Roof maintenance is an often neglected task, even though most companies are aware of the importance of having a solid, well-maintained roof on their building. If you are not sure whether your maintenance routine is optimal or it can do with a revision, here is how commercial roofs should be maintained:
- Get the roof checked twice a year by accomplished Colorado Springs commercial roofing contractors – getting your roof inspected and cleaned by a roofing contractor in spring and again in fall is the best way to ensure that any fault, even the smallest one, is caught in time;
- Do not neglect the drainage system – the gutters that surround your roof play a crucial role in preserving your roof in good condition, but they can do their job only if they are solid, correctly fastened and free from clogs, cracks and sagging. The semi-annual inspections should include the gutter pipes, too, but that is usually not enough – the pipes should be checked and cleaned after major weather events, such as storms;
- Maintain your landscape – if you have large trees with branches overhanging the roof, you should regular check those trees for weakened or dead limbs and you should cut off those branches to prevent any roof damage caused by fallen tree limbs.
Commercial roofing systems use very strong and durable materials, but their strength can be preserved only if they receive proper attention in the form of regular inspections and maintenance. Ideally, your roof needs to be inspected by a professional twice a year, once before summer, to check for any damage that might have appeared on the roof during the colder month and again in fall, to see whether the heat and the summer storms have caused any damage.
Here is what the process involves:
- Hiring a roofer – most fully licensed Colorado Springs commercial roofing contractors provide inspection and roof maintenance services for very affordable prices, just make sure the roofer you choose is properly insured;
- The inspection – your roofer will check the roof looking at it from the ground to detect any sagging, from the attic to check for holes that might let water through and from the level of the roof to inspect for any further damage in the gutter system and on the roofing materials. Your roofer will provide a written inspection report that summarizes the findings of the inspection and the proposed repairs;
- Roof cleaning – roof inspection should be associated with professional cleaning of the roof and of the drainage system.
Like any roof, the structures on commercial facilities can be successfully restored provided the intervention is timed right, before the roof is beyond repair. Even though many commercial roof owners choose the run-to-fail approach, completely neglecting maintenance and repair duties until the only solution is roof replacement, there are many signs that indicate roof faults that can still be repaired, prolonging the life of the roof.
Here are some:
- Leaks – commercial roofs are usually flat or low-sloping structures that are prone to water ponding. Any water that stays on the roof for too long weakens the roof surface and will eventually cause leaks to appear. Fortunately, most roof leaks are preventable with regular inspections and maintenance that includes the roof’s drainage system as well and repair is also easy if the intervention is started right after the first leak is noticed;
- Restoring strength – neglected roofs might become weaker and might threaten collapse when covered in thick blankets of snow. Inspections and timely repair action by recommended Colorado Springs commercial roofing contractors to address the issues detected will give back the strength of the roof, making it strong enough to face whatever the next winter brings along;
- Restoring energy efficiency – applying protective coatings that improve the roof’s reflectivity is also among the most important restorative activities. These common coatings can reduce the heat absorbed by the roof, thus preventing any damage caused by overheating and reducing the amount of heat transferred toward the building interior.
The roofs on commercial and residential buildings share lots of features, such as the need to be able to stand up to any weather, but they are also very different.
Here are some features that differentiate them:
- Size – commercial facilities usually cover larger square footage than residential applications, therefore commercial roofs are usually much larger than the roofs used on homes;
- Shape – while residential roofs feature a wide range of designs, from classic gable roofs and mansard roofs to shed roofs and flat roofs, commercial roofs are almost always flat structures;
- The materials used – residential and commercial roofs are different in terms of the materials they are made from. The most common options used on homes are asphalt shingles, composite shingles, clay and cement tiles, metal panels, tiles, shingles and shakes and slate. Credible Colorado Springs commercial roofing contractors confirm that commercial roofs use a different range of products that includes various membranes, such as TPO and EPDM, metal panels and built-up structures, such as tar and gravel roofs;
- The requirements – the most important qualities that residential roofs are expected to possess include resistance to the elements, attractive appearance, durability and low maintenance needs, many commercial application need to add to this range resistance to chemical spills and to heavy foot traffic.
Thermoplastic olefin, also known as TPO, is a type of popular, single-ply roofing material used on flat or low-sloping roofs on commercial or industrial buildings.
Here are some features that you should know about before you choose the material for your new roof:
- Structure, size and installation – TPO comes in white sheets comprised from three layers, a TPO base layer, a fabric core and another TPO layer on the top. TPO sheets come in two sizes: the sheets intended for commercial use are 0.080 inch thick and 3 feet or 12 feet wide and the sheets intended for residential applications that are 0.045 or 0.060 inch thick and 6.5 feet wide. The sheets are either fastened with adhesives to the roof cover board or are fastened mechanically;
- Color options – TPO sheets are available in white, grey or black;
- Benefits – TPO membranes are very affordable and they require very little maintenance. The sheets are very flexible, therefore resistant to tearing and punctures; they are resistant even to the strongest UV radiations as well as to the exposure to chemicals and they enhance the building’s overall energy-efficiency, thus contributing to reducing energy needs. In terms of durability, TPO roofs can last for up to 30 years.
For additional information about flat roofing materials, give leading Colorado Springs commercial roofing contractors a call for expert consultation. You can trust them to provide you with the best information you need to make informed decisions regarding your commercial property.
The snow must definitely be removed from commercial roofs! When snow accumulates in large quantities on the roof, it can cause different problems, even to the resistance structure. Icicles formed on gutters and water infiltration is other inconveniences that you may experience if you do not clean the snow on time from your roof.
In the case of commercial buildings with flat roofs, it is recommended to turn to professional roof cleaning services, because the task requires a very large volume of work, and snow and ice can make the surface slippery and dangerous to stand on.
Besides hiring specialized Colorado Springs commercial roofing contractors to remove the snow from your commercial roof, you must also make sure that your roof is properly insulated. A flat roof does not have a typical attic, so the heat rising from indoors can warm it up quickly, melting the snow, which is likely to refreeze and become ice.
Flat roofs are more susceptible to water leaks throughout the winter, precisely because of snow accumulations that melt slowly and maintain moisture on the roof for a long time. Additionally, it favors ice build-up in the drainage system, clogging it.
Additionally, when it snows heavily, do not underestimate the pressure put by snow on the structure of the roof!
Commercial and residential roofs fulfill very similar roles – they both provide the building underneath protection from the elements and they both ensure the thermal balances of the rooms on the building, to mention just the two most important functionalities. However, the requirements towards commercial roofs can be quite different from the expectations that residential roofing systems need to meet. Here are some specific roles for commercial roofs:
- Increased strength – unlike residential buildings, many commercial facilities need roofs that can be safely stepped on and walked on, therefore their support structures need to provide more stability and strength;
- Resistance to chemical spills – many commercial roofs need to be able to resist to chemicals, such as oils and acids, therefore they are made from special materials that provide that kind of resistance;
- Larger surfaces – commercial facilities are usually larger than residential buildings, therefore the roofing designs and materials they use need to be able for cater to that requirement, too;
- Efficient drainage – while the ability to shed water is important for both residential and commercial roofs, the roofs used on commercial buildings are usually flat structures that don’t get the extra help from the roof pitch that residential roofs get. This also means that the drainage system attached to commercial roofs needs to be installed by Colorado Springs commercial roofing contractors in a way to manage the increased workload.
Practiced Colorado Springs commercial roofing contractors will tell you that the right time to buy a new roof depends on the problems you experience with the old roof, your budget and also your preferences, because you can purchase a new roof for different reasons:
- Your existing roof is too old and not reliable anymore
- You want a new roof to have peace of mind when it comes to your safety and the money you spend
- You want a better product above your business, more suitable for the local climate or made from a material that requires less maintenance
- You do not know when the old roof was installed and you want to prevent experiencing a roof failure
- It just looks old and worn, and you are doing preventive maintenance on your home.
There are also some potential signs indicating that the right time to buy a new roof has come:
- Shingles are worn out and damaged (tabs are cupped, edges are curled etc.)
- There are visible signs of aging 3-tab asphalt shingles
- Your neighbors are getting new roofs and, in this context, your old roof will lower the value of your property
Just make sure that you take some time to plan the roof replacement project, as it is complex, involves different operations as well as a significant budget.
If you have a roof leak, the decision to repair it or replace the roof altogether depends on the overall condition of the roof and its age.
A new roof with a minor problem that allowed a bit of rain water to sweep in can and should be repaired; on the other hand, a roof that reached the end of its lifespan already, or is damaged beyond efficient repair, should be replaced, to avoid a potential disaster.
It is important to look for some important signs in order to know when it is time to make a plan for the replacement of your roof. Roof replacement Colorado Springs commercial roofing contractors can assess your home or business.
- The appearance of cracks – a wrong installation of the roof can lead to the appearance of cracks that allow water infiltration to affect the structure of the roof, weakening it more and more and degrading it.
- Corrosion – in the case of a metal roof, inferior quality of the materials as well as lack of ventilation and protection will allow corrosion. In this case, the metal will lose progressively its qualities and properties, which will lead inevitably to a rapid deterioration of the roof.
- Using roofing materials unsuitable for a particular geographical area
- Failure to follow installation recommendations – an inexperienced installer can irreparably damage a roof system
- Improperly waterproofing
You can expect a common roof to reach its lifespan after about 20 years. The perspective of a replacement may seem intimidating, because it is a complex project and it also requires a large financial investment, that`s why you must start planning in advance and be prepared when the time comes.
Luckily, there are also ways to save money on a roof replacement and instead of paying $20,000, which represents a midrange roof replacement, you can pay only up to $10,000.
The first thing you should consider is the fact that the price for a roof replacement varies greatly, depending on the materials you choose and the area of your roof. Obviously, there is nothing you can do about shrinking your roof area, but you can opt for cost effective roofing materials. The most expensive materials are also the most durable, but if you are on a budget, you can opt for the best price-quality ratio, which can be found in products such as asphalt shingles.
Another way to save money on your roof replacement is to shop around for affordable Colorado Springs commercial roofing contractors. Be wary of very low bids, but take into account reliable local contractors who offer discounts and quality services.
You should schedule your roof replacement for late winter or early spring, as contractors are not so busy in this time of the year and are willing to make special offers to attract clients.