While you might not think very often about the roof that’s over your head, it’s perhaps the most important part of the building that you’re in. It’s designed to keep the elements out, and everything within the building protected. But, because you might not often think about your roof, you might not also be considering how important it is to regularly maintain your roof. While your roof may provide you with years of uninterrupted service without maintenance, eventually the effects of weathering are going to take their toll – and if your roof hasn’t been regularly maintained, you’re going to be stuck with the bill for a very costly roof replacement.
So, to help you avoid such an expenditure, here are some of the most important things that you should regularly maintain on your roof. By keeping an eye on these things, you should be able to ensure that your roof gives you the longevity that it should.
Drains and Gutters
Rather obviously, one of the most important things that a roof does is to keep water out of your building. Water weighs approximately eight pounds per gallon, which may not seem like a lot on its own, but if it’s allowed to pool up, those pounds add up quickly. Therefore pools of water on your roof can create all kinds of problems, not the least of which are leaks. Even worse, if water is allowed to accumulate to a significant enough degree, it can actually threaten the structural integrity of both the roof and the building beneath it.
To obviate this problem, a roof is designed to shed water into drains and gutters. That’s why one of the most important roof maintenance items is checking the integrity of all drains and gutters. You want to ensure that the gutters and drain screen are free of debris, allowing water to pass through them easily. On commercial roofs, these drains are most often located at the corners of the roof, which is a natural place for debris to pile up. Therefore, make sure that you’re regularly checking these areas, so that water on your roof isn’t allowed to collect and pool up.
Signs of Weathering
No matter what kind of material your roof is made out of, weathering is eventually going to degrade those materials. When it does so, it makes it harder for your roof to keep water on the outside of your building. For this reason, you should regularly inspect your roof for signs of weather related damage, like broken shingles, cracks in tiles or asphalt, or tears in EPDM-based commercial roofing solutions. If you identify problem areas, then it’s important that these issues are addressed as soon as possible – what seems like a small problem today can quickly become a large (and more costly) issue tomorrow.
Like anything else, the skylights in your roof are going to degrade over time. So make sure that they’re checked regularly for signs of wear and tear. A damaged skylight is one of the easiest ways for water to leak into your building. If it looks like your skylights are getting to that point, then reseal trouble areas, or hire a roofing contractor to fix the problem.
These strips of metal that line the edges of your roof may not seem very important, but they are. They prevent water from leaking into the building where the surface of your roof joins with other parts of the structure. Therefore, regularly inspect the flashings for signs of damage, and promptly address any issues that you find. Water leaking through damaged flashing can be a serious headache, because that water will be leaking into structural elements of your building, where it might go unnoticed for an extended period of time. Given enough time, this can cause serious problems beyond those that pertain to your roof.