The beginning of football, the children returning to school and the advent of cooler temperatures are all signs that Fall is just around the corner. After another unique summer that brought us a wet May and June, a dry, hot July, and a cool, wet August, what can you do to prepare your roof system for the changing season, and make ready for, I hate to say it, Winter?
- First, go up and review your roof for signs of fatigue. Check for splits and cracks at transition points and projections, (i.e. stacks, vents, expansion joints, walls and perimeters). These take the brunt of the building movement as the temperature rises and falls. Check for dirt and debris that may have collected on the roof at drains, scuppers and gutters, and especially after the autumn leaves have fallen. Blocked drainage is a major cause of roof leaks when the late rains of October and November arrive. Look over the metal flashings for missing fasteners, splits or gaps in joints, and lifting. Check skylights to make sure they are not cracked or broken, and the glazing is still intact. Look over rooftop equipment to ensure panels are securely attached so water cannot penetrate through the inside into the building.
- Second, where possible, look at the perimeter of the building from the ground. Check for streaking or discoloration of the brickwork or siding. This could mean that water is penetrating the perimeter flashing, which could lead to structural damage to your wall. Also check for lifting in the corners, which may not be visible at the roof level.
- Third, walk the underside and look for stained ceiling tiles, streaks down drywall, and, where the deck is visible, rust. Small roof leaks will eventually lead to big problems if left unattended. Another thing to look for is sunlight coming through around projections. If you can see the sun, odds are you’re going to see water sometime soon.
- Once you complete your evaluation, note your findings on a roof sketch after you have completed your repairs. In this way, you will be sure to recognize leaks that become problematic, and may be caused by issues greater than simple aging of the system.
If you’re like most facilities managers or building owners, and you don’t have a great deal of free time to complete this type of work, give our Service Division a call. They will be glad to schedule an appointment with you to have one of our Service Representatives come out, perform a Roof Assessment, and provide you with a repair and maintenance proposal, where necessary. Please call 800-208-6308, and ask for Service. Let us do what we do best; help you extend the life of your roof and protect your investment for years to come.