What Can You Do To Protect Your Roofing System?

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An analogy…if a roof were like a new car, in order to keep it running smoothly, you would have it periodically inspected. Keep the oil changed. Rotate the tires.

Here is a comprehensive list of steps that should be performed periodically to help protect and extend the life of your roofing system.

  1. Maintain Records:  Keep a file of all records relating to your roof such as warranty, inspection reports, repair and maintenance bills, and original construction drawings, specs and invoices. This information is helpful when repairs are needed or additional equipment is added.
  2. Conduct Routine Inspections:  At least once per year (twice per year is optimal, typically in the spring and fall). Safe Harbor’s HarborCare roof maintenance program provides you with detailed information and photos about the health of your roof.
  3. Inspect After Severe Weather:  Always inspect the roof for damage after severe weather such as hailstorms, heavy rains, high winds, etc.  Just because water is not coming in doesn’t mean the roof hasn’t been damaged. The sooner you repair any damage, the smaller the repair cost. In addition, good records detailing the condition of the roof with photos before the damage occurred is important for insurance claims. Then there is not a question that the damaged wasn’t there before the storm.
  4. Repair Correctly:  Use a contractor that is a member of the NRCA (National Roofing Contractors Assoc) who also uses the NRCA guidelines for repairs. Improper repairs are a common cause of more serious roof problems…and are easy to avoid.
  5. Keep Roof Clean & Free of Debris:  Always remove debris from commercial flat roofs, such as leaves, branches, dirt, trash from other trades. Keep gutters, downspouts, drains, scuppers, and the surrounding roof areas clean to ensure proper drainage. Clogged drains can potentially overload the roof with standing water.
  6. Keep Metal in Good Condition:  Examine all metal flashings, counterflashings, expansion joints, and pitch pockets for: Rust, Detachment or Damage, Deteriorated Sealant. Metal components on a commercial roof are a common point of water entry.
  7. Keep Masonry in Good Condition:  Examine masonry walls and copings for: Cracks and bad mortar joints, Deteriorated sealant, Loose coping stones, Indications of water absorption. Water leaks from masonry are often incorrectly attributed to the roofing system.
  8. Maintain Rooftop Equipment:  Just as the roof needs maintenance, so does the equipment that’s on the roof. Damage can also happen to the roof during equipment maintenance such as dropping tools that puncture the roof.
  9. Maintain Roof Coating If Present:  Roof coatings protect the membrane from long-term exposure to the elements and keep your building cool.
  10. Minimize Rooftop Traffic:  Limiting access and installing walkway pads can help with foot traffic wearing out the roof prematurely.

Our HarborCare Roof Management system will help you to accomplish most of the above roof maintenance items. For pennies per square foot each year, you can get many extra years of service from your roof. Your HarborCare report will also include the cost to completely coat your roof for budgeting purposes. We are here to make your existing roof last and only replace it as a last resort.

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