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8 Commercial Roof Maintenance Tips For Property Managers

Posted on May 5, 2024

8 Commercial Roof Maintenance Tips For Property Managers

As a property manager, one of your biggest responsibilities is to ensure that the buildings you oversee are well-maintained and in good condition. Though maintenance includes several things, one of the primary areas is the roof. This component serves as the first line of defense against the elements. A properly maintained commercial roof can last for decades, but neglect can lead to costly leaks, damage, and premature replacement.

In this blog post, we’ll share some important commercial roof maintenance tips to help property managers keep their roofs in top shape and avoid expensive headaches down the line.

#1 Conduct Regular Roof Inspections

The key to effective roof maintenance is regular inspections. If you are a building manager, it is important to schedule professional roof inspections at least twice a year. Although there is no hard and fast rule here, a general practice that most roofers recommend is inspecting your roof in the spring and fall. 

During these inspections, experienced roofers will thoroughly examine the entire roof surface, looking for any signs of damage, wear, or potential problems. They’ll check for cracks, split seams, or lifted sections of the roof membrane, as well as the condition of flashing around vents, skylights, and other roof penetrations. Any debris, such as leaves or branches, will be removed from the roof and gutters to ensure proper drainage and prevent water buildup.

By catching minor issues early, you can address these problems before they escalate into more significant and costly repairs for your flat roof. 

#2 Stay on Top of Repairs

If any issues are identified during roof inspections, it’s crucial to schedule repairs quickly. Even minor problems like blisters, cracks, or small punctures in flat roofing membranes can quickly lead to leaks and more extensive damage if neglected. 

If you repair your roof as and when the need arises, it can halt further deterioration and prevent costly water intrusion.

Reputable roofing contractors will employ proven repair techniques suitable for the specific flat roofing system, whether it’s a built-up roofing system, modified bitumen, TPO, EPDM, or PVC membranes. They’ll use high-quality, compatible materials and follow manufacturers’ guidelines to ensure repairs are done correctly and will withstand the elements. 

Conduct Regular Roof Inspections

#3 Implement a Cleaning Routine

In addition to regular inspections and repairs, you should implement routine cleaning for your commercial flat roof. Most commercial roofing problems start with a roof that is covered with dirt and moss.

Cleaning will involve removing any accumulated dirt, debris, or vegetation from the roof surface and gutters to prevent moisture buildup and potential leaks. Depending on the type of roofing material, periodic cleanings or treatments may be necessary to remove built up grime, algae, or other contaminants that can degrade the roof over time. 

Following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance guidelines will help ensure the roof’s longevity and optimal performance.

#4 Minimize Excess Weight on the Roof

Commercial roofs are designed to support a specific live load. This is based on the building’s structural capacity. If you are the owner or a manager, you should be mindful of not exceeding this weight limit. Excess weight and regular foot traffic can compromise the roof’s integrity and lead to potential collapse.

When you’re putting heavy equipment or machinery on the roof for maintenance or repairs, think about it carefully and spread the weight out properly. You want to avoid putting too much weight in one spot.

Accumulated snow, rain, or debris can add significant weight over time, making regular roof cleaning and drainage maintenance crucial. By keeping excess weight off the roof, you can prevent structural issues and extend the roof system’s lifespan.

#5 Install Roof Coatings 

In addition to repairs and maintenance, property managers should consider having protective roof coatings applied to their flat commercial roofs every 5-10 years, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations. These elastomeric coatings provide an extra layer of protection against the elements.

Roof coatings help extend the life of the roofing materials by reflecting UV rays that can cause premature aging and degradation. They also seal any minor cracks or defects in the roof surface to prevent water intrusion. Some coatings are designed to be energy efficient, lowering cooling costs by reducing heat absorption.

#6 Address Ponding Water to Prevent Leaks

One of the biggest threats to the longevity of flat commercial roofs is ponding water. Poor drainage or low spots that allow water to pool can quickly lead to leaks and subsequent interior damage. Ponding water is a common issue that must be dealt with promptly. When water is allowed to sit on a flat roof for extended periods, it can cause the roofing materials to deteriorate prematurely. Seams can begin to separate, membranes can blister or crack, and the added weight can even compromise the roof’s structural integrity over time. Leaks will inevitably follow, potentially causing costly damage to insulation, decking, and the building interior.

To prevent these issues, you should ensure proper roof drainage by having downspouts, drains, and roof scuppers cleared of any obstructions regularly. Low-lying areas may need to be built up or adjusted to promote positive drainage. 

In severe cases of persistent ponding, a roof replacement may be necessary using a tapered insulation system to create sufficient slopes. Addressing ponding water is key to extending a flat roof’s serviceable life.

#7 Plan for Timely Roof Replacements

Even with proper maintenance, all roofs will eventually reach the end of their serviceable lifespan and require replacement. As a building manager, you should closely monitor the condition of your roofs and plan for timely replacements when necessary.

If you are not aware of the different types of commercial roofs and how long they last, check out our blog post: Your Guide To The 6 Best Commercial Flat Roofing Systems (2024) 

Replacing an aging or severely damaged roof before it fails completely can help you avoid costly water damage to the building’s interior and prevent potential liability issues. 

When the time comes, building managers should work with reputable roofing contractors to select suitable, high-quality materials that meet all applicable codes and regulations for their climate and building type.

Commercial Roof Replacements

#8 Rely on a Professional Roofer

Property managers should rely on the expertise of professional roofing contractors with experience working on commercial buildings throughout all roof maintenance and replacement projects. These skilled professionals have the knowledge and training to properly inspect, maintain, repair, and install roofs according to industry best practices.

They’ll also be able to advise you on the most appropriate roofing materials and systems for the specific property, taking into account factors such as the local climate and long-term effectiveness. With professional oversight, you can ensure all roofing work is completed safely, correctly, and to the highest standards.

By following these commercial roof maintenance tips, building owners and managers can help extend the lifespan of their roofs, avoid costly repairs and damage, and maintain the integrity and value of their buildings.

We Can Take Care Of Your Commercial Roof

Whether you are a property owner or a building manager, it is crucial that your commercial roof remains sound and strong so everyone inside remains safe. But you should make sure you hire a team that is experienced, licensed, and reputable.  
Our team at Renova Roofing & Construction checks all these boxes. We are a premier commercial roofing company serving Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana. We are fully licensed and insured and have the necessary certifications to take care of your commercial building. Whether you require roof repair or replacement, give us a call at (601) 647-3433.