How to Extend the Life of Your Commercial Roof
Replacing a commercial roof is not only time-consuming; it is often expensive. If you run a business, the last thing you want to do is spend thousands of dollars replacing your roof. Though it may seem like there is nothing you can do, there are steps you can take to help extend the life of your commercial roof.
Learn How to Identify Typical Damage
To keep an eye on the state of your roof, it is important that you understand the difference between typical damage and unusual damage. Three common scenarios could inflict damage on your commercial roof: workers, storms and seasonal factors, and wear and tear.
Contractors and other workers who access the roof can accidentally do damage, especially if they do not have experience dealing with commercial roofs. Dynamic damage occurs when a worker does direct damage to the roof by something such as accidentally dropping a tool that punctures the roof or spilling a hazardous chemical. Static damage occurs when the roof experiences excessive pressure that begins to weaken it. For example, a group of contractors may put weight on the roof that it cannot handle. The damage can be difficult to spot if the worker does not mention it. Keep records of who goes up and when, so that you can identify who damaged the roof.
Storms and seasonal factors can also damage commercial roofs. Winter can do serious damage to a roof if it freezes. Extensive rain can also impact the insulation strength and contribute to mold or rot developing, which would consume the wood over time. It is important that you also account for normal wear and tear. If a roof has been in place for a long time, it is likely to have weakened significantly.
Conduct Inspections Frequently
The sooner you can spot a problem on your commercial roof, the better. You can fix many problems before they seriously damage the entire roof. Inspect your roof at least twice a year, unless a storm or other issue may put your roof at risk. It is a good idea to have an inspection after the winter season or a large storm, so you can determine if the weather did any damage to your roof. You should also inspect it in the fall, as leaves can clog up drains and create pools that could deteriorate your roof.
Though a knowledgeable business or property owner can conduct an inspection, it is always a good idea to hire a commercial roofing specialist or contractor. An experienced contractor will be able to spot potential issues and repair them accordingly. Additionally, inspecting roofs can be extremely dangerous, and trained contractors know how to navigate a roof safely.
Understand and Own the Materials
Even if you do not attempt permanent commercial roof repairs, you may need to be ready with temporary fixes until a contractor can address the issue. Be prepared with the right materials, so you can do temporary repairs as soon as the issue appears. You may need to do research on what materials work with your specific roof. One of the materials you may need is polyurethane caulk or sealant. It helps to seal locations that are vulnerable to water damage.
You could also invest in self-adhering roofing tape and duct tape. Though they are by no means permanent, they can be extremely helpful in an emergency. If you are attempting a repair in the middle of a storm, be sure to make the area as dry as possible before applying the tape, so that it sticks.
Avoid Common Mistakes
If you are using materials for temporary repairs, be sure that you are using them correctly. Mistakes with roofing materials can intensify the initial issue. For example, people will often overheat patches that require heat sealing. The mistake creates a bigger issue and damages the membrane.
Have a question about how to extend the life of your commercial roof? Send us a message or call 800-653-1631.
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