As the proud new owner of your own commercial building for your expanding small business, you likely want to take steps right from the beginning to protect this investment. While it's no secret that the flat roofs on most commercial buildings will eventually require repairs and replacement, you may not be aware that something as simple as an annual inspection can help minimize those repairs and extend the life of the roof. Further, performing your own monthly inspections between the professional annual inspection appointments can further help you protect your roof. Learning about your roof features can help you complete these inspections.
As soon as possible, schedule a walk-through with a commercial roofing contractor so they can introduce you to the important parts of your roof. It helps to do this walk-through with a scale drawing of the roof so you can make notes where necessary. There are four key rooftop features you need to be familiar with:
1. Drainage systems
The drainage system includes everything from external and internal drains to gutters and even rooftop sump pumps. Flat roofs typically have a combination of perimeter drains or gutter systems, along with a central drain that follows an internal drain pipe into the building's sewer system. Drains can get blocked easily with debris, which traps water on the roof and can lead to weight issues or even a collapse. Knowing the location of every drain means you can find and remove blockages before they are an issue.
2. Rooftop appliance units
Rooftop appliances are anything that protrudes from the roof, such as the HVAC system, vent pipes, or antennas. Where these connect to the roof can be a weak spot where leaks may occur. Note the location of each and where their points of attachment are when applicable. When performing a monthly inspection, the points of attachment are the main concern -- you want to make sure no gaps have formed and that any fastener assemblies are still properly attached to the roof.
3. Flashing and expansion joints
Flashing is sometimes used to cover the seams between roofing membranes or around the base of a rooftop appliance. It may be bare metal or it might have a layer of roofing tar spread over it. Over time, wind and wear can lift up flashing, which will allow water beneath and lead to a leak. Learn to recognize the flashing so it's easier to spot damage.
4. Working surface
Some commercial roofs are not meant to be walked upon, as this can damage the membrane. In this case, they will have a working surface -- predetermined pathways that have been reinforced so that maintenance crews can walk safely on the roof. Generally, these pathways are easy to spot because the surface will be slightly different. You can even mark the location of these paths with paint to minimize accidental walking on the non-reinforced areas. Your contractor can show you where the paths are if this pertains to your roof.
Once you have an understanding of your roof, planning a quick monthly inspection -- to be completed by you or your maintenance staff -- will ensure you catch problems early. Contact a commercial roofing service for more help.
Hello, I'm Erica. Welcome to my site about roofing services. We moved into a home in the middle of a stormy country. Although the roof was nice when we moved in, the constant barrage of storms quickly changed its construction. The shingles flew off and flashing unwound until the roof looked awful and started to leak. At that point, we knew we needed to act fast. Luckily, with one call to a roofer, we scheduled the repairs needed to keep it in great shape, even through future storms. I will use this site to talk more about how our roof was repaired and storm proofed.