Commercial Roofing Systems – Planning for Longevity

While it is true that the exterior components of a commercial property are designed for longevity, the warranted lifespan of commercial roofs can be shortened significantly by wind events, excessive rain and snow, hail and debris damage, and even efforts of HVAC repair technicians who unwittingly introduce breaches into the protective membranes of the building’s roofing system. One culprit, however, steals more years from the life of a roof than any other: neglect.

There is no such thing as a maintenance-free roof, even when building owners choose to install the most durable systems. Poor maintenance can reduce the life expectancy of all types of commercial roofing systems by 50%, even without intervening weather-related damage.

Proactive Planning for Commercial Roof “Health” is Essential
Planning for longevity involves several important steps:
* Initially applying a system that is a good fit for the structure
* Considering the effects of climate-related and environmental stressors in your area
* Contracting the services of an experienced, reputable specialist in commercial roofs
* Developing a plan for regular inspections and maintenance activities
* Adhering to the maintenance plan when the roof is new and as it ages

Choosing a Commercial Roofing System
Every building is structurally unique, and there are many commercial roofing systems from which to choose, including:
* Metal roofs
* Modified bitumen systems
* Built up roof (BUR) systems
* Single-ply options such as ethylene propylene diene (EPDM), Hypalon, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) systems

Further complicating the decision are climate and location influences (e.g., whether the building is located near a large body of water or in a tornado-prone area). Clearly, many factors bear thoughtful consideration when planning a new installation or for repairs to an existing roof system.

These complexities suggest that consultants specializing in commercial roofing systems in your area are not only advisable, but are also essential to protecting one of your most valuable business assets. Remembering that low-cost service is not always the least expensive in the long run—and that “providers” of commercial roofing services are not always knowledgeable and experienced—can save money initially and throughout the lifespan of your roof.
Developing a Regular Maintenance Plan
Building facility managers are usually adept at identifying potential problems with an existing roof during standard exterior inspections. They are often the first to observe and report damage after major weather-related events as well. Looking for standing water and debris, being present when any type of work is performed on the roof, and paying special attention to the areas under and around rooftop HVAC units should be on the facility manager’s regular roof inspection checklist.

However, it often takes a roofing expert to detect potential problems before they are actually visible. Including spring and fall inspections by a reputable commercial roofing professional in your maintenance plan will help you uncover problems before damage to your structure is extensive, thereby extending the life of your commercial roof.

Since 1948, Thermo Manufacturing has been providing waterproofing and energy efficient roof solutions for commercial, industrial and institutional. Utilizing the highest quality components to manufacture high-performance, time-tested systems and maintaining a team of outstanding design and implementation specialists are hallmarks of Thermo Manufacturing. Find out more about their products and services at thermomaterials.com. http://thermomaterials.com/roofs.php

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