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Fall Maintenance Checklist for Commercial Roofs

Posted by Art Valentz on September 21, 2022

With the changing season, it’s time to think about fall readiness and eventual winter prep through commercial roof maintenance. Your commercial rooftop went through a lot this year! High heat in summer and cold nights in spring and winter could have caused damage to your commercial roof. 

Now that the cold weather is coming around again, it's important to know your roof's status and to inspect areas that can degrade over time. Knowing the condition of your roof and taking steps to protect your roof from future storms can help prolong your roof's service life. 

Clean the Roof and Remove Debris

Debris causes damage to rooftop materials in a variety of ways. By locking in moisture, debris like leaves, paper and organic materials can lead to the degradation of materials like caulk, rubber and more. Other debris, like branches and sharp objects, can cause punctures on rooftop surfaces, leading to small tears that get bigger over time. 

Clean your roof and remove debris before the onset of cold or rainy weather in fall. Never throw debris over the side of the roof. Use a trash bag to collect material to be brought down safely. 

Remember that walking on a rooftop membrane can cause a puncture. One way to mitigate the effects of foot traffic on your roof is to invest in a quality roof walkway system like the ones offered by PHP Systems/Design. If you do notice punctures, get them repaired as soon as possible.  

Inspect Seams and Expansion Joints

Seams and joints expand and contract throughout the year, especially in the summer when hot temperatures and colder evenings cause materials to heat up and cool down regularly. UV rays also cause materials like caulking to degrade over time. Seams that are left unprotected may become points of water intrusion.  

Inspect and re-caulk or reseal joints as needed. Ensure the caulking material you're using is compatible with your roofing material, to ensure best seal and longest service life. 

Repair of Membrane Punctures

Membrane punctures happen - especially as rooftops age. Check your roof for membrane punctures and contact a roofing company when one is discovered. Most punctures can be repaired with a patch. Contact a professional roofing company to get this job done. 

Seal Pipes

Vents and other rooftop protrusions are areas of vulnerability on your roof. Pipes are protected by flashing that seals around the vent and prevents water intrusion. Over time, this flashing can start to degrade.

Inspect the pipes on your commercial roof. Look for gaps between the flashing and pipe. Gaps are likely a point of water intrusion. Resealing pipes and closing those gaps can prolong your roof's service life. Unless your team has expertise in roofing, work with a roofing professional to get this done. To help preserve the integrity of your roof’s piping, consider installing roof pipe supports.

Add Safety Equipment/Rooftop Support Systems

Winter is a time of storms. High winds, ice storms and snow storms can cause damage that may require repairs. If this happens, you may need to walk on your roof to perform an inspection or rooftop repairs. Snow and ice can make rooftop surfaces hazardous, especially without the proper safety equipment. Add safety equipment, and rooftop support systems, including walkways, stairs and crossovers, to make your roof safer.

Rooftop support systems protect your roof from pipes and other equipment, while the safety equipment makes walking on - and performing repairs to - your roof easier. PHP sells a variety of supports and safety equipment to help with this. 

Remember that some of PHP's products are important for OSHA compliance. Maintaining a safe roof can help you avoid OSHA violations while you perform rooftop inspections this winter. 

Prevent Incidents Through Regular Maintenance

The key to preventing rooftop problems (as well as accidents on your roof) is to perform regular commercial roof maintenance and to install proper supports on your commercial roof. Whether you have a team of professionals who can maintain your commercial roof, or you're hiring a professional roofer to help with the repairs, it's important to keep up with maintenance.

PHP Systems/Design can help keep your roof in good condition. We sell a range of products including sustainable roof pipe stands and other equipment support products. As the inventor of the "zero penetrations" rooftop support system, we sell products you need to keep your roof in good condition. Contact us today to request pricing.

Topics: Roofing Management, Roofing Maintenance

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