A commercial roof maintenance checklist is as handy as a grocery list when trying to squeeze five errands into a three-errand window of time. With a commercial roof maintenance checklist, however, every checklist leads to savings, not spending. Consider these ten steps to include to protect your Columbus-area roof, all without clipping coupons!
Only if your commercial roof is safe to walk on should you consider these first four items. Most low-slope and “flat” roofs are not as risky as steep-slope residential roofs, but remind everyone to stay away from the roof perimeter.
- Keep a careful log of who goes onto your roof, where they are on the roof (northwest corner, by the HVAC units, at the base of the billboard, etc.) when they go onto your roof (time, day, season, and weather conditions), and why they went onto the roof. A roof is not a sightseeing destination, and work boots can inadvertently tear open seams, scour membrane, or dislodge ballast.
- Keep a toolkit handy, stocked with items needed for your inspection and when your commercial roofer tours your roof with you: the roof maintenance checklist; a camera for recording images of concerning areas; a pencil (or pen) and pad for notes; a tape measure; a flashlight (yes, even on sunny days, shadows make visibility of some roof areas a challenge); blueprints, aerial photographs, or schematics of your roof.
- Record conditions on every aspect of your roof: flashing, internal drains, parapet scuppers, seams, HVAC curbs; anything that touches your roof is a concern, so take detailed notes and plenty of pictures. These can form a baseline for later comparison.
- Ponding is one of several obvious signs of a commercial roof needing maintenance. Check the roof surface for tears, holes, punctures, missing mechanical fasteners, loose flashing, open seams, or blistering; look for reduced or missing ballast, scoured ballast, or any material pulling away from your roof.
Without putting anyone at risk by walking the roof, you can still learn a lot about your commercial roof’s condition. From inside the occupied space, apply these four tips:
- Walls tell a lot about potential leaks. Are the walls stained, is the paint peeling, do you see mold or mildew, can you feel damp or cool places that suggest water seeping inside the walls?
- Chimneys and vents reveal water leaks, too. Do you see damp areas around those roof piercings?
- Check the roof deck. Does the deck have adequate ventilation, do rafters or structural wood members show cracks, does any of the steel framework show rust or corrosion, can you see light from above?
- Leaks are obvious signs of a roof in distress. Record the location and size of the leak and pass the information along to your local commercial roofer for quick roof repair
A walk around your building exterior can tell you a couple of helpful facts:
- Debris can drop from your roof, including foreign items blown onto it. You may also find actual roof parts (mechanical fasteners, caulking, flashing) that have dropped off the roof. Also, look for blocked or broken gutters and downspouts.
- Fascia, vents, chimneys, flashing, and drip edges can all be viewed from ground level. Look for obvious signs of corrosion, rust, rot, or water damage.
Do not let the commercial roof maintenance checklist intimidate you. You are not the final judge and jury on your commercial roof’s health. You are scouting out conditions to share your amateur’s notes with the pro when you call your professional commercial roofing partner.
All data relevant to your roof is helpful to the commercial roofer. Only do what you and your facilities crew feels can be done safely, and always write down your questions for the time when you sit with your commercial roofer to go through the maintenance plan.
The checklist is a way to manage expenses since it targets your time on task, helps you focus on areas that could become expensive repairs, and prevents anything from being overlooked.
When you apply the checklist for every inspection, you develop a rolling record of roof conditions. This can help you budget your roof work. It also can help extend the life of your roof.
You save on maintenance, spot repairs, and even re-roofing by using the commercial roof maintenance checklist.
Please contact us today at Division 7 Roofing for all your Columbus-area commercial roof concerns. We can handle any size commercial roof with expertise in re-roofing, new roof construction, roofing assets management, and much more.