Your building’s roof is probably the single most expensive piece of equipment in your entire facility. An average roof accounts for 5-8% of a building’s total construction cost. Extending the life of your roof through proper preventative maintenance can have a considerable effect on a building’s long-term costs. If you can properly maintain your roof and add on a few more years to its life, the long term cost savings will be significant. On the other hand, if you neglect your roof, and have to make an early replacement, the negative impact will be equally significant.
The problems associated with a poorly maintained roof extend far beyond early replacement costs. A roof leak causes damage to the roofing deck and structure. Leaks unnecessarily tie up maintenance staff changing ceiling tiles, moving furniture and equipment, or setting up buckets to catch water. Leaks cause trip and fall accidents. Leaks cause wet insulation which leads to a loss of insulation performance and increased energy costs. Leaks cause mold, which is a major health concern.
Roofing is a field which is not always well understood by maintenance staff or property managers. The staggering variety of different roofing systems, installation methods, and materials makes roofing one of the more difficult trades for maintenance staff to master. Few maintenance workers know which repair or patch products are compatible with which types of roofing. This lack of knowledge can turn an emergency roof repair into more roof damage.
Since a roof is such a large investment, and such poor maintenance practices can lead to such expensive repairs or replacement, it is usually cost effective to contract the services of a roofing professional to make regular inspections and maintenance recommendations. During the life of a roof, professional inspections should be scheduled yearly to prevent future problems as well as to maintain your warranty.
Following your inspection with a professional roofing contractor it will be up to your in-house staff to inspect as part of your preventive maintenance program. These inspections will be more effective if you have a solid understanding of the various commercial roofing systems. The purpose of this section is to make you more familiar with commercial roofing materials, installation methods, compatibility issues, and common roofing problems.