After another summer that had its share of hot weather, cool weather, stormy weather and every kind of weather in between, the question facility owners and managers should be asking is: what has been the impact on my commercial roof, and is it prepared for taking on another (dare we mention the word?) winter?
Every passing season takes a toll on your roof. Hot and cold temperature fluctuations cause all roof components to expand and contract, creating pressure on vulnerable areas, such as changes in plane, transition points and projections (such as stacks, parapet joints, flashings and other penetrations).
A routine seasonal inspection should include, at a minimum, these potential rooftop problem areas:
- Signs of wear, such as membrane seams separating, bare spots in the membrane (e.g., scrim showing through), and areas with residual dirt, which is an indication of ponding water.
- Dirt and debris that may have collected on the roof at drains, scuppers and gutters, and other areas where water should flow. This is especially critical after leaves have fallen, because blocked drainage is a major cause of roof leaks following heavy rains that can occur in the late fall.
- Metal flashings that may have missing fasteners, joint gaps, or other separations.
- Skylights – making sure there are no cracks or breaks.
- HVAC units and other rooftop equipment. Access panels should be securely attached to keep water out of the equipment and out of your building.
- Check the perimeter of the building from the ground for streaks or staining of the exterior wall. If water is penetrating your roof’s perimeter flashing, structural damage is a possibility.
- On the inside of the building, look for discolored ceiling tiles and dirt or water streaks on walls. If you can see the underside of the roof deck, check for rust. All can be indicators that your roof’s watertight integrity has been compromised.
If your fall inspection uncovers potential problem areas, especially as we anticipate the onset of harsher weather, give us a call. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss your roofing needs at your earliest convenience.