Advertisement

Building Maintenance Starts From the Top

A building’s roof is its first line of defense against natural hazards such as wind, rain, hail, ice, snow, and extreme temperatures.

Building Maintenance Starts From the Top

A building’s roof is its first line of defense against natural hazards such as wind, rain, hail, ice, snow, and extreme temperatures. Consequently, it also is one of the most vulnerable parts of a building.

Each day, a roof has exposure to weather and other elements that may contribute to decay and deterioration, increasing the risk of damage to the roof itself and the contents below it. Protecting your facility’s roof from weather damage will extend not only the roof’s longevity, but also the durability of the building.

The best way to strengthen a roof’s weather resistance is to follow a regular care and preventative maintenance plan. While routine roof maintenance may be an added expense to your budget, it will save you money in the long run compared to the cost of roof replacement.

Here are three tips to follow when creating a plan to secure the longevity of your roof:

Keep Your Roof Dry

One of the leading causes of roof failure is water—just a few inches of water from improper drainage can cause up to thousands of dollars worth of damage. Even after a light rain, an improperly maintained roof may collect water that could result in severe structural damage.

Following every rain, facility managers should:

  • Conduct a visual inspection of the roof to look for accumulating or puddling water.
  • Pay significant attention to the roof’s drainage system to guarantee there’s no water backup.
  • Inspect the downspouts to ensure there’s a good discharge through the gutters, and remove any debris that could cause a backup. Clogged gutters or fallen debris, such as leaves, branches, or overhanging tree limbs, can obstruct the flow of water on the roof.

If you do notice signs of puddling, look at the pitch and slope of the roof—is the water being routed in the correct direction for it to dissipate? If not, the roof’s pitch or slope may require correction. If your building has a flat roof, remove the water using a soft bristle broom or a push squeegee to prevent long-term puddling. Every flat roof is going to have a small amount of puddling; the goal is to minimize it and to prevent water from accumulating for more than 24 hours.

Additionally, look for areas where natural leaks could occur, such as pitch pans, air conditioning units, or any other spots where the roof has been penetrated to secure equipment. Properly seal and inspect these areas on a regular basis to prevent water from seeping through or transferring into the structure of the building. Conduct routine inspections to the interior of your building as well, looking at ceiling tiles and drywall for indications of staining or watermarks.

Prepare for Seasonal Changes

Your building’s roof is witness to the full impact of every season—the good, the bad, and the destructive. Putting a maintenance plan in place ahead of each season will ensure your roof is prepared to weather any storm.

Facility managers or building owners in the Midwest should set up inspections and maintenance programs in the fall, before the first freeze, to make sure the roof is free of debris. In the spring and summer, dirt that builds up on a roof’s surface, combined with moisture from seasonal showers and seeds carried by the wind, can quickly turn into an ecology system—complete with weeds taking root in your roof, causing cracks and other damage.

In regions that are subject to winter weather, such as snow and ice, preventative maintenance to your roof can drastically improve its longevity. Not only do ice and snow pose a water hazard to a roof, but the buildup of these elements can equate to thousands of pounds in weight, potentially resulting in structural damage to your building. Schedule snow removal services for your roof, just as you would for your facility’s parking lot and entryways, to safeguard it from winter hazards.

Falling icicles, which can puncture your roof, are a commonly overlooked winter hazard. If your building has any obstructions that hang over the roof, such as tree limbs or power lines, be sure to check them for icicle accumulation.

Budget for Prevention

Would you purchase a warranty for your car but not change the oil for five years? Of course not—your car is a major investment which requires proper maintenance to continue running smoothly and not void the warranty. The same can be said for your building’s roof. Too often, facility managers put off maintaining or even inspecting their facility’s roof before it’s too late, leaving them with no option except costly repairs.

Roof upkeep is an ongoing job for a building management team. A minor budget allocation for preventative care can potentially save you millions of dollars in the long run—don’t hesitate to make it a priority.

Posted On September 7, 2017

Ray Demes

Director of sales, CBS division for City Wide Maintenance of Kansas City

The company offers more than 20 facilities maintenance services, including janitorial, window washing, carpet cleaning, handyman services, and snow removal, to commercial properties. To learn more about Rob, Ray, and City Wide, visit www.gocitywide.com/kansascity.

Topics Tags

Also in Facility Management

Reopening Your Facility
May 11, 2020 Lori Strazdas

3 Steps to Take Before Reopening Your Facility

May 1, 2020 Chris Whiting

5 Best Practices for Reopening Your Facility

April 8, 2020 Laura Haupert

How Do I Get Rid of That Smell?

April 8, 2020 Amy W. Richardson

Facility Services Now

Sponsored in Facility Management

The Sequel is Never This Good
December 16, 2019 Sponsored by ProTeam

The Sequel is Never This Good

September 16, 2019 Sponsored by GEERPRES 

Perfect Combination for the Fight Against Cross-Contamination and HAIs

September 10, 2019 Sponsored by 3M BUILDING & COMMERCIAL 

Disinfection Tips for a Cleaner, Safer Floor Care Plan

June 6, 2019 Sponsored by ProTeam

Blue Valley Schools Go Cordless for Speed & Safety

Recent News

ISSA Signs Onto Letter Supporting Clean Start: Back to Work Tax Credit Act
June 2, 2020 CMM Daily News

ISSA Signs Onto Letter Supporting Clean Start: Back to Work Tax Credit Act

June 2, 2020 CMM Daily News

Read the May/June Issue of Cleanfax Online

June 2, 2020 CMM Daily News

COVID-19 Update: Weekend Protests May Increase Spread of COVID-19

June 2, 2020 CMM Daily News

Practice Caution During Community Clean-Ups

Building Maintenance Starts From the Top
Share Article
Subscribe to CMM