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How to Maintain the Health of Your Commercial Roof


exterior photo of a commercial building

In the realm of business ownership, one aspect that often goes unnoticed until a problem arises is the maintenance of the establishment's roof. A well-maintained roof is crucial to the longevity of your property and the protection of your business assets. As such, it's essential to conduct commercial roof inspections regularly and adhere to a structured maintenance plan. This guide aims to provide comprehensive insights into the significance of routine inspections and maintenance of your commercial roof.


1. Understanding the Importance of Commercial Roof Inspection


Just like regular health check-ups are vital to identify potential health issues before they escalate, your commercial roof also requires regular inspections to prevent minor damages from turning into costly repairs.


1.1 The Lifesaver: Preventive Maintenance


Your commercial roof, regardless of its type—whether it's single-ply, built-up, modified bitumen or a specific coating—needs preventive maintenance. Regular inspections and upkeep can help detect potential issues before they exacerbate and ensure your roof's longevity. It's advisable to plan and initiate an inspection program from the first year your roof is installed.


According to a study conducted by the Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress, roofs with robust maintenance programs lasted an average of 21 years, while roofs without proactive maintenance only lasted 13 years.


1.2 The Money Saver: Cost-Efficiency


Implementing a proactive maintenance plan isn't just about extending the life of your roof—it's also about saving money. The cost of replacing a commercial roof is substantial. However, with routine inspections and minor repairs, you can extend its life, delaying the need for expensive replacements.


1.3 The Energy Saver: Enhanced Energy Efficiency


A leaky roof can lead to significant energy loss, increasing your utility bills. With regular maintenance and timely repairs, you can enhance your building's energy efficiency, making it a more sustainable choice.


Research shows that an actively maintained 10,000-square-foot roof would cost an average of $1,400 per year, whereas a roof that isn't proactively maintained would cost $2,500 a year.


2. DIY Commercial Roof Inspection: What to Look For


Before calling a professional contractor or roofing company, you can perform a basic check and inspection of your commercial roof. Here are some aspects you should consider.


2.1 Look for Visible Damage


Check for signs of long-term standing water, such as mold and vegetation growth. Inspect the underside of the roof or your drop ceiling for any signs of water damage, an indication of damage to your roof cover system.


2.2 Examine the Roof Cover


Monitor the cover for bubbles, cracks, excessive wear around connections, tears, punctures, and excessive weathering. If you have single-ply roofing, inspect and repair tears, worn seams, seam failure, gaps, fasteners backing out, punctures, and brittleness.


2.3 Check the Metal Panels


Inspect for loose screws and deteriorated rubber washers, signs of rusting, and discolored or worn-off paint. Also, look for dents or divots.


2.4 Remove Loose Objects


Remove loose objects like leaves, sticks, and construction debris from your roof. These objects can cause blockages during a storm. Check for long-term standing water in gutters and correct any blockages.


2.5 Inspect Roof-Mounted Equipment


Check equipment for rust on metal panels, screws, and metal flashing on curbs. Inspect the equipment's connection to the curb it sits on for visible signs of curb leaks.


3. When to Seek Professional Help for Commercial Roof Inspection


While DIY inspections can help identify obvious issues, they might not catch subtle signs of damage. This is where the expertise of a professional roofing company comes into play.


3.1 Hire Professionals for Detailed Inspection


Just as self-diagnosis of medical conditions can lead to misinterpretations or missed symptoms, the same can happen with roof inspections. Regular inspections by a professional commercial roofing contractor are the best way to ensure that your roof is in excellent condition.


3.2 Regular Maintenance Schedule


Establishing a regular maintenance schedule with a professional can ensure that your roof is always in top-notch condition. Having a commercial roof preventative maintenance program will help maintain your roof's integrity and provide peace of mind.


3.3 Choosing the Right Contractor


It's crucial to choose a roofing contractor who is qualified and experienced. This expense is critical when considering your long-term roofing costs. Research your contractor options, placing a higher value on factors such as quality of work and safety practices rather than cost.


Consult a professional roofing contractor if concerns exist after a maintenance review of the roof. The contractor can also help to determine the health of the roof, estimate the remaining life of the roof, help you develop a maintenance plan, and identify additional steps to protect the roof.


100% free commercial roof inspection

4. Commercial Roof Maintenance Best Practices


Implementing best practices for maintaining your commercial roof can help in prolonging its lifespan and preserving its performance.


4.1 Regular Inspections


Have someone specially trained in your roof's materials inspect the roof at least twice a year and after major weather events. This can help detect minor problems before they become serious.


4.2 Provide Walkways


If people are on the roof regularly or if those servicing rooftop equipment like HVAC units and antennas are scheduled to maintain it every 30 days or more often, you must provide walkways.


4.3 Clean the Roof Surface Regularly


For thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) roofing, regularly remove animal fat or grease accumulation and clean the surface, either with a mixture of warm soap and water or other approved cleaning methods.


4.4 Keep All Petroleum Products Off the Membrane


Keep solvents, grease, and oils off the membrane to avoid degradation. Also, keep the roof surface clean, especially at drain areas to avoid clogging. Drain ponding water from the roof within 48 hours of rain.


4.5 Contact the Manufacturer


Contact the manufacturer of any chemicals that come into contact with the roofing membrane. Some chemicals could degrade the membrane or cause swelling.


5. Commercial Roof Repair Best Practices


Despite regular maintenance and inspections, factors such as weather events, flying debris, or workers servicing equipment can damage your roof. Here's what to do if damage occurs.


5.1 Identify and Locate Leaks


Soft or warped insulation may indicate a water leak. If a leak exists, locate it and determine if it's in the roof membrane, a wall, a curb, a skylight, metal ductwork, or a plumbing issue.


5.2 Make Temporary Repairs


Use lap sealant or any construction-grade caulk to make temporary repairs. Do not use roof cement to repair rubber (EPDM) membranes as it contains petroleum products that may degrade the membrane.


5.3 Contact the Membrane Manufacturer


If the roof is still under warranty, contact the membrane manufacturer to report the leak.


6. Long-Term Planning for Your Commercial Roof


The investment you're making when choosing the best roofing solution for your business is much larger than it might initially seem. Therefore, it's essential to factor in long-term costs associated with all roofing options upfront.


6.1 Avoid Quick Fixes


Remember that quick fixes can hurt you in the long run. Instead, opt for long-term, sustainable solutions to ensure the health and longevity of your commercial roof.


6.2 Invest in a Roof Restoration System


If you're experiencing persistent problems with your roof, a roof restoration system may be the ideal solution for you. Lifetime Quality is ready to assist you with your commercial roof maintenance needs.


7. The Role of a Professional Roofing Company


Maintaining your commercial roof with the help of a professional roofing company can help save you money in the long run. By catching problems early, you can avoid costly repairs or replacements.


7.1 Benefits of Hiring a Professional Roofing Company


  • Reduced energy costs

  • Extended roof life

  • Peace of mind

  • Increased property value

  • Property protection


7.2 Choosing the Right Roofing Company


Lifetime Quality, your local company for commercial roofing inspections and replacements, can be your reliable partner in maintaining your commercial roof. With our expertise and commitment to customer satisfaction, we deliver top-tier roofing services with ease and expertise.


8. Key Takeaways: Commercial Roof Inspection and Maintenance


  • Regular commercial roof inspections can help detect minor problems before they become serious.

  • A well-maintained roof can save you significantly by delaying the need for an expensive commercial roof replacement.

  • Regular maintenance can also enhance your building's energy efficiency.

  • It's essential to hire a professional roofing company for detailed inspections and maintenance.

  • Implementing best practices for maintaining your commercial roof can help prolong its lifespan.

  • A professional roofing company like Lifetime Quality can be your reliable partner in maintaining your commercial roof.


In conclusion, the importance of regular commercial roof inspections and maintenance cannot be overstated. By investing in preventive care, addressing issues promptly, and partnering with a professional roofing company like Lifetime Quality, you can ensure the longevity and performance of your commercial roof. Contact us today to book your 100% free commercial roof inspection.


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