How Often Does Your Commercial Roof Need Maintenance?

August 26, 2021

Your roof system manufacturer’s warranty requires that you take reasonable care of the roof over its life, but what does that actually mean?

Regular inspections, cleaning, and repairs are considered general preventive maintenance. Annual roof inspections are expected, but many facilities will need more than once-a-year roof maintenance. Inspections catch problems while they’re small and repairs are often simpler and less expensive. Cleaning removes debris that could accelerate the deterioration of the roof, harbor pests, and clog drainage paths. Routine maintenance and repairs are necessary to keep the roof performing as intended.

While the warranty doesn’t specify how often to perform these activities, there are certain factors that influence the necessity and frequency.

Planned Roof Maintenance: How Often is Enough?

If you don’t already know the condition of your roof(s), have a professional perform an inspection. This will give you a baseline understanding of what needs to be done now and what work is coming in the near future. Whether you need to have roof maintenance performed once or twice a year, quarterly, or monthly is influenced by the following factors.

Age of the roof. The older the roof, the more often you should inspect it.

Amount of vegetation around the facility. This could clog drainage paths and necessitate more frequent cleaning.

Foot traffic on your roof. If you have maintenance performed on rooftop equipment with regular frequency, it’s important to inspect the roof often to catch any damage caused by dropped tools and crushed insulation, as well as any obsolete parts, rags, bottles, and screws left behind.

Sensitivity of operations under the roof. If contamination is a big concern because of food processing or sterile manufacturing, vigilant roof maintenance is a must.

Local weather conditions. If your geographic area is prone to dramatic temperature swings (causing thermal shock to the roof), hurricanes, tornados, or monsoons, it’s critical that you inspect before and after the seasons with the most severe weather. You’ll want the roof to be in good condition when severe weather hits, and to ensure that no damage is sustained when it does.

Penetrations. If not maintained properly, penetrations can be a source of leaks. If pipes move or vibrate, flashing can pull away and, absent of a slip sheet, pipe supports can wear holes in the membrane they sit on. Debris can get caught around pipes supports and wood can rot or give a home to insects. The more complex your roof is, the more often you should perform maintenance.

Of course, your budget will also be a factor in the frequency of roof maintenance. Your roofing contractor can help you establish the optimum planned roof maintenance schedule based on the aforementioned factors.

When is Reactive Roof Maintenance Necessary?

If damage is obvious (e.g. a massive leak or roof blow-off), you need to make an emergency roof repair request with your roofing contractor. But what about when it’s less obvious? High winds, long periods of rain, or a substantial amount of rain in a short time are concerning. Hailstorms are also bad, especially for older roof systems. Inspections are recommended after severe storms.

Additionally, if a major project has taken place on the roof, an inspection will determine if the roof sustained any damage from workers and their equipment.

Contact D. C. Taylor Co. today at 319.731.4118 to schedule general preventive maintenance.

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