5 Simple Steps to Extend the Life of Your Commercial Roof

A commercial building’s roof is easily one of the most vulnerable parts of the entire building. Beyond natural forces like rain, snow, and the sun’s heat gradually weathering and wearing it down over time, your roof is also at risk for damage from severe disasters like tornadoes and hurricanes as well as through high foot traffic or abuse.

Installing a new roof on a commercial building is quite a large investment, so it’s important to do what you can to increase its longevity. This may seem like a difficult task, but there are five simple tips that you can start implementing right away that will help you on your way to prolonging the life of your roof and getting the most out of it.

You can start extending the life of your commercial roof today by:

1. Inspecting Your Roof

You’ll never know the best next step to take to protect your roof if you don’t know its current status, so arguably the single most important thing you can do to protect it is to have it inspected on a regular basis. This includes inspecting the roof itself as well as the interior, including any adjacent walls and ceilings.

With a dedicated inspection schedule in place, you’ll be able to identify problems as quickly as possible, allowing you to fix them before they have a chance to snowball into bigger issues. Many of the problems that a leaky roof causes aren’t visible from the outside, so finding problems early is vital if you don’t want to find yourself knee-deep in water damages.

For the best protection, schedule roof inspections bi-annually, once in the Spring and once in Fall. This way, whether it be heavy snow or blistering heat, you’ll know what damage your roof has sustained over the previous six-month period so that you can rest assured that it’s protected for the next.

Just make to hire a licensed and qualified professional for your inspection. A poorly-executed inspection could miss important details and even directly contribute to the problem and make it worse, so it pays to find a licensed roofing company for your building.

2. Trimming the Surrounding Trees

Overhanging branches can do damage to your roof by grinding against your roof, which can cause scrapes and even punctures in severe situations. If the offending tree is old or diseased, a forceful gust or a storm can rip its branches off entirely, acting as a wrecking ball if your roof happens to be in its path.

Clipping the overhanging branches on hovering trees is an easy preventive action to avoid great damage to your roof and your building as a whole.

3. Removing Debris and Leaves

One simple step to making your roof last longer is simply to keep it clean. In addition to bigger threats like falling tree limbs, even usually-harmless debris like leaves, pine leaves, and other small objects can pile up and hold in moisture, leading to mold and water damage gradually deteriorating the protective roof membrane.

This factor is what makes overhanging moss such a threat to the roofs of many buildings. Gutters should also be thoroughly inspected, as dead leaves and other trash tends to build up inside them, which can lead both to structural problems with the gutter’s weight and water damage from holding in so much moisture.

However, moisture is not the only potential hazard that a dirty roof poses. If you are in a drier climate, debris on and around your roof can lead to wildfires that can turn your problem into a safety issue for the entire town.

Many commercial roof warranties also require that the roof is kept clean to remain in effect, so keeping your roof free of any debris can also protect you in the event that a replacement is necessary.

4. Replacing Missing or Damaged Elements Immediately

When one shingle falls off the roof, it loosens up the rest and makes it easier for the next storm or high gust takes more down. In the realm of roofing, problems left unresolved can snowball quickly; all it takes is one loose shingle coming off to set the rest in motion, like the first domino that eventually causes all the rest to fall.

After your roof has been professionally inspected by a qualified roofing contractor and all problem areas have been catalogued, don’t waste any time in making all the necessary repairs. All it takes is one gap in protection for water to get in and rot the entire roof system, so once you’re aware that a problem exists don’t hesitate to contact a professional to fix it.

Paying for repairs immediately may be more expensive in the short-run but will undoubtedly pay off in the long run. After all, wouldn’t you rather pay for the replacement of a few parts to your roof than the whole thing?

5. Installing Roof Ventilation

Roof ventilation is built to stretch a roof’s effective lifecycle by reducing heat buildup, improving its airflow, and protecting it against seasonal weather changes. Simply put, roof ventilation keeps your roof from getting overheated during warm months while simultaneously preventing damage from warm, moist air from rising into the roof membrane during cooler periods.

Using ventilation to maintain a low temperature throughout a roof system also carries the added benefit of allowing you to control any ice dams caused by melting snow.

Want more great tips and strategies you can use to get more out of your business’s roof? Download our free informative guide, The Bone Dry Guide to Commercial Roofing Maintenance, and get a better roof over your head today.