The Art of Creating a Good Roof Maintenance Program

Western Colloid roof maintenance programs
June 28, 2022 at 6:00 a.m.

By Western Colloid. 

Learn why establishing a roof maintenance program can add years to the life of your roof and what goes into a great plan. 

Attention all building owners! Did you know if you establish a roof maintenance program then you can save yourself loads of time and money on future repairs? Although it takes a lot of work to craft a great program, you’ll be thankful for it years later when you don’t have so many major repairs to make. 

In order to create a good maintenance program, you must first find out what your existing roof warranty requires to keep the warranty in good standing. Then make a maintenance schedule, a check-list and try as best as you can to keep track of tradesmen on your roof. The less traffic on your commercial roof the better. Keep in mind that tradesmen’s tools, repairs and new installations might cause damage to the roof. Consider installing roof walk areas around equipment and common traffic areas. Western Colloid offers the #850 SWS Seamless Walkway Coating, a terrific product for protecting walking areas and paths.  

A maintenance program includes inspections, cleaning and small repairs, but it all starts with the roof inspection. It‘s important to schedule a bi-annual inspection, one of which should happen before winter. And you’ll want to allow for an urgent inspection after every severe storm. We always recommend using a qualified roofing professional to make these inspections. 

Clean the roof  

Periodic cleaning may be required by your roof warranty, so always double-check the fine print. Although roofing materials are designed to be durable and long-lasting, make sure you keep your roof clean to prevent premature aging of roof materials. Use a blower, broom, and if possible, a roof cleaning solution with a power washer.  

Check drains 

Clear off any debris from the roof and pay particular attention to roof drains. A blocked drain can lead to ponding water, which creates an extra structural load on your building and can degrade even the most durable roofing materials and seams.  

Check for structural defects and damages 

Look for cracks, sagging or weak spots and identify problem areas that look like water has been standing. Water can seep into the building through even the smallest of pinholes. Check for any possible problems around vents, skylights, eaves and joints, mechanical equipment and where the roof might meet a parapet wall. Checking for damage should always be part of your roof maintenance checks and should also be completed after extreme weather events like hail.  

Inspect seams 

The weakest point of any roof is where it joins another material. Seams and flashings that join the roof to walls and exhausts will break down faster than the contiguous surface of the roof. You want to watch out for cracks, tears and wrinkles, even if they only appear to be in the early stages. As seals fail, water can intrude, accelerating the degradation and causing more of a problem than you anticipated. What could be a small wrinkle today could be a complete tear by next month. 

Check solar panels 

More and more facilities are using sustainable energy solutions like solar panels, but with the extra hardware comes extra areas to check during regular inspections. Make sure you check solar panels for corrosion and degrading coatings and inspect the bases to make sure fasteners are in good repair, as these penetration points are often the first to let water in. 

Conduct a moisture survey 

Water holds heat differently than roofing materials, so performing a survey using infrared technology will help you better identify and understand the extent of moisture intrusion beneath the roof’s surface. Any repair you undertake should address the full damaged area, and a moisture survey will give you a complete picture of the work that needs to be done. 

Schedule repairs 

Always have a qualified contractor make the necessary repairs if you find anything during inspections. Roof maintenance checks mean you’ll quickly have a better understanding of where the chronic issues are when it comes to keeping your roof in good repair. If water ponds from one month to the next, or if the flashings in a particular area are all breaking down, you’ll have the documentation you need to justify the cost and time of installing additional protections. 

Always document your findings 

Document every part of a commercial roof maintenance check and review these documents regularly to make sure you have properly identified ongoing issues. Other files, like warranties, work orders and contracts, should also be kept easily at hand so that if a problem ever comes up, you’re able to identify what is covered under the warranty and what repairs you’ll need to pay for out of pocket.  

Part of your planning 

Your roofing contractor should be able to help you project the remaining life of your roof in order to plan if you need to restore or replace it. Look at the numbers, think about what your roof goals are and select the right system to achieve those goals.  

Our suggestion to you 

We highly recommend the Western Colloid Fluid Applied Reinforced Roofing (FARR) System to prolong the life of your commercial building’s roof. Western Colloid is an excellent resource for the property manager, building owner, architect or specifier. We don’t just offer products; we offer an experienced staff that can provide you with several solutions. We realize the importance of your building’s roof as an asset. With over 50 years in roofing and waterproofing systems, we know the best ways to meet your needs. We are offering solutions, not just products! 

Check out our helpful brochure for more maintenance recommendations. 

Have a question? AskARoofer

Find your local roofing contractor in the RoofersCoffeeShop® Contractor Directory. 

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