One of the most critical parts of any industrial or commercial structure is the roof. When solid and in good condition, it shields the property’s interior against the sun, rain, snow, and other elements caused by nature. However, most people only notice the importance of a roof when something fails—mostly when the roof starts to leak.
Facility managers are in charge of several aspects of building maintenance. A flawed or damaged roof can impact the structural integrity of the entire building and lead to further repairs. So it must receive inspection and maintenance periodically to identify any damage before it can get worse.
Consider a few strategies to mitigate damages and conduct effective repairs in this essential (and often overlooked) asset.
Why is Roof Repair Important?
The best way to maintain a roof’s good condition is to perform regular inspections and preventive maintenance. The number one reason to invest time and money in roof repair is to avoid replacement. Repairing and addressing roofing issues is far less costly and requires less construction time than replacing the whole structure.
Here are some things to consider when addressing necessary repairs on the roof:
- Drainage Systems– Check that the current roof drains and gutters are providing adequate water drainage. The best way to find out if everything is working well is to identify the formation of puddles on the roof after rain, especially if the water remains accumulated for days. So remember to always check the roof after storms.
- Roof Membrane– A membrane is the watertight covering placed on the roof to prevent infiltration. As it is directly affected by the weather, the roof membrane requires constant inspection.
- Leaks and Infiltrations– Leaks can cause interruptions in production, damage to the structure, and even stock loss. If the roof leaks for a while, the problem may be the insulation or structural deck under the membrane. Check the extent of the damage before doing any maintenance: sometimes, just covering it can simply aggravate the situation.
Think Long Term
Do you know the saying “Spending good money after bad”? It applies perfectly to this case: whenever considering costs, it can be tempting to be partial toward cheaper options. However, it’s vital to consider long-term costs as well. Opting for cheaper materials or less costly contractors could lead to issues further down the road. Also, several sophisticated analyses that require funds can accurately assess damages that otherwise would go unnoticed.
Trying to save on the maintenance budget and only thinking in the short term are common mistakes that can cause the structure to wear out quickly. Choosing the best coverage solution is an investment that will pay off in the long run, while quick solutions can evolve into severe problems in the meantime.
Preventative maintenance has been proven to be one of the most significant cost savers for facility managers. This upkeep system involves regularly scheduling repairs and coordinating technicians to perform regular maintenance services.
However organized as your team is, sometimes work orders accumulate or are left unfulfilled. Getting the right facilities management software to perform these duties can help. With this tool, you can keep track of information like when the last roof inspection and maintenance took place, who handled it, how long it took, and what the issues were. Others who need this information will be able to reference it easily. You can even use the software to schedule the next service.
Know Your Building Code
Many people performing roof maintenance make the mistake of failing to confirm that the material being used in the repair is compatible with the existing system. As vital as roofs are for a building’s integrity, it’s essential to understand current building codes before creating repair systems.
Drainage, weather conditions, and other environmental factors should be considered when outlining an effective maintenance program. Building codes also require that the products and materials used in the repair works comply with applicable test standards to ensure the safety of everyone. These codes and standards are updated regularly, so you and your team must keep up to date. Check with the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) for more information.
The Importance of a Solid Roof
As President John F. Kennedy once said, “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.” In other words, don’t wait for the first signs of problems to ensure that your facility’s roof is well maintained. Each roof has its lifetime, but how long it will truly last depends on many external factors to which the covering is exposed: frequent rain or violent storms, heatwaves, pollution, for example.
All of this and poor maintenance can decrease the durability of the entire system. Implementing a solid plan for preventive roof maintenance is critical to keeping it intact and flawless.