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Caring for Your Commercial Property’s Roof

CARING FOR YOUR COMMERCIAL PROPERTY’S ROOF
 November 24, 2021 |  Maintenance, Management, Inspection |  save money, exterior maintenance, building renovation

Your roof is one of the first lines of protection for your commercial building. Over the years, it can take a beating from the elements and become ineffective at protecting your tenants. With the right preventative maintenance, you can keep your roof intact and avoid major issues.

Know Your Roof
The first step in caring for your building’s roof is being familiar with the style you have: 

  • Metal roofing is one of the most popular choices for commercial buildings due to its longevity and durability. It can withstand heavy snow and rainfall, intense sunshine, and even fire. 
  • Shingles are another top choice for roofing. They can consist of asphalt, plastic, and a variety of other materials. However, they tend to deteriorate quickly and need more regular maintenance. 
  • Built-up roofing membrane has a slightly shorter lifespan, but is still fairly strong. BUR is also easy and inexpensive to repair. Spray-on roofing has been around since the 1960s and is very eco-friendly. 
  • Spray-on roofing can be found in different climates, but isn’t as widely used. 
  • Green roofs are ones that have a layer of vegetation covering a waterproof membrane. These are a great choice if you’re trying to reduce your building’s carbon footprint or want to bump up your curb appeal. 
  • TPO and PVC are meant to withstand harsher substances such as UV rays and certain chemicals. While they have a higher tolerance, a flooded manufacturer market has led to some lower quality materials so be careful what you buy. 
  • Thermoset EPDM membrane consists of a synthetic rubber that’s easy to install and like metal is very durable. Although it can protect against sunshine and rain, it tends to puncture fairly easily. 

While not every roof is the same and some need special care, general roofing maintenance is relatively universal.

Stop Leaks
A tiny drip of water can indicate that your roof is in need of repair. Though it seems like more of a nuisance, a leak of any size shouldn’t be neglected. Small openings can turn into gaping holes over time and compromise your entire roof. Water can also collect and provide the perfect conditions for mold growth inside your building. Water intrusion is a hazard for your tenants and should be fixed by a professional quickly.

Prepare for the Season
Each season brings with it different weather patterns. As the months change, you should adjust your roofing care to match the time of year. Especially with most places preparing for snowy winters, you should start preparing your building for the cold. Check that a heavy snowfall won’t collapse your roof and that you have a plan in place to remove excess snow and ice. In the spring and summer, you’ll have to pay more attention to stormy weather and intense sunlight. In fall, you might find yourself clearing off leaves and branches that have landed on your roof.

Clear Obstructions
Different types of debris from leaves to stray trash can collect on your roof. If you let it pile up, it hinders the structural integrity of the surface. Water won’t drain effectively, it’s harder to spot issues, and you’ll end up paying for costly repairs. You can stay ahead of these issues by regularly cleaning off your roof. It also helps to trim back any overhanging branches to prevent leaves and sticks falling on the roof.

Check Roof-Mounted Equipment
Many of your building’s major components are located on the roof. Your HVAC, exhaust vents, and various cables all are mounted up top to keep the inside of your building comfortable. However, this means that these important parts are also exposed to the elements. As you check your roof, look at the flashings around the different vents and machines to see that they’re properly sealed. You should also check that everything is secured down and doesn’t show any signs of major damage.

Get a Professional Inspection
To know the full scope of your roof’s condition, the best thing you can do is hire a professional inspector. They’ll look at the roof’s surface, as well as any other components. An inspection with NPI will give you the information you need to keep your building looking great and your tenants safe. Find your local inspector today!



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National Property Inspections, Inc., founded in 1987, is one of the oldest companies in the inspection industry. Our reputation is built on honesty, integrity and professionalism. National Property Inspections operates as Global Property Inspections in Canada.