A Guide to Roof Maintenance

One of the easiest ways to extend the life of your commercial roof is to develop a maintenance plan that will identify, fix, and prevent any potential issues from happening before they occur. Having a well-thought out, pre-established plan will give your company a guide for performing routine maintenance procedures throughout the year. As you know, roof repairs can be serious business in terms of cost and headache, but with the right roof maintenance routine in place, you can avoid  surprises and keep your roof in good shape for years to come.

Proactive vs. Reactive Roof Maintenance

When it comes to developing a commercial roof maintenance plan, focusing on proactive rather than reactive maintenance practices is key. With proactive maintenance, actions are taken before issues develop to prevent an incident from occurring. Reactive maintenance, on the other hand, involves performing maintenance after an issue has already occurred and there is existing damage to repair.

Many business owners are resistant to doing proactive maintenance because it can feel like they are spending money on processes or repairs that aren’t really necessary. In truth, however, proactive maintenance is a much more cost-effective approach because it helps stop more complex and costly problems from developing in advance. Reactive maintenance – depending on the severity of the problem and how long it’s been developing – can be extremely expensive, time-consuming, and complicated to correct, and it may even necessitate replacing the entire roof.

Why is Roof Maintenance Important to a Business?

roof maintenance guidePerforming routine, proactive maintenance is important for a business for several reasons. First, it helps to significantly extend the service life of your roof––making sure you get the most value for your investment and helping you avoid the need to replace your roof prematurely. In fact, proactive maintenance has been shown to extend the life of a roof to an average of 21 years,8 years longer than the average 13-year roof lifespan when using reactive maintenance plans.

By doing regular checks and upkeep on your commercial roof, you’ll also be able to considerably reduce leaks, as well as prevent other damage caused by constant environmental exposure, such as cracking that may occur from exposure to temperature extremes. Finding a problem before it escalates into a catastrophic event is key to preventing costly, complicated repairs.

Typically, preventative maintenance involves low-costs fixes and repairs, but reactive maintenance usually requires higher labor and materials costs, making it more expensive in the long term. Additionally, routine maintenance can help make sure your roof is energy efficient, avoiding the energy losses associated with leaks and other damage. Depending on your business type, making involved repairs could even impact your business’ day-to-day operations, impairing your ability to serve your customers to the fullest.

Roof Maintenance Plan Checklist

To avoid service interruptions and exorbitant repair costs, it’s necessary to develop a plan that works best for you and your roof. And as part of your maintenance plan, it’s key to have a checklist of activities that need to be performed each year, or possibly each season in geographic locations that experience a wide range of weather types and temperatures.

One of the most important components of your checklist should be regular inspections, particularly ahead of and after the winter season, to assess if there are any potential weather-related issues that could impact your roof’s functionality. These inspections should also help determine what type of upkeep measures you need to take in order to keep your roof in serviceable shape, such as cleaning out your roof drains and gutters, removing debris from the roof, and more.

You should also factor in recurring roof repairs, such as repairing attic insulation, patching the field membrane, and addressing deficiencies in the flashings. In addition to repairs and upkeep, it’s critical to budget in a set amount of dollars in your company’s annual budget specifically for maintaining your roof. Having these funds available just for roof maintenance will ensure you’re not taken by surprise by any potential costs and that you won’t have to sacrifice completing the repairs you need because of a lack of available funds.

The following checklist will help you as a starting point for creating a roof maintenance checklist that is suitable for your business. Keep in mind that your unique structure may need additional maintenance steps.

 
Task Date Completed
Check inside for leaks/damage  
Inspect drains for debris/blockages  
Inspect exterior roof surface for cracks/damage  
Inspect any roof components for damage (flashings, joints, chimneys, pipes, etc.)  
Clean roof and gutters of dirt, leaves, or other debris  
Inspect previous repairs for failure  
 

Choosing a Roofing Service Provider

Once you have a maintenance plan in place, it’s important to find the right roofer who can help you execute that plan. When choosing a roofing service provider, it’s important to factor in a few key considerations to make sure you’re getting the right value for your money. Ask yourself the following questions:

Experience: Do they have a history of good work? References? Are they experts?

Make sure you’re choosing a reputable provider who has experience dealing with all types of commercial roofs. You’ll want to be sure that the provider you choose has the expertise and knowledge needed to solve almost any problem that might arise.

Quality: Do they have proper certifications and quality control processes in place?

You’ll want to make sure that the provider you work with is using the highest quality materials and best practices for your roof. Also ensure that they understand your budget and they make repairs in the most cost-effective way.

Safety: Do they have safe work practices?

Liability is a major concern for businesses hiring roofing personnel. Make sure the company you’re working with prioritizes safety and has high employee welfare standards in place that they consistently follow. Also check that your roofer has appropriate insurance to cover any incidents, lest the financial responsibility of an accident fall on you as the property owner/leaser.

How well do they know the products/services they provide?

Make sure that your provider is extremely familiar with the products and methods they’re using with their services, which will guarantee proper installation and maintenance practices. It might be a good idea to ask how long they have been installing the product, and also if they have certifications from the manufacturer that show they are an approved installer.

An Industry Leading Roofing Professional

At Knickerbocker Roofing, we have the experience you need to successfully develop and execute your commercial roof maintenance plan. We have more than 130 years of experience providing a wide range of commercial roofing services, including emergency roof and leak repair, low-slope and steep-slope roofing services, roof maintenance, green roofing, and architectural and sheet metal fabrication services for customers spanning a wide range of industries.

We are a family-owned business with a demonstrated commitment to quality and safety, and our employees are second-to-none in terms of skill, customer service, and professionalism. So, if you’re looking for the right partner to help you create and implement a roof maintenance plan that will save you money and prolong the life of your commercial roof, look no further than Knickerbocker.