Roofs can be a prime example of “out of sight, out of mind”, but maintenance is vitally important if you want to keep the rest of your building in good shape. When roof repairs come along, they usually are not a cheap fix. Instead of getting in the habit of emergency spending on roof repairs, use your budget wisely and perform inspections and preventative repairs to avoid big expenditures. Here is a guide on how to keep your roof in good health.

Why roof maintenance matters:

1. More time between replacements. Without a doubt the biggest reason to maintain your roof is to extend the time in between replacements. Fortunately roof technologies have improved considerably over the last few decades, so it is common to expect at least 20 years from a properly installed and maintained roof. That is incentive enough to keep up with maintenance on your roof. Without maintenance, the expected lifetime is more like 10-15 years. Re-covering or replacing your roof every 5-10 years can add up quickly.

2. Avoid structural damage. A roof that leaks could cause steel to rust or wood to rot, which could completely compromise the structure of your facility.

3. Protect your building’s interior. Imagine you are sitting at your desk and the roof starts to leak and water happens to damage your computer? There could be unfinished projects or important information that could be lost because of a leaking roof. Material damage and the cost of lost opportunities can both be avoided by keep your roof leak-free with maintenance.

4. Reduce hassle and liability. When a roof begins to leak, the first thing businesses do is put trash cans under it. If employees are dodging trash cans this can reduce efficiency or worse cause a work related accident. Water on the floors can increase liability if an employee or customer were to slip and hurt themselves.

Design a Roof Maintenance Plan

It is helpful to be proactive about roof maintenance as opposed to the “fix things when they break” mentality, which isn’t a maintenance program at all. Preventive maintenance programs are a step up as their aim is to discover problems before they cause failures and fix them early. But for the best possible results, institute a roof asset management (RAM) program, which combines preventive maintenance and inspections with corrective action to keep the same problem from recurring.

For example, you might realize your roof has seen quite a few leaks around your HVAC equipment from foot traffic and mechanics dropping tools. You would catch the damage during a regular inspection and fix it before it caused a major failure, but you also might put down some walk pads in the affected area to prevent future damage. 

A way to keep up with your roof maintenance plan would be keeping a folder of basic roof information. This can include roof plans, roofing materials, warranty information and results from previous inspections. That way if there are ever any questions, you have all the information in one spot.