Here in Minnesota, commercial roofs take a lot of punishment. Scorching heat in summer, frigid cold and heavy snowfall in winter—it’s a lot for any roof to handle. A quality commercial roof can last 40 years or more, but it requires diligent maintenance and care to stay healthy for it’s full lifetime.
Of course, as a business owner, you understand a new roof is a major investment. The longer you can go without roof replacement, the better. Here’s how to make your commercial roof go the distance.
Understand the Causes of Commercial Roof Damage
Prolonging the lifespan of your commercial roof starts with understanding the causes of roof problems. Because most commercial roofs are flat or low-slope, they are vulnerable in different ways than sloped residential roofs. These are some of the most common causes of commercial roof damage:
- Severe weather such as heavy snow, hailstorms or extreme wind and rain
- Poor installation technique
- Expansion and contraction due to continuous heat and sun exposure
- Standing water
- Change in building use
- Buildup of organic matter such as algae, moss and plant debris
- Inconsistent maintenance and repairs
Schedule an Annual Inspection
We generally recommend having all commercial roofs inspected twice annually, once in the spring and once in the fall. But at a bare minimum, your roof should be inspected by a professional at least once a year, whether you’ve noticed any roof issues or not. This is essential to the continued health and longevity of your roof.
Having your roof inspected is a lot like going to a doctor for a check-up. It’s about preventing future problems, and catching small issues now before they become too serious. This is especially important on commercial roofs, because a lot of problems are difficult to detect in their early stages.
Leaks, for example, often travel horizontally along seams on a flat roof, and you may not notice them until significant water damage starts to occur. But a roofing professional with a trained eye can catch these kinds of problems during an annual inspection. Routine inspections are also useful because they make it possible to track your roof’s aging process and develop a maintenance plan.
Look and Listen
It’s important to remain vigilant when it comes to your commercial roof. Keep your eyes and ears open! Listen for unusual sounds such as the scurrying of animals or the squeaking and banging of loose sections of roofing. Any time you can catch a problem early, it makes it less likely it will turn into a big problem later on.
If a severe storm passes through, check your roof for damage, standing water and fallen limbs afterward. One of the benefits of a flat roof is you can safely go up there and check on it yourself, and then contact a professional for a more detailed inspection if anything seems amiss.
Keep Up With Commercial Roof Maintenance
The single most effective way to make your commercial roof last longer is to keep up with its maintenance. There are a handful of maintenance tasks you may be able to handle on your own, but as a general rule commercial roof maintenance is a job which should be done by a qualified professional.
The cost of roof maintenance varies depending on the size, configuration, type, material and age of your roof. But maintenance is always more affordable than having to have your roof replaced. It’s as simple as that. These are a few of the things that are included in a commercial roof maintenance plan:
- Thoroughly checking all seams for signs of leakage
- Cleaning the roof surface of moss, plant matter, dirt and other debris
- Checking for signs of roof damage and weathering, including blistering, cracking, scratches, tears or holes
- Monitoring expansion and contraction due to changing temperature
- Investigating standing water
- Inspecting common ‘problem areas’ including flashings, areas around vents, chimneys and pipes, and HVAC mounting systems
- Cleaning gutters and/or drain baskets
- Making sure all fasteners and seams are secure
- Generating a full report at the end of each maintenance visit
Use a Trusted Roofing Contractor
Always work with roofing professionals you trust, and who understand the specific challenges faced by commercial roofs in the Midwest. Working with the same roofing company over and over again is ideal because it keeps roof inspections and maintenance consistent. You and your contractor can keep track of your roof’s needs, and develop a preventative maintenance plan to make your roof last longer.
Contact us today to learn more about working with Midwest Roofing Siding & Windows for all your commercial roof needs in the Twin Cities area and beyond. We’re a locally owned company with more than 40 years of roofing experience. We’re proud to offer superior service, fair prices, and a lifetime workmanship warranty.