Want To Make A 10-Year Roof Last 25? Here’s How!

Mid-South Roof systems team members atop Delta rooftop working on roof lifespan
Mid-South Roof systems team members atop Delta rooftop working on roof lifespan

Owners of large buildings with flat roofs know that they don’t have the same natural drainage possibilities of sloped roofs, and need more regular maintenance. They might not know, however, that neglecting regular roof maintenance is one of the worst things a building owner can do.

A well-built and properly maintained flat roof will last 18 to 25 years. A neglected roof is at risk of breaking down well before that, maybe even at 10 years. Building owners who choose to regularly maintain and inspect their roof asset make a practical investment of time and dollars to extend the life of the first line of defense against water intrusion into their building.

Seasonal Needs On Your Flat Roof

Flat roofs on large buildings should be inspected at least twice a year – in the spring and the fall -by a trained roofing specialist. By checking the roof in the fall, the inspector can see whether leaves or other blown debris are blocking drainage systems, such as scuppers. The inspector can also ensure the roof is ready for winter by looking closely for signs of potential leaks.

By checking the roof in the spring, the inspector can identify any winter weather damage. Buildings in snowy environments are at greater risk for water pooling on the surface in spring. The same goes for roofs subject to a lot of rain.

After-Storm Inspections

While twice a year is the suggested minimum, it is by no means the maximum. Inspecting the roof following a major storm is essential, especially if tall trees in the area could blow branches or other debris onto the roof and cause damage. Another source of damage after a strong storm can be man-made items that have blown across the roof (parts of RTUs, debris from other buildings, etc.). An inspection after a storm can stop minor damage from growing into a major problem.

Consider The Replacement Cost Before The Inspection Cost

Roof inspections do not have to be costly. The cost of replacing a roof surface is often calculated on a dollar-per-square-foot-ratio, but most roof inspections come in at a cents-per-square-foot ratio.

Despite the extra care flat roofs require, their maintenance does not need to be time consuming. By making sure a flat roof is inspected a few times a year, a building owner can ensure its 20 – 25 year roof lifespan.

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