No commercial property owner or manager has ever asked for more work to do. You have so much on your plate. How do you make sure you are not overlooking something? Do consider your commercial roof a priority, though, since it protects the rest of your business. What can you do to ensure your roof receives the attention it deserves? Consider a commercial roof maintenance checklist.
Three items can lead off your checklist and help you avoid missing a vital roofing need.
- Keep records of rooftop visits — Write down who goes onto the roof, the reason for the visit, and where they spent their time on your company’s roof
- If your low-slope roof is safe for you to walk, inspect every square foot — What do you see? What is the condition of seams, HVAC curbs, internal drains, external scuppers, rubber boots, and other projections? Triage each item: good (no action needed); fair (monitor and reinspect); bad (immediate roof repair needed)
- Toolkit — A toolkit for roof inspection is helpful; pack the checklist, pen or pencil for taking notes, a notebook, tape measure, aerial photos if available, roof plans if available; a flashlight, and a camera; record in video and still pictures so you can have a baseline reference point
The checklist should be a physical piece of paper, so you can keep copies of it for every inspection you perform. Check off each of the ten items as you go through your inspection.
Batting cleanup after the three lead-off strategies are things you can do inside, safely in the work areas of your commercial property:
- Walls — Are interior walls showing signs of mold, mildew, or excess moisture? Do you see dark stains, peeling paint, or tiny black or green spots?
- Chimneys — Do you see or feel damp areas around vents and chimneys? These can indicate leaks and issues with flashing or caulking
- Roof deck — If you can safely enter your roof deck (the space between the top layer of the roof and the ceiling of the highest floor), check for cracks in wooden rafters, rust in steel framing, and sagging deck plates; check for light streaming inside from the roof, indicating holes; check for adequate ventilation to keep the roof deck’s air at the same humidity and temperature as the outside air
- Leaks — The roof deck and interior are ideal places to spot water leaks or leaks from service pipes; note their location, take pictures, and invite your local, professional commercial roofer in to inspect the problem areas
You can hit a home run for your company’s roof by doing a little observation outside the structure. Add these last three items to your checklist:
- Walk around your building observing the downspouts and visible gutters; look for damaged, dented, bent, or detached guttering, blockages, or missing gutters and downspouts
- As you walk the perimeter staying safely on the ground, check fascia boards, drip edges, joints between chimneys and the roof, and changes from one roof type to another (as over a sheltered entranceway); see if any aspect of the building’s visible roofing system is corroded, rusted, rotten, or missing
- If you can safely navigate the roof, look for ponding, hole, abrasions or tears in the membrane or surface material, missing ballast, elongated holes for mechanical fasteners, open or loose seams,
When you bring in your friendly, local roofer for a more thorough inspection and maintenance review, expect to learn about more areas of concern with your roof. Rather than view this negatively, consider it a walk-off win for your team.
A professional roofer can see many minor issues which, if promptly repaired, never turn into expensive headaches. Partnering with your commercial roofer can also help your company avoid improper repairs. Facilities crews on site are great, but if they mismatch roofing materials or apply the wrong chemical adhesives, their “repair” can get costly.
Every roof is different, of course, and this checklist is generalized. Your site may have mixed roofing materials such as small shingled areas (common over public entrances and employee access points), flat roofing, and metal roofing. Each material creates its own challenges.
The call you make (sooner rather than later) to your local, reliable commercial roofer is the beginning of a group effort to preserve and improve your roof assets. Your roofing contractor may have their own checklist. Your roofer might use advanced tools to diagnose leaks, slope problems, or weak spots. These are meant to complement, not replace, the hard work your own crew does with its checklist.
PSI Roofing is your Fort Lauderdale source for superior commercial roofing work. From annual maintenance to waterproofing to complete tear-offs, we can solve your roofing issues. Contact us today to learn more about our maintenance, roof assets management, and roof repair services.