In autumn, your commercial roof will come up against a variety of challenges. Leaves that build up on the roof can trap in moisture, leading to rot and clogs in the roof drains. Natural severe weather, like hurricanes, can cause structural damage. Even changing temperatures and periodic bouts of freezing weather can wear down the roof caulking and cause leaks.
If your roof is in poor to middling condition, the passing of fall and onset of winter could result in water damage and even critical structural damage to your building. Maintaining your commercial roof through inspections, repairs and standard maintenance can help you avoid problems.
Inspect Your Roof
Your roof needs regular inspections to keep it free of debris and in tip-top condition. It is recommended to trust a professional for commercial roofing inspections. However, you are encouraged to inspect your own roof periodically to ensure that at any sign of damage, you can call your roofing company for maintenance. When inspecting your roof on your own, look for:
- Debris. Look for piles of leaves, sticks, twigs and other debris. Bring a garbage bag to make clean up easy, and don't forget to wear work gloves.
- Caulk. Inspect the caulk around flashing and seams. Look for cracks and missing caulk.
- Flashing. Flashing should be rust-free and clear of cracks and corrosion.
- Soft spots. Dips or soft spots are an indication of rot or structural trouble beneath the surface.
- Water or mud stains. Water and mud stains indicate that water has been puddling, either around the drainage pipes or in other areas. Stains around drainage pipes indicate that the drains themselves are clogged, while water stains in other areas could be an indication that your roof is sagging and water is collecting in those areas.
- General wear and tear. This will be more obvious at the roof edges which are often buffeted by wind and parts of the roof that are serviced frequently.
As you're walking around the roof, pay attention to the areas where vertical and horizontal surfaces meet. These sections are vulnerable areas that need to be specially maintained. Curling or open seams and tears in the membrane are an indication of problems beneath the surface. If you have access to the underside of the roof, check the joists for water damage and moisture. Remember that old water stains could be left over from old leaks. A moisture meter can help you determine whether or not a leak is active or old.
Perform Basic Repairs and Maintenance
After performing your inspection, you might have a list of repairs or maintenance tasks to finish. You can start by:
- Clearing drains. If stains around the drain indicate that the drain is clogged, use a plumber's auger to clear the drains.
- Cleaning gutters. Contact a gutter cleaning company to maintain the gutters and clear away clogs.
- Replacing caulk or flashing. If the flashing or caulk is in poor condition, have it replaced before fall turns into winter.
Whenever possible, it's better to hire a professional roofing company for these basic maintenance and repair steps. A good professional roofing company will be able to inspect the areas under the caulk without causing damage to the roof. Professional roofing companies also know which caulk to use to keep the roof as watertight as possible.
Flashing repairs and replacements should be handled by roofers as well. Improperly installed flashing can lead to a slow leak which can cause serious damage over time.
Know When to Get Reflective Coating
If you've already called a roofer to your property, this is a good time get a reflective coating installed. Protective coatings are designed to reflect light from the sun, which helps keep the roof cool at the most intense times of year. In warm, humid climates like North Carolina, reflective coatings are an effective tool that can extend the roof's service life. Benefits of reflective coating include:
- Improved HVAC efficiency.
- Protect your roof from damaging UV rays.
- Reduce maintenance costs.
When next summer rolls around, a new reflective coating will help keep you and your employees cooler through the hottest months of the year, while also making your roofless vulnerable to sun damage.
Get Started With Fall Maintenance Soon
Summer is nearing its conclusion, and now is the time to think about fall maintenance. Taking care of your commercial roof can help ensure a long service life.
At Pickard Rooﬁng, we think Design. Craft. Renew. We are experienced in all types of roofing systems- and provide the right roofing design and selective craftsmanship for renewing our customer’s assets. We invite sustainable building customers to give us a call for your free evaluation. For over 90 years Pickard Rooﬁng Company has installed countless metal, tile, slate, TPO, EPDM, and all types of shingle rooﬁng in the Triangle. Our services include residential, commercial, custom architectural metal fabrication, and historical renovation.