Performing regular roof inspections helps Owners keep their roofing warranties in compliance, and helps extend the lives of the roofs by identifying problems before they become catastrophic. Finding and repairing a leak soon after it occurs can prevent costly damage to the insulation and roof decking, not to mention the contents of the building.
Roofing manufacturers usually suggest conducting roof inspections at least twice a year. One inspection is done in the spring to identify any trouble spots that may have cropped up over the winter. The second inspection usually occurs in the fall to make sure the roof is in good condition and able to withstand harsh winter weather. Inspections also may be justified after severe weather such as a hailstorm or gale-force winds. Another reason to conduct an inspection is if there has been heavy foot traffic on the roof.
Keep in mind that the purpose of inspections is not only to find and fix problems areas, but also to examine portions of the roof that need frequent maintenance, such as flashings and caulking. Some experts speculate that neglecting regular maintenance is the most common cause of premature roof failure. The roof inspection is an ideal opportunity to double-check that drains are clear, flashings are tight and scheduled maintenance items are complete.
If some areas require repair or additional maintenance, be sure to find out which repairs can be conducted in-house and which repairs the warranty requires be done by an authorized roofing contractor. And be sure to determine what is meant by an “authorized” contractor — is it someone who simply has experience with the manufacturer's product, or is it a contractor that has met specific training and quality requirements?
There are many reasons why Owners or Building Managers might fail to perform inspections and maintenance of the roofs they oversee. For one, the roof is not visible during everyday activities, so the “out of sight, out of mind” adage might apply. Another reason might be that more immediate problems—like security and server room upkeep—push roof maintenance to the bottom of the priority list. Or, maybe the facility manager is rather new to the building and is not aware of the maintenance schedule mandated by the roofing manufacturer in order to comply with the warranty.
Whatever the reason, ignoring these important elements of roof care can be costly in the long run, especially if the roof starts leaking and building contents are damaged. Regular inspections and maintenance can not only prevent roof leaks and other problems, but they can also extend the life of the roof.
Hollon+Cannon Group can provide building asset management services. For larger clients with multiple sites, each containing multiple buildings the process of monitoring and documenting conditions can be overwhelming. Our expertise allows us to provide clients with a well outlined plan for regularly scheduled maintenance and inspections. HCG will compile a data base of a Clients roofing assets documenting: deck, insulation and membrane types, as well as, the material manufacturer, Contractor's Warranty and Manufacturer's Warranty. A successful roof asset management program results in lower life cycle costs and a roofing system that functions longer without disrupting building occupants.