When your commercial roof suffers damage, you rely on your insurance company to foot the repair bill. But sadly, many building owners find they have to fight their insurance companies to get them to approve a claim. Insurance companies can be selective when honoring a roof claim, and it can often feel like they use loopholes to deny claims whenever possible.

Luckily, you are not powerless in this situation. You can do a lot as a commercial building owner to improve your chances of future insurance claims being approved. One of the most important steps you can take is signing up for a commercial roof maintenance program.

Basic Commercial Roof Maintenance

There are four key elements of commercial roof maintenance.

  1. The Inspection: Your roofer will look over the roof to see what condition it’s in and identify any areas which require clean-up or minor repairs.
  2. Cleaning: All dirt and debris will be removed from the roof. Your contractors will use gentle yet effective cleaners and strategies.
  3. Spot Repairs: If there are some areas where the roof is worn, your roofer can repair or reseal those sections. The roofer will secure loose flashing or vents with proper adhesive or caulk.
  4. The Report: Your roofer will generate a report at each maintenance appointment. This report will describe the condition of each part of the roof. It will also list any cleaning done and any repairs made.

Every commercial roof is different. A qualified, licensed and insured roofing company can look over your roof and develop a more specific, structured maintenance plan based on its structure and current condition. 

The Importance of Roof Maintenance

Commercial roof maintenance is essential beyond just satisfying your insurance company. 

Roofs which regularly receive maintenance are less likely to develop significant, extensive leaks. It’s easier for your roofer to fix a small worn patch than an extensive, worn section. Keeping the roof clean also minimizes contact with moisture and debris, which helps extend the life of your roof.

Regular maintenance appointments ensure minor issues are caught early. And the reports generated at these visits keep you well aware of the condition of your roof so you can plan for future roof work.

How Roof Maintenance Affects Insurance Claims

Now that you understand what commercial roof maintenance involves, it’s easier to understand how it increases your chances of approval for an insurance claim. Here are three key ways this works.

Maintenance demonstrates how you’re caring for your roof.

Say your roof suffers significant damage during a storm. You file an insurance claim. The insurance company could argue that if you’d fixed minor damage to your roof earlier, the storm would not have damaged it so severely. However, if you regularly maintain your roof, your insurer will not be able to make this argument. Having the maintenance done by a licensed and insured roofer assures your insurer that the rooftop was in good shape before the storm. They know any damage was caused by the actual storm, which qualifies your claim.

Maintenance creates a paper trail of records.

Insurance companies love asking for documentation. For example, they may ask you for proof that your roof was free of leaks before you made your claim. Having the roof professionally maintained creates such documentation.

Each time your roofer comes to maintain your roof, they generate a report. You can turn the most recent information in to your insurer as proof that the roof was in good condition before the event which caused the damage. Most roof reports these days include photographs – which are even more solid evidence for your insurance company.

Maintenance ensures the work was “done right.”

Sometimes, to save money, building owners attempt to do roof maintenance themselves. This can present a problem if you have to file an insurance claim. The insurance company might argue that you made mistakes with maintenance or repairs which contributed to your roof damage. They may then deny your claim.

Having all roof work, including maintenance, carried out by a professional roofer that is licensed and insured assures your insurer that the work was done correctly. It also assures you that the work is done correctly – and may lower your chances of even having to make an insurance claim!

Don’t give your insurance company any reason to deny your claim for commercial roof damage. Plan ahead by signing up for a professional maintenance program. If you’re in the Fort Lauderdale area, contact PSI Roofing. Our Annual Roof Maintenance Program comes with a leak-free guarantee and will help extend the life of your roof. We offer a wide range of maintenance services, including reflective coating installation and re-graveling, as needed. If you need repairs or a new commercial roof, we can handle that, too.