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Commercial Roofing: An In-depth Maintenance Guide

commercial office building

Maintaining the structural integrity of a commercial building is a significant responsibility. Of all the components of your building, your commercial roofing system plays a pivotal role in ensuring safety and resilience. This article aims to provide comprehensive guidance on commercial roofing maintenance, with a particular emphasis on flat and rubber roofs. Remember, Lifetime Quality is your trusted local roofing company, offering free commercial roofing inspection and expert advice tailored to your needs.

1. Understanding the Importance of Commercial Roofing Maintenance

Commercial roofing maintenance is of paramount importance for several reasons:

  • Prevention of Leaks: Regular maintenance helps detect potential problem areas that may lead to leakage, allowing for timely repairs.

  • Prolonging Lifespan: Routine maintenance can significantly extend your commercial roofing's lifespan, delaying the need for complete replacement.

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Preventive maintenance can save significant expenses in the long run by addressing problems before they escalate into costly repairs or replacements.

2. Different Types of Commercial Roofing Systems

Understanding the type of commercial roofing system installed in your building is crucial to its maintenance. Here are some common commercial roofing systems:

  • Metal Roofing: Durable and fire-resistant, metal roofing is a popular choice for commercial buildings.

  • Built-Up Roofing Membrane (BUR): This cost-effective roofing system consists of layers of tar and gravel, offering UV resistance.

  • Modified Bitumen (MB): An asphalt-based system, ideal for flat and low-slope roofs.

  • Thermoplastic PVC and TPO Roof Membranes: Lightweight and puncture-resistant roofing materials known for excellent weathering and high-temperature tolerance.

  • Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer (EPDM): Made of synthetic rubber, EPDM roofing is elastic, robust, and affordable.

  • Shingles: While commonly used in residential properties, some commercial establishments use shingle roofing for aesthetic appeal.

Each of these roofing types requires a specific maintenance approach, which we'll delve into later.

3. Regular Commercial Roofing Inspections

One of the key aspects of commercial roofing maintenance is regular inspections. These should ideally be carried out semi-annually, preferably during the spring and fall.

Such inspections allow for the identification of potential issues such as leaks, wear and tear, or physical damage. If your building is in a region with harsh winter weather, you may need additional inspections post-winter.

Professional roofers, like those at Lifetime Quality, can provide detailed inspection reports, identifying areas that need attention and suggesting suitable repair or maintenance actions.

4. Quick Repairs: The Key to Longevity

Once an issue is identified during a commercial roofing inspection, it's essential to address it promptly. Delayed repairs can exacerbate the problem, leading to extensive damage and potential roofing replacement.

Whether it's a leak, a weak spot, or physical damage, swift action can save you from substantial repair costs and extend your roof's lifespan. Most manufacturers' commercial roof warranties require immediate reporting and repair of leaks.

100% commercial property inspection gif

5. Prudent Use of Commercial Roofing

While commercial roofing is designed to be robust, it's not indestructible. Reducing foot traffic on the roof can help prevent undue pressure and potential damage. Only necessary inspections, maintenance, and repairs should warrant foot traffic.

If regular access is needed, consider installing walk pads. These provide a safe path for foot traffic, reducing direct contact with the roofing material.

6. Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

Keeping your commercial roof clean is vital to prevent deterioration. Debris like leaves, twigs, or rocks can lead to water ponding, promoting algae growth which can accelerate roof deterioration.

To maintain a clean roof, set a regular cleaning schedule, and ensure it's done professionally to avoid accidental damage.

7. Snow Removal

If your building is located in a region with substantial snowfall, snow removal should form a part of your commercial roof maintenance plan. Snow, particularly when wet, can be extremely heavy, adding significant load to your roof. Regular removal can prevent potential roof collapse.

8. Preparing Your Roof for Season Changes

As the seasons change, so do the challenges for your commercial roof. Before the onset of colder months, it may be necessary to cover certain areas with tarps to prevent water accumulation. Having the right tools for maintenance during different weather conditions is also crucial.

9. Utilizing High-Quality Materials

When repairs are required, it's vital to use high-quality materials to ensure longevity and durability. While DIY repairs may seem cost-effective, a professional roofer's expertise can provide more reliable, long-lasting solutions.

10. Special Considerations for Flat and Rubber Roofs

Flat and rubber roofs require specific maintenance considerations. For flat roofs, it's vital to check for ponding, punctures, blisters, and any component that may have separated from the roof.

Rubber roofs, such as EPDM, can last up to 40 years with proper care. Regular cleaning, prompt repairs, and protection from sharp objects are some of the key maintenance tasks for rubber roofs.

11. Commercial Roof Maintenance: A Long-Term Investment

Maintenance of commercial roofing is not a one-time task but a long-term commitment. Regular inspections, quick repairs, use of high-quality materials, and professional care are the pillars of effective maintenance. Remember, Lifetime Quality, your local roofing company, is always ready to provide comprehensive commercial roofing inspections.

By investing time and resources in maintaining your commercial roof, you not only prolong its lifespan but also ensure the safety and integrity of your commercial building.

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