It’s true of our homes and it’s very true of our business properties: the health and well-being of your roof is vital for the overall state of the building.
Commercial establishments often invest heavily on ensuring general maintenance is kept up to speed across the site, and yet, every bit as often, many neglect or simply forget to factor the roof into their plans. As though they are out of sight above our heads, therefore out of mind; the assumption that all is well, healthy and fine.
Until something goes wrong, of course.
It’s such an integral part of your commercial property that common sense really ought to dictate that keeping on top of its maintenance be a matter of priority – as it likely is for other, more visible elements of the building.
After all, the roof is there to protect and insulate against the elements, a first line of defence against all manner of extremities: driving rain, ice, wind, snow, wildlife among other aspects. So showing it some love and adopting regular inspections and a routine of preventative action can dramatically reduce the risk of things going wrong at exactly the moment you don’t want them to.
A problem with your commercial roof, if ignored, can become a very costly problem to deal with; damage on the outside can rapidly lead to damage on the inside which could be very expensive to repair or even lead to even more expensive closures and the associated cost to revenue and reputation that may arise.
So, what are the key reasons that can lead to damage and problems with a commercial roof, and the things we need to remain vigilant about when making our routine checks?
Poorly Maintained Roofs
If you are going to get serious about regular maintenance of your roof then it might be a good idea to start by inspecting for signs of wear and damage caused through neglect in the past.
When carrying out an inspection you’ll be able to spot signs of poor previous maintenance by noticing such things as residual water laying on the surface, or pocks and cracks in tiles which can weaken the overall integrity of the roof and lead to more expensive problems further down the line.
Identify any and all ‘small’ issues as part of your maintenance routine and fix them with relative ease while they are still minor issues, and you’ll save a lot of heartache and money in the future.
Leaks in the Roof
One of the most expensive and problematic issues a business can have in relation to its roof, is a leak. Left unnoticed or unrepaired they can escalate into a major problem with serious commercial ramifications: loss of business, expensive repairs, damaged reputation, higher future insurance premiums.
Routine inspections of the roof can go a long way to nipping this issue in the bud. It can’t entirely eliminate the threat of course because there may always be a natural and unforeseen occurrence – but in the main, you can show great diligence by identifying and fixing leak hazards as part of a regular maintenance programme.
Inspect the roof for slipped tiles or damage to things such as shingles and flashing. Check all the potential weak spots on the roof such as joints where wall meets roof, chimney stacks or skylights if they are present. If there is any sign of damage, repairing early is considerably cheaper than letting it slide.
Because a leak won’t repair itself; it’ll just get worse and more costly.
If there has been a storm or a recent bout of extreme weather then an inspection of the roof soon after can pay dividends in spotting potential problems from damage.
This might be things such as loose debris that has impacted on the roof during the storm, breakages in guttering or other forms of drainage – or blockages which can lead to standing water problems or flooding.
And of course, be mindful of damage that a storm can cause to commercial roof materials. Has the wind caused tiles to move, or flashing to become damaged? Has any guttering come loose or broken? Is there any loose foliage that has made its way to your roof by the storm that might cause an issue?
Inspect the Skylights
If your roof has skylights, or access points such as a door or hatch, then incorporate these aspects into your regular checks of your commercial roof.
As with anything within or upon a property, if left un-loved they can, over time, show signs of deterioration and damage. Again, bad weather can have an impact on the health of skylights in particular.
These windows, doors and other access points are susceptible to leak and damp problems around the seals and joints. A routine inspection, checking that there’s no damage to the windows and that the units remain watertight and sealed, can further ensure that the property in general remains well maintained. Repairing or touching up small issues will be a much more cost-effective measure than ignoring and waiting for it to become a major issue.
The roof of any commercial property is an extremely important of the building as a whole; if a problem occurs and is left unresolved, it can lead to some major issues and significant costs. You ignore its maintenance at your peril. So rather than wait for the worst to happen, if you are responsible for the upkeep of the commercial property then take the initiative and proactive route. Build regular roof inspections into your property’s annual maintenance programme to ensure that all materials and the structure itself remains in perfect working order and not liable to fail when you need it most. As it is with every other aspect of your property, prevention is considerably less expensive, less stressful and less damaging than trying to find a cure, after the event.