Commercial Roof Maintenance Checklist: 7 Steps to Improve Your Roof’s Lifespan

Commercial Roof Maintenance Checklist: 7 Steps to Improve Your Roof’s Lifespan

Protecting the commercial roof over your head isn’t just a safety measure; it’s the best way to protect your wallet too. Having a commercial roof maintenance checklist on hand is the best option to prevent unexpected, costly repairs.

Whether it’s preventing ice dams or keeping an eye out for water stains, the cheapest (and safest) way to take care of your commercial roof is with preventative maintenance.

After installing a beautiful new commercial roof, why not maximize your investment by taking proper care of it? Use our simple 7-step commercial roof maintenance checklist to ensure everything stays intact for as long as possible.

What Happens if I Don’t Check My Commercial Roof?

The biggest destructor of commercial roofs is the one element we have no control over the weather.

In the winter months, ice dams and frozen water add weight to your roof leading to cracks and collapses. When the weather heats up, rainfall and wind storms affect your gutters leading to improper drainage.

After any sort of storm, inspecting your commercial roof is important, as even the smallest of problems lead to expensive repairs (or replacements).

If you do not follow a commercial roof inspection checklist, expect your commercial roof to last decades less than those that have been routinely inspected. While repairs are sometimes pricy, a replacement can cost anywhere from $25,000 to above $50,000, depending on the building.

Simply put, if you don’t keep up with regular maintenance and have a clear commercial roof maintenance checklist, you’re limiting the lifespan of your roof and potentially costing yourself thousands of dollars in repairs.

Simple 7-Step Commercial Roof Maintenance Checklist

Depending on the weather conditions, maintenance, and building materials, commercial roofs can last anywhere between 10-40 years. 

While weather conditions are out of your control, you are going to want a clear and understandable maintenance plan to make sure your commercial roof lasts as long as possible.

We designed our simple 7-step commercial roof maintenance checklist as a mix of record-keeping, scheduling recurring appointments with roofing professionals, and in-house cleaning, all to make sure you maximize your commercial roof’s lifespan.

1. Schedule Routine Maintenance Checks

Commercial Roof Maintenance Checklist: Group of 3 looking over commercial roof blueprints

Nothing is more important than a regular check-up. You do it for your car; you schedule cleanings for your teeth. Why not do it for your roof too?

You should schedule a commercial roof inspection twice a year that way; you can address any potential leaks or issues quickly. If there is a severe weather event, you might want to call a trusted roofing company earlier.

During a routine commercial roofing inspection, trained professionals will climb onto the roof and check for leaks, proper flashing, and other exterior equipment. These bi-annual check-ups are beneficial for catching any minor problems before they become expensive ones.

2. Maintain and Collect Detailed Records

If anyone is going up on your roof, you should maintain a record of it. Jot down the company or employee’s name, the date, and other pertinent information.

You may also want to keep track of the size, materials used, and type of roofing system your building has.

The more information you can provide to roofing inspectors or contractors, the easier it will be for them to assess your commercial roof and identify potential problems.

3. Unclog Gutters and Drains

There are many reasons you should frequently unclog your gutters and drains on a commercial roof. Still, the most obvious reason is to avoid ponding.

Ponding is standing water on your roof due to inefficient draining. Water can weigh a lot, and unfortunately, the longer it sits on your commercial roof, the likelihood of buckling, mold, and even a collapse increases.

If the weather gets cold, the leaves and debris inside your gutters will freeze, thus creating another blockage.

Avoid all of these terrible outcomes by keeping your gutters and drains unclogged. 

If you are unsure of best practices or uncomfortable on your roof, reach out to Ridgeworth Roofing, and a roofing professional can clean your gutters for you.

4. Get Leaks Fixed Right Away

No one wants a leaky roof. But outside of water dripping inside your building, did you know there are even more dangers to a commercial roof leak?

First, if you have a leak in your roof and it’s cold outside, there is a possibility that the water will freeze in the crack making the leak even larger. That larger hole can lead to a roof collapse or structural damage.

Second, the longer you leave a leak, the more likely it is that you’ll have mold or mildew issues. Mold and mildew stink leads to various other unwanted medical problems.

Lastly, depending on where the leak is, there are fire hazards. You don’t want water dripping on shorted wires.

After rain and storm storms, you must check your ceilings for any leaks to prevent structural and water damage.

5. Prepare for Snow Removal

Commercial Roof Maintenance Checklist: Using a forklift to clean snow off a commercial roof

Snow is heavy. So heavy that a cubic foot of wet snow could weigh up to 15 pounds. That weight leads to various problems, including potential roof collapses and structural damage.

Suppose you see visible sagging, major roof leaks, or creaking and popping sounds. In that case, you might have a roof that’s under too much pressure: the more pressure, the higher likelihood of roof failure.

You also need to worry about ice dams forming on your commercial roof.

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. Ice dams can rip off gutters or cause water leakage through the ceiling if not taken care of in time.

When there is snow on your roof, we recommend using a rake to clear it off or calling a roofing professional to help with snow removal.

Most importantly, if there is snow on your commercial roof, never step on your roof. Slipping and falling lead to serious injury.

6. Inspect Your Roof-Mounted Equipment

More than likely, you have some equipment mounted on top of your commercial roof. Some examples of roof-mounted equipment include satellite dishes, antennas, and additional HVAC equipment.

Since so much of this stuff is out in the open, the equipment is susceptible to nature’s wrath. Snowstorms, ice storms, and rain all lead to potential damage.

As part of your commercial roof maintenance checklist, you’ll want to check around roof-mounted equipment for any debris as it can lead to water ponding. Also, look out for any rust and ensure everything is still secured to the roof.

The last thing you want is for mounted equipment to cause damage to your commercial roof.

7. Check Roof-Edge Flashing

Commercial Roof Maintenance Checklist: Keep an eye on your commercial roof flashing.

Like most of commercial roof maintenance checklist items, keeping an eye on your metal roof edge flashing is vital to avoid water damage.

Roof flashing is a waterproof material designed to keep water from getting through your roof.

Look for cracks, rust, or warped metal (especially after a rain or wind storm) to identify whether or not you might have a roof edge flashing issue.

Keeping an eye out for damage to your flashing is the difference between a small leak and expensive structural damage.

Ridgeworth Roofing Commercial Roof Inspections

The trained professionals at Ridgeworth Roofing are veteran problem solvers dedicated to providing the best possible service on every commercial and industrial roofing job. We are here to help with any of your commercial roofing problems, from ice dam removal to routine inspections.

Call now to let Ridgeworth Roofing help you complete your commercial roof maintenance checklist.