The lifespan of your commercial roofing system can vary drastically depending on four primary factors:

  1. The design
  2. Roofing materials used and quality of workmanship
  3. Weather
  4. Maintenance

The first two items will depend primarily on working with an experienced and trusted roofing professional.  Weather is wildly outside of your control unless you are prepared to move far from Michigan.  The final item “maintenance” is the single most important factor in your roof’s longevity after installation.  Maintenance is completely within your control. It is inexpensive and easy to setup, yet commonly neglected.  Perhaps it’s the old adage, “out of sight, out of mind”, or we fail to realize how many critical components there are working together in a roofing system to maintain a watertight seal.  Either way maintenance is frequently neglected.

According to the National Roofing Contrators Association, proper preventive maintenance can add anywhere from 30% -100% service life to a commercial roofing system, making it much more cost effective to pay for the proper maintenance of your roof over it’s lifetime than to deal with costly repairs and early replacement.  Failure to properly maintain your roofing system can also void any warranties included with your original roof, leaving you liable for additional expenses and repairs. 

Roofing problems can also put your equipment, products and employees at risk especially dealing with Michigan’s climate.  A small leak can quickly result in a dangerous slippery floor, mold that could cause health problems, and water damage.

Now that you’re convinced you must perform regular maintenance on your commercial roof, how often do you need it, who will do it and what should they look for?

How often should you have your roof inspected?

You should have your commercial roof inspected a minimum of once per year, to minimize any minor damage created by our Michigan climate throughout the year.   If your roof is near the end of its lifespan and/or has serviceable mechanical equipment you may require more frequent inspections.

Who should conduct the inspections?

To save money, some business owners prefer to inspect their own roof. However, many business owners and managers have demanding schedules and don’t have time to routinely check the roof for wear and damage. Others, who do have the time, may not know what to look for. 

Some of the more obvious maintenance considerations include removing debris, and cleaning blocked drain grates and scuppers; but what about checking for loose metal edging or shrouds and missing caulking? Before you undertake a roofing inspection consider whether or not you have tools to help you determine if the waterproofing has failed?  Do you have a checklist to ensure your inspections are complete and consistent?  Will your warranty remain valid if you conduct the maintenance inspections even though you are not a professional?  These are all issues you should consider.

Routine Inspections by a roofing professional often include:

– Documentation of the inspection using detailed itemized forms, photographs, and a diagram of your roof.  This ensures that every aspect is consistently checked, and the results can be compared to other inspection findings over the lifetime of your roof.  It also makes it easier for the information to be clearly communicated to you. 

– Cleaning of the drains and removal of debris

– Infrared testing to look for and find thermal anomalies (hotspots) and evaluate waterproofing and insulation systems

–  Minor repairs at the time of the inspection upon your approval

–  Recommendations as to how to handle any immediate concerns as well as problem areas that will require attention in the future, and an estimate for any significant repairs that may need to be addressed.

To learn more about the commercial roofing maintenance programs offered by Springfield Commercial Roofing click here: Michigan Roofing Maintenance Programs

To ask a question about a roofing inspection or maintenance click here: Michigan Roofing Support


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