How Roof Maintenance Prevents Flat Roof Leaks

What the Free Thinker in 1719 said, “Time is money,” is still true 299 years later. For the South Florida property manager struggling to keep a building and budget intact, time spent on flat roof maintenance can seem a waste. Yet with the right roof maintenance plan, investment of time and money through regular upkeep can prevent flat roof leaks.

Team Lift

Keeping up with a low-slope or flat roof is easier when the heavy lifting is performed by an entire team:

  1. Property manager
  2. Maintenance crew members
  3. Commercial roofing partner

By adopting a team lift attitude, work becomes routine and predictable, reducing opportunities for leaks to develop in a low-slope roof. By their nature, these so-called “flat roofs” are prone to problems:

  • Ponding
  • Insulation compression
  • Scuffs, tears and wear patterns from foot traffic
  • Directional wind damage — Prevailing winds will affect one corner or wall of a building more than the others

Costly Neglect

Deferring maintenance or completely neglecting your building’s flat roof is an expensive way to save money. What you save in an annual maintenance budget will be eaten up many times over when you need a tear-off and re-roof.

Invest in a quarterly maintenance plan with your own crew and an annual maintenance program with your commercial roofing partner. Your crew can perform small upkeep and repair tasks at least every three months, and your reliable commercial roofer can do an annual inspection.

Flat Roof Maintenance Plan

Work with your commercial roofer to develop the quarterly roof maintenance plan. With safety uppermost, invest in proper harnesses and fall prevention devices for your in-house maintenance staff. Train them to spot weak seams, loose flashing, and clogged drains. Go beyond a simple clean-up (removing debris after every storm should be part of the building routine already) to include removing standing water to prevent ponding.

Steps to include:

  • Document the roof’s current condition, using photographs and a roof map
  • Identify all roof piercings, drains, and attached equipment — HVAC units, radio masts, scuppers, etc.
  • Visually inspect all seams and meeting places of dissimilar materials — where flashing meets single-ply, ballast meets internal drain, and so forth
  • Keep patching materials handy — Let your commercial roofer verify you have the right materials for quick roof fixes

To find a local, trusted commercial roofer, please contact us at PSI Roofing. We can help you develop a flat roofing maintenance plan to save you time and money.