units, vents, chimneys, and skylights, as these are common areas for leaks to occur. Weather changes produce contraction and expansion of the roof material. This can cause fractures in the membrane, failed laps, and seams, all of which are points of entry for water to enter the building. The membrane and insulation of your roofing system should be inspected thoroughly for any shrinking, shifted, loose, or soft portions of your roof’s surface.
2. Trim Overhanging Branches and Trees
Fall is the perfect time to assess and address any potential hazards that may affect your commercial roof. One important step is to trim overhanging branches and trees. While those lush, green trees may provide shade in the summer, their branches can become a significant threat to your roof during the fall.
Overhanging branches pose several risks to your commercial roofing. First, falling leaves and debris can accumulate on your roof, causing water buildup and potential leaks. Additionally, during autumn storms, strong winds can cause these branches to break and damage your roof. By trimming overhanging branches and trees, you can mitigate these risks and protect your roof from potential damage.
Consider hiring a professional tree service to trim any branches that extend too close to your roof. This will not only protect your roof but also prevent any safety hazards for your inhabitants. Remember, proactive measures like trimming overhanging branches are essential in maintaining the longevity and integrity of your commercial roofing system.
3. Clean Gutters and Downspouts
As the fall season arrives, it’s crucial to prioritize commercial roofing maintenance to ensure it remains in optimal condition. Next, check your roof’s drainage system and components. Make sure that gutters and downspouts are clear of debris, such as leaves and twigs, which can clog the system and lead to water damage. Check that the gutters are securely attached to the roof and properly sloped to ensure proper water flow.
Start by removing any debris collected in your gutters and downspouts. Use a small trowel or your hands to scoop out the leaves and twigs. Once the debris is clear, flush the gutters and downspouts with a garden hose to ensure they are free of any remaining obstructions.
4. Seal any Cracks or Gaps
With the arrival of fall, it’s essential to take proactive steps to ensure your commercial roof is in top condition for the coming winter. One important task is to seal any cracks or gaps in the roof. These small openings may seem insignificant, but they can lead to major problems if left unattended.
Sealing cracks and gaps help to prevent water infiltration, which can cause significant damage to your roof and the interior of your building. Moisture can seep in through even the tiniest openings, leading to leaks, mold growth, and structural deterioration. By taking the time to seal these areas, you can safeguard your roof and avoid costly repairs in the future.
5. Check and Maintain Insulation and Ventilation
As the temperatures start to drop, property owners need to pay attention to their commercial roofing insulation and ventilation. Check your insulation to ensure it is properly installed and in good condition. Insufficient insulation can lead to heat loss, which can result in higher energy bills and discomfort for your employees or customers. If your insulation is compromised, condensation can occur within your building during colder months. When a cold surface meets the warmer interior air, condensation will form and can cause major mold and mildew problems inside your building in addition to potential water damage.
Take the time to inspect your insulation for any signs of damage or wear. Look for areas where insulation may be missing or compressed and replace or add insulation as needed. Additionally, check your ventilation system to ensure that it is functioning properly. Clear any debris that may be blocking vents and ensure that air can flow freely.
6. Schedule Regular Maintenance with a Professional Roofing Contractor
“The single, most cost-effective way to maximize roof performance and life cycle longevity is to adopt a proactive approach towards preventive maintenance. Preventive maintenance minimizes the total and annualized cost of ownership of roofing systems through regularly scheduled inspections and periodic repairs of common problematic components,” (Facility Executive).
Professional roofing contractors have the expertise and knowledge to identify potential issues that may not be immediately apparent to an untrained eye. They can perform a thorough inspection of your roof, checking for any signs of damage, wear, or potential leaks. They can also assess the condition of your roof’s materials and recommend any necessary repairs or replacements.
The Ideal Season for Maintenance
The wintertime presents countless hazards, including snow and ice that can make slips more likely and freezing temperatures that can prevent proper shingle sealing. During the warmer months, extreme temperatures can cause roofers to experience dehydration and heat exhaustion, which can cause delays in project completion. To avoid these issues, consider having repairs performed during the fall since the weather conditions are just right.
PB Roofing’s THREATCheck
Now that you understand the many potential hazards to a commercial roof, you can be assured that protecting your structure is worth the investment. Our THREATCheck is for new customers: one enhanced visual inspection to identify deficiencies and provide recommendations for repairs or replacement. Our Plus Package features the same, with a bi-annual inspection plan. Photo report included.
PB Roofing is a dynamic company serving the East Coast and headquartered in northern New Jersey with a satellite location in Massachusetts. Our committed and capable team is available on-demand to fulfill any request. Our elevated service exceeds the expectations of even the most discerning client.