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Give Your Roof a Post-Winter Checkup With Bloom’s Spring Maintenance Guide

Posted March 01, 2015
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As winter comes to an end and the snow begins to melt, it’s important to take a thorough look at your commercial roofing system in the spring to ensure it has stood up to the latest freeze/thaw cycle.

While roofs are typically ignored until damaged areas or leaks are noticeable, property managers would be better suited to proactively inspect their roof to find damage before it occurs. Using Bloom Roofing’s spring maintenance checklist below, property managers should be able to identify and diagnose common problem areas of any type of roofing system.

If you come across any potential damage or questionable areas based on the guide below, feel free to contact Bloom Roofing for our best-in-class inspection and repair services.

However, before you get started on your spring roofing inspection, it's incredibly important that you use safety precautions and follow the basic rules below.

Safety Guidelines:

• Never have your back facing a roof edge.
• If you are using a roof hatch, close it.
• Do not walk on skylights; they cannot hold a human’s weight.
• Avoid getting within 6 foot of the roof edge.
• Ice, snow and standing water are slippery.
• If using a ladder, make sure the person setting up the ladder is trained and experienced.
• We advise the buddy plan. Inspect roofs in pairs and look out for each other.

1. Check Roof Drainage Systems:

Commercial-Roofing-Drainage-System

Out of all types of roofing issues, few are more damaging than leaks or drainage issues. When it comes to ponding water, each square foot of one inch of water is the equivalent of five pounds of pressure, meaning stagnant water can add an enormous amount of strain on your roofing system. Add on the potential for significant interior damage or damage to electrical or mechanical equipment, and it becomes very clear that proper drainage is vital for any type of roofing system.

Commercial-Roofing-Ponding-Water

Inspection Procedures:

• Ensure all roof drains are in working order and are properly sealed around the edges
• Clear any debris away from drains, gutters, and downspouts
• Inspect the roof for any ponding water or stagnant moisture areas
• Inspect the building interior for staining, mold, or moisture

While property managers are more then capable of clearing drains, gutters, scuppers, and downspouts of debris or vegetation, interior water issues or ponding water should be immediately diagnosed through a certified commercial roofing inspection. Additionally, if any drains, gutters, or downspouts cannot be unclogged, seek professional help.

2. Clear Off Any Roof Debris:

Commercial-Roofing-Debris-Vegetation

Inspection Procedures:

• Remove any debris or trash
• Inspect for discarded or obsolete equipment
• Clear away leaves or vegetation (check for holes after vegetation removal)

Commercial-Roofing-Discarded-Equipment

Loose objects, especially heavy ones, can easily tear or damage a roof's membrane. Because of this, it is important for debris to periodically be cleared from commercial roofing systems, and vegetation should also be routinely inspected for and removed. For any heavy or large debris or machinery that cannot be easily moved, consult a professional roofing company. If vegetation growth is excessive, removal is best handled by roofing technicians to prevent damage to the membrane.

Commercial-Roofing-Roof-Penetrations3. Inspect Roof Penetrations:

Roof penetrations are pipes, drains, and other components that protrude through the roof surface. Any roof penetration is prone to leaks, making them an important area to observe during a roofing inspection. Roof penetrations include HVAC units, conduits, vents, gas lines, field wraps, rain collars, pipe boots, or pitch pans.

Inspection Procedures:

• Inspect each roof penetration where it meets the roofing membrane
• Ensure that each penetration flashing is secured and caulked properly
• Ensure that no leaks or moisture issues are present

For any roof penetration that is leaking, deteriorated or has a damaged or improper flashing, it is best to consult a professional roofing company to have the problem fully diagnosed and repaired.

4. Inspect Roof Membrane:

Commercial-Roofing-Membrane

A roof's membrane serves as a flexible or semi-flexible waterproof roof covering, and the primary function of the roofing membrane is to prevent water from penetrating the building. While inspecting the membrane thoroughly can be time consuming, most significant membrane damage is easily spotted. However, repairing any form of membrane damage typically requires professional help, so seek out a commercial roofing inspection if you have questions about the integrity of the roof membrane.

Commercial-Roofing-Membrane-3

Membrane Problem Indicators:

• Splits, cracks, punctures, or holes
• Loose, wrinkling, shifting, or separated membrane
• Blistering, fishmouths, or open laps in the membrane
• Damp or saturated membrane
• Exposed, wet, or damaged insulation

5. Inspect Perimeter Flashing:

Commercial-Roofing-Perimeter-Flashing

At this point in the inspection, property managers should have a good idea of recognizing damage to the roof membrane, though it's important to thoroughly inspect the roof's perimeter and flashing as well. Flashing that is installed on walls and curbs usually fails before the roof system does, making the perimeter inspection vital to a roof's health. Similar to the roof membrane, common damage includes deterioration, cracks, punctures, and open laps. Like the membrane, damage to the perimeter flashing requires professional attention, so scheduling a commercial roofing inspection as soon as possible is the best way to prevent future damage.

Flashing Problem Indicators:

• Splits, cracks, punctures, or holes
• Blistering, fishmouths, or open laps in the membrane
• Damp or saturated membrane
• Deterioration

6. Inspect Sealant:

Commercial-Roofing-Roof-Sealant

While you're inspecting the various components of your roofing system, it's important to keep an eye out for sealant or caulking issues. These sealants require regular inspection and often have to be cleaned or re-caulked. If you decide to re-caulk any portion of the roof, be sure to only use commercial grade caulk suitable for rooftop application. However, for sealant with significant damage, it's best to have the area repaired by a professional roofing company to prevent similar issues in the future.

Sealant Problem Indicators:

• Blistering
• Open Laps
• Deterioration
• Drainage problems

Need Repair Help? Contact Bloom Roofing

After a long, cold winter, especially in the midwest, roofing damage can be significant, though this spring maintenance guide should give property managers a clear idea of steps that can be taken to proactively extend roof life and improve performance. However, for any damage where the repair is beyond your skill set, please contact Bloom Roofing for our industry-leading inspection and repair services.

Fall-Roof-Inspections-are-crucial-for-michiganders

Our expert roof repair technicians have seen all of the damage above on all types of roofing systems, and we have a knack for identifying the best and most cost-effective roofing solutions when it comes to commercial roof repairs. To proactively extend the life of your roof and get the most out of your property budget, schedule a commercial roofing inspection today.