Five Considerations that Impact Your Roof’s Lifespan
How long will my commercial roof last? This is one of the most frequently asked questions in our industry. Your roof has a predictable lifespan that depends on the material, installation quality, and geographic location of your building. However, there are additional factors that may impact the longevity of your roof. If you’re a building manager or owner, here are five considerations that will play a role in your roof’s lifespan.
1. Understand how your operations will affect your roof.
In some cases, your building’s internal operations will compromise the integrity of your roof. For example, chemicals, grease, or other byproducts of manufacturing or cooking processes may settle on your roof. It’s critical to ensure that you are properly removing potentially harmful substances from the roof surface. If your operations require storing heavy equipment on the roof, the pressure or stress of that weight can decrease your roof’s lifespan. It can be advantageous to install an additional layer of roofing membrane around venting components or equipment for supplementary protection.
Another major factor to consider is foot traffic. If people are continuously accessing your roof to maintain equipment, the high level of activity will also contribute to wear and tear on the roof system. By monitoring and controlling roof access, you can better manage roof foot traffic and reduce the need for significant repairs.
2. Keep your roof clean.
To function properly, your roof must be kept clean. Anything that collects on the roof surface should wash away or be removed. Otherwise, the build-up could result in catastrophic damage. Schedule routine maintenance and remove organic debris to prevent clogs and pooling which can cause additional stress on the roof system. Debris that’s left unattended could potentially be moved by high winds, which can also cause damage to your roof.
If you have trees near your building, prune them in a way that prevents overhanging limbs from your roof. This practice will also help deter wild animals from invading your roof and leaving behind telltale signs of their visit.
3. Coordinate regular inspections and maintenance services.
Preventative maintenance and proactive repairs will dramatically increase the lifespan of your roof. The ideal schedule to adopt is one that aligns with weather changes. Spring and fall are prime seasons to plan your inspections because they follow extreme temperature cycles.
It’s also prudent to monitor weather, especially high winds, and conduct a visual inspection after an event has passed. Keep an eye out for unsecured equipment, loose objects, or other debris. A heavy wind event can even dislodge larger items like HVAC panels, leading to significant roof damage if the wind moves them across the roof.
4. Monitor your roof for damage and repair it immediately.
Do not delay needed repairs! Roof system damage will eventually result in a leak. Water entering a breach in your roof system will quickly wreak havoc on your roof system’s components and building interior. The importance of fixing damage as soon as it’s discovered cannot be overstated. The longer you wait, the higher the cost of repairs and the greater the negative impact on productivity.
5. Choose a reliable commercial roofer.
Choosing a reliable roofer for installation, maintenance, and repairs is essential to prolonging the life of your roof. At Mid-South, we far too often encounter the consequences of substandard work and have to remedy a client’s poorly-constructed roof. There are dozens of inexperienced roofers out there who claim to be experts but leave a trail of disappointed customers. Find a company that not only makes claims but backs them up with quality work and great customer service.
Your roof protects everything inside of your building—both people and property. Take the time to be selective about who you are hiring to protect that investment. Our team will be the first to tell you that the company with the best value will not be the cheapest. At Mid-South, our core values drive us to do the right thing in the right way for the right reasons. We promise our clients that we will communicate honestly, perform quality work, adhere to manufacturer specifications, and design a roof system that will stand the test of time.
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