Regular Roof Maintenance Eliminates the Need for Repairs

Article By James T. Rothery

The roof of a building exists to shelter a building’s contents from weather, and to regulate the interior temperature. During the summer, the roof traps cooler air inside of the building while in the winter it keeps warmer air indoors. Given how the roofing structure functions, a structure with leaks or cracks poses both short-term issues (including higher energy bills) and long-term problems (such as damage or injury to the building’s occupants). The best way for a building owner to minimize the risk of these problems is by performing regular roof maintenance. Major roof repair needs are expensive, so paying a little bit now to have a company inspect the structure will save building owners a lot of money down the road.

In a recent study commissioned by a national roofing association, it was determined that 35% of all roofing structures in the United States fail to meet their life expectancy. Individuals budget a certain amount of money when purchasing a new roofing structure but will end up spending more than intended if the roof needs to be replaced before the end of its expected life. One reason that individuals are stuck replacing a roof before they intended is because they do not perform regularly scheduled inspections and roof maintenance. When detected early, cracks and leaks can be fixed by a roof repair company before these problems grow into larger issues. By putting off a major roof repair job, the building owner turns small issues into more costly dilemmas.

Other reasons for premature roof failure are subpar workmanship, poor design, trapped moisture, faulty materials, roof traffic, weathering, and mechanical damage. However, these issues will be uncovered by hiring a qualified roofing company to complete an inspection. Some professionals recommend that individuals complete a roofing inspection once per year, but the best strategy is to schedule two inspections: one during the spring and one for the fall. Since different climates bring a different array of issues, scheduling an inspection at each point will allow the building owner to catch problems right when they first appear.

The most thorough inspections will not overlook the gutters, nails and shingles. Instead of allowing one loose shingle to leak water into the walls and ruin the whole roof, a roof maintenance company should check shingles and nails. A clogged gutter can also lead to water accumulation, which will then cause leaks and mold to develop. A qualified roofing company will be thorough in its inspections, checking each of these elements to identify problems so that the roof is structurally sound over the long haul.

By frequently completing a roofing inspection, building owners will develop a complete written history of their structure. The company can track roof repair expenses so that it can budget future repair costs or get a better idea of when a replacement will be necessary.

While a roofing company might recommend a small roof repair following the inspection, these repairs will be less expensive than having to replace a new roof. Prevent expensive repairs or premature roof failure by hiring a qualified roof maintenance company to perform regularly scheduled maintenance.

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Establishing a program of regular inspections and proper maintenance.

Article as posted on NRCA

Roofing professionals generally agree that a good roof system requires proper design, quality materials and quality application to perform successfully. Yet once the roof system is installed, nothing is more critical to its long-term performance than establishing a program of regular inspections and proper maintenance.

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) believes that the most effective way to achieve long-term roof system performance is for the building owner to have a formal, long-term relationship with a professional roofing contractor. A professional roofing contractor:

  • Understands local building practices.
  • Understands different roof systems and can make recommendations concerning which type of system is best for a particular building.
  • Has a trained and experienced workforce.
  • Can respond quickly should a problem arise.
  • Is well established in the community, so the owner understands with whom he is dealing.
  • Works in, and gives back to, his local community.
  • Understands the local business environment and knows how to complete the work.

NRCA has expressed concerns regarding the long-term warranties offered by many roofing material manufacturers because warranties do not necessarily provide assurance of satisfactory roof system performance. Warranties often contain provisions that significantly limit the warrantor’s liability and the consumer’s remedies in the event that problems develop or damage occurs to the roof system.

Instead, NRCA believes that the best way for a building owner to ensure satisfactory post-installation roof system performance is to have a formal, long-term maintenance agreement with a professional roofing contractor. Maintenance programs typically offer the following advantages:

  • A maintenance program is proactive (rather than reactive). It can help to identify problems at their early stages, while they can be corrected and before they become catastrophes.
  • Regular maintenance can reveal and address sources and causes of leaks before they occur. Too many owners have their roof systems examined only after a leak occurs.
  • A maintenance program allows for a planned, organized approach to management of a roof asset and allows for responsible, timely preparation of long-term capital expenditures.
  • Response time to address leakage problems is greatly improved. Warranty repairs, on the other hand, can take time to be processed, while the problem remains unresolved.

Building owners should take care in selecting a roofing contractor to perform the maintenance work.