It’s fall, and besides getting ready for snow removal at your building, facilities managers also need to be aware of some commercial roofing maintenance must-dos. You already know that regular roofing inspections can provide you with a long-lasting commercial roof, but you may not know exactly what you should be doing to check your roof before the weather gets colder. Some risks are the same, but others depend on whether you have a flat or sloped commercial roof in Utah.
Flat roofing is useful for large buildings, offering you more usable space to put things like HVAC units, skylights, and more, but it also comes with some risks that sloped roofing doesn’t have. Flat roofs are more prone to pooled and standing water, which can weaken the roofing materials and lead to leaks. Since people are more likely to be walking on your flat roof, these roofs are also at greater risk of getting punctured, which can weaken the waterproof exterior and allow moisture to get under the top layer.
With wild temperature swings (extremely hot summers and extremely cold winters), even small damages to the roofing could be amplified by expansion and contraction in changing weather if they’re not identified and repaired quickly.
Finally, commercial buildings that have flat roofing almost always use that space to store things like air conditioning and heating units, leaving the real estate on the ground for parking and building space. While it saves space, every protrusion that comes from the top of a flat roof represents a spot where there is a break in your roofing membrane, leaving it vulnerable to leaks and moisture intrusion. Be sure to check flashings and other spots around HVAC units and skylights for any signs of a problem.
Most sloped roofing is made from asphalt, metal, or tile, which means that these materials are vulnerable to weather, erosion, and damage over time. If your commercial building is made of these materials, check the seams for signs of leaks, and if you have individual shingles or tiles, check to make sure there are none missing or damaged. On metal roofing, check that none of the panels are corroded, loose, or bent.
Most sloped roofing will also have a roof deck under the shingles, which will need to be inspected for damage. The easiest way to spot damage to the roof deck is to check from underneath—looking for signs such as:
For both sloped and flat roofing, you should inspect for and remove any debris that you find. In addition, check the gutters to make sure they’re not blocked or broken, and that water has a clear path to get off the building during rain and snowstorms. If you notice any obvious damage, repair it immediately.
If you’re not able to get around to inspecting your commercial roofing in Utah, or you don’t have the tools or expertise to repair the damage you find, call a commercial roofing contractor to help.