Generally speaking human beings don't spend a lot of time looking up. One reason being that we tend to find things to fall over when we do. However, if you own or rent a commercial property you should spend more time looking up, particularly at your roof. Repairing and replacing damaged roof's is time consuming and expensive. You can avoid this by carrying out a few simple, regular tasks.
Inspect your roof
Seasonal changes can have a detrimental effect on your roof. Changes in temperature can cause materials to expand and contract leaving gaps and cracks that can cause further damage. To avoid this you should inspect your roof at least twice a year at the end of summer, and again at the end of winter. In between these regular checks you should carry out additional check if you have experienced any severe weather conditions.
Keep it clean
Over time a large amount of debris collects on your roof. Everything from moss to bird droppings and food wrappers to cigarette ends can be found on the average roof. All of this can cause roofing materials to become damaged and gutters to overflow. The outcome of this is higher maintenance costs for you. Cleaning out gutters and removing rubbish can avoid these costs and the potential need for a new roof.
Commercial roofs are generally not meant to be regularly accessed by people who are untrained or unprepared. Accessing the roof increases the risk of injury to individuals both on the roof and in the building underneath. Continual access and use of the roof can also speed up wear and tear, cause additional damage and leave your roof open to further damage from the elements.
Monitor qualified access
There are people who do need to access your roof. The number and frequency will depend on both the type of roof and building, and your business sector. Prior to letting anyone access your roof you should ensure that they are properly equipped and experienced at travelling across or working on your type of roofing. The precautions needed on a flat bitumen roof will differ to more recent TPO roof systems. Similar care needs to be taken with any tools or machinery that is used on or near your roof.
Take immediate action
If you notice a problem that may be related to roof damage or decay you need to act quickly. A small issue with a seal can be repaired with minimum disruption and cost. If this is allowed to develop you could be left with a larger split and major water damage to your building. At this stage you may need to replace rather than repair the roof and cover the cost of repairs to the rest of your building.
Regular inspection and maintenance increase the life span of your roof . It also helps to cut your running costs and minimise disruption to your business. Even more importantly you may find that if you do not carry out regular checks and take immediate action you could be in breach of roof warranties and insurances.