We’ve been lucky so far this year in Atlanta as far as temperatures are concerned, but we’ve had a lot of rain and freezing temperatures could be right around the corner. So if you haven’t already taken action this season, it’s time to do your fall roof maintenance! Keeping your commercial roofing system in great shape is a priority for maintaining your property and protecting what’s inside.
Debris: the main reason fall roof maintenance is so important
Fall is the best time to perform an inspection because debris can accumulate and result in moisture build-up that wreaks havoc on a roofing system, especially when the moisture freezes. When leaves pile up on your roof, it holds in moisture, which causes the leaves to break down. This creates soggy, heavy debris pile-up that’s capable of clogging drains, promoting mold and putting too much weight on your roof. The water can also back up into your roofing system, creating leaks and structural issues.
Increased loads and decaying matter on your roof surface will eventually lead to degradation. Many times organic debris allows plant growth including rooting into the covering and penetrating the entire system resulting in substantial cracks or leaks. Fall roof maintenance typically includes removing all debris, making sure the drainage system is working properly and inspecting the entire surface to identify potential problems before more rain or ice and possibly snow enter the picture.
Freezing temperatures and catching problems early
In the Atlanta area, it doesn’t snow that often but when it does, it sure can mess things up — you might remember the couple inches in January 2014 that brought the city to a standstill. But just freezing temperatures alone, whether snow is involved or not, can have a big impact on your roof, regardless of the type of roof you have.
Here are a few potential problems that debris and freezing temperatures can cause:
- Small or large leaks
- Mold and mildew
- Animal infestations
- Waterflow issues
- Pooling of environmental or other contaminants
- Material degradation
- Hairline cracks along roof penetrations
- Damage to the roof covering
All of these problems can lead to expensive repairs down the road and impact the longevity of your roof and even your property value. Fall roof maintenance can help prevent them and should be on the to-do list of every property manager and owner, whether you’re responsible for a commercial building, educational facility, multi-unit residential property, church or any other commercial structure.
What needs to be done each fall?
A minimum of two roof maintenance inspections per year is typically recommended, with the most beneficial times being in the fall and spring. During your fall roof maintenance, the top priorities are debris removal (of course!) plus:
- Draining system clearing
- Material Inspection
- Roof penetrations inspection
- Identifying any potential problem areas
- Minor repairs and sealing
After the inspection, your roofing professional should discuss with you any damaged coverings, cracks, missing materials and other issues that need to be repaired before freezing temperatures will make them worse. You should also get recommended next steps and information about any items of concern that need monitoring. All recommendations should also be backed up with photos and include price quotes.
On average, a commercial roofing system will experience a 25% increase in duration of life when you maintain it properly. Taking care of small problems before they become big ones is key, and an inspection with maintenance in the fall is your first line of defense for identifying trouble spots. Roofs perform better and last longer with the right maintenance routine, starting now.
At Sentry Roof, we have seen countless examples of what happens when fall roof maintenance is not made a priority — it’s why we developed our Sentry Roof Care program. Our team is here to help you develop the annual maintenance plan that’s right for your property and includes fall roof maintenance to protect your building, keep your maintenance costs down and help ensure better overall performance from your roofing system. Stay warm out there!
You may also like: