2015 has ended and you know what that means: lots of resolutions for how you’ll live a better, healthier, kinder, neater, and more punctual life in 2016. Many of those resolutions will be long forgotten by the time the first spring flowers make their presence known, but there are some you really should keep: like the ones about ramping up your roof maintenance and care.
Doctors like to point out that it’s both cheaper and easier to take preventive steps for staying healthy than it is to treat and recover from an illness, and the same is true for your roof. By giving roof maintenance and overall management the time and attention, it deserves, you can both protect your investment and save yourself a lot of hassle. These are just a few of the “resolutions” that should be on your roofing to-do list.
1. Conduct Regular Inspections
During your roof inspection look for things like rips in the membrane, loose expansion joints, corrosion, pooling water, parts of the roof that are sagging, unsteady roof walkways, bends or ripples in the roof supports, missing shingles, and damaged or leaking equipment. Inspect your roof as well as any equipment, supports, and roof walkways once per quarter and after any severe weather event.
2. Make “Housekeeping” a Scheduled Event
Even in between inspections, you still need to visit your roof frequently to remove things like leaves, branches, and snow. The longer these items lay on your roof, the greater the risk of puncture and the harder roof maintenance becomes. And, even without a puncture, debris can trap water, which causes its own damage. As a preventive measure, trim trees of low-hanging branches that could fall on your roof and damage the surface.
3. Keep Good Records
If you ever need to use your roof’s warranty, you’ll have to prove that you complied with routine maintenance requirements. Record every inspection and repair, including the date, the time, the name of the employee, any problems that were discovered, and any maintenance that was completed. And, in addition to inspection and maintenance records, it’s also a good idea to track rooftop access, recording the name and employer of anyone who steps onto your roof. This could help you prove liability in the event a contractor damages your roof.
4. Protect Your Roof by Investing in Protecting Equipment
Think of rooftop pipe supports, walkways, and equipment as a vaccination. They “inoculate” your roof from things that are known to cause harm. Rooftop pipe supports are a good example. Putting pipes and other equipment directly on the surface of your roof is a great way to cause serious damage (not to mention invalidating your warranty). Roof supports absorb the naturally occurring movement of pipes and equipment, buffering the roof from their effects. And roof walkways protect against foot traffic, ensuring that workers don’t cause damage while they’re trying to prevent it.
5. Make Safety a Priority
Roofing is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. While your roof maintenance workers may be at a lower risk than full-time roofers, it’s still a dangerous job. And it’s up to you to make it as safe as possible. At the bare minimum, you must be in compliance with all OSHA regulations. And, to be in compliance, you have to understand what the regulations are. Many companies unintentionally violate OSHA regulations simply due to lack of awareness. For example, many employers don’t realize that fall protection is required starting at six feet. Protect both your employees and your company by making safety a priority.
You may forget about your diet in February, and you may stop going to the gym in March. But rooftop management deserves to be a priority all year long. The stakes are simply too high to not do everything you can to help your commercial roof live a long and healthy life.