All About Roofers Press Today

5 steps to longer roof life

Oct 6

Roofs have a finite lifespan that can vary depending on the climate, location, type of material, and installation. All roofs must be inspected regularly to ensure long-lasting performance and good service life. Proper care and attention can extend a roof's service life significantly. These five steps will help facility managers and building owners improve performance, prolong roofs' life, and get the most out of this vital investment.

You must understand that roofing systems are more than roof covering. They include all components that affect roof assembly performance. Flashings and penetrations for mechanical and electrical equipment, roof drainage, lightning protection, satellite antennas and rooftop communication equipment, adjacent walls, through-wall flashings, fall protection devices, and roof access points are all part of the overall roof system.

1. Record and collect data about roofing systems

An effective roofing system management program begins with an inventory of the roof and gathering all relevant data. The building owner or manager of the facility must have information about the size, age, maintenance history, and several roofs under their control. These details should be collected and stored in an easily accessible place:

  • Dimensioned roof plan showing drainage scheme and type and amount of thermal insulation, location and size of mechanical equipment and features, as well as the perimeter edge conditions.
  • Guarantees/warranties (contractor and manufacturer).
  • Maintain and repair records.
  • Rooftop mechanical equipment upgrades or modifications.
  • Record or log of work done by personnel to other building features accessible from the roof (e.g., Exterior walls, skylights and HVAC units, as well as communication equipment/devices are all included. ).

A good facility management software program can store and update this information. This software will also track all costs of maintaining and managing each roof. You will find many different types and sizes of roofs in large buildings. These variations may exist in the same building, often due to additions. To extend the service life of your roof, it is essential to have accurate and readily available data.

2. Regular roof inspections and condition assessments are recommended.

It is vital to conduct periodic inspections and condition assessments because the environment will change over time. Future decisions regarding maintenance and repairs, as well as cost allocations, will be influenced by current information. Identifying and repairing problems quickly is essential, so there is no downtime or damage to the roof. 

A qualified person should inspect the top at least once a year and more often after severe weather events. The Roofing Contractors Mississauga suggests that roofs be inspected after the coldest and hottest weather. It is essential to notify defects and damage promptly and make permanent and emergency repairs as soon as possible. This will help limit water infiltration and prevent interior damage. These items should be identified during periodic inspections:

  • All repairs covered by warranty or guarantee.
  • All repairs and maintenance that are required at the owners' expense.
  • Damage that is not covered by insurance, such as storm damage.
  • Safety-related recommendations such as guardrails and tie-offs for fall protection.

Safety-related upgrades may not be required under building codes, but OSHA frequently requires them. Maintenance personnel should consider these options. To inspect the roof, hiring someone with expertise in safety and structural issues is a good idea.

3. Plan and execute maintenance and repairs

Inexperienced or untrained workers can make roofing repairs dangerous and complicated. OSHA and building codes have safety guidelines and standards that must be followed. Failure to do so can lead to severe consequences for building owners and facility managers. 

Only qualified and experienced workers should have been chosen for the task at hand. Only qualified roofing professionals can determine whether repairs are necessary and appropriate. Contact the guarantor/warrantor if a guarantee/warranty has been granted for advice on the best course of action.

Although adding steps and ladders to a roof is a significant improvement, you must have easy access for proper maintenance. Accessible roofs are easier to maintain in the real world. It is strongly advised to install permanent access components to make roofs easily and safely accessible.

The selection of a contractor is an important decision that can impact the quality and cost of repairs. It is essential to verify qualifications and conduct thorough background checks. Contractors should have a proven track record of success, be certified and trained in the chosen roofing products, and be adequately insured. The following should be considered when making selections:

  • Choose a professional, stable contractor to ensure continuity in maintenance.
  • Do not hire or call many contractors. This could lead to loss of institutional knowledge and disruption of continuity.
  • Make sure to perform recommended maintenance promptly
  • Regularly clean and remove debris and trash from roofs.
  • Keep accurate records of every repair, including costs and contractors.

4. Roof access can be controlled, and roof repairs and modifications can only be made by authorized personnel

To ensure a long-lasting roof, controlling access and recording who, what, and when activities are occurring on the roof is crucial. Ceilings are often damaged by untrained or inexperienced workers who, without considering the roof's protection, perform maintenance on equipment not designed for them. 

It is essential to have written policies regarding roof access and roof work. The tenant lease should contain a clause regarding the following items for commercial property owners and managers. The policy should include steps to monitor and control roof access and procedures for recording who has access to the roof. It should also outline the purpose and duration of any rooftop visits. These are the points that should be addressed in the policy:

  • Only the roofing contractor authorized by the owner may perform roof modifications, penetrations, or equipment.
  • Tenants, building users and mechanical contractors should not have the right to use their roofer.
  • Roof access is restricted only to contractors and authorized persons.
  • All contractors must follow the owner-approved construction details manual that outlines the approved method of flashing rooftop equipment.

5. Technology:

Technology can monitor and investigate roof, mechanical, and building enclosure issues. Although it can be easy to identify roof leaks and other defects due to water infiltration, the process can be complex and take a lot of time. Multiple sources can lead to a complex leak problem.

Many technologies can be used to aid in a systematic diagnosis investigation. Each technology and each test method has its advantages and disadvantages. Some are more suitable than others depending on the type of roof system. These technologies can help with informed decision-making. They are useless without skilled personnel performing the tests and making the assessments.