The roof of a commercial building is its first line of defense from wind, rain, fire, hail, ice, snow, and extreme heat. Every day, your roof is exposed to elements that may contribute to its decay and deterioration, increasing the damage to the roof and to the contents and people it protects below it. The safety standards for commercial buildings are set by The International Building Code (IBC) and require that roofs serve to protect the building. So in order to have a roof that protects the building it starts with the design, materials selected, and installation. This should also include a plan of regular inspections, maintenance, and repairs if needed in order to maximize the life of your roof and to ensure its doing its job in protecting your business from weather related damage.
RECOGNIZING THE SIGNS OF A ROOF PROBLEM
If it’s been a while since you’ve had your roof inspected, your first priority should be to inspect it and identify and fix any major problems. Serious problems may have already become apparent even from inside the building, such as water stains on a ceiling, cracked ceiling or a hole in the roof. The smallest leaks can even become a sign of big trouble. Also if the building has unexplained mold or odors inside, this is an indication that a roof leak has resulted in water penetration. As interior water damage or mold may signal trouble, you must visually inspect the roof itself to look for the leaks because they will worsen over time if not addressed in a timely fashion. Depending on the slope of the roof, inspections sometimes can be done by the building owner; however it always makes more sense to have a commercial roofing contractor like Home Improvement Guyz to make sure the job is done safely and correctly.
SOME VISUAL CLUES YOU SHOULD LOOK FOR ON YOUR ROOF
If the roof has ponding or standing water on it for prolonged periods of time it can lead to premature aging and deterioration and will eventually lead to roof leaks. The additional water will add additional weight to the roof, which over time can weaken the roof deck. Ripples may be indications of moisture within the roof membrane, which can be due to leaks and reduce the roof systems life span. The presence of bubbles is the release of gasses from the insulation board that gets trapped below the roof membrane as it deteriorates due to the presence of water or moisture. A roof cut or moisture survey of the roof can be completed in order to assist in the diagnosis of a Repair, Recover, or Replacement of the Roof is necessary. Roof flashing is the strips of metal or other impervious material installed around the perimeter of the roof edge where the roof cover meets the wall. It is typically installed around rooftop equipment that protrudes from the roof in order to control and deflect the water away from any seams or joints. Any gaps in the flashing or roof membrane around the perimeter will greatly increase the potential for roof membrane failure during a high wind event, water intrusion and eventually mold. The presence of tears in the roof membrane, worn or cracking seams can also lead to water to entering below the membrane.
PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE AND CARE
Some of the best methods to avoid roof-related issues entirely are through regular roof care and roof preventive maintenance. Proper roof maintenance will also prolong the life of a roof in many ways and will allow for roof repair instead of a roof replacement when a problem occurs. The frequency of inspections for routine maintenance will in the long run catch any roof problems in the early stages before the roof problem can amplify. For this reason scheduling inspections every 6 months (fall and spring) is an effective way to make sure little problems don’t become big problems.