Roof maintenance is a vital part of the overall maintenance of a building. Proper roof maintenance will not only preserve the roof and reduce costs of replacement but minimize the damage to the interior of the building and any equipment in the building.
Many times leaks caused by failures of the roof do not become apparent until there is major damage to both the roof and to the building or its contents. If routine inspections are conducted in normally inaccessible areas such as roof crawl spaces, these small leaks can be discovered and repaired. The most common area of roof failure is at joints in the roof. Areas of particular importance are:
Drainage of water from the roof is important if roof failure is to be prevented. Gutters and drains must be kept clear. If gutters are blocked with leaves or other debris, the water will come up under the edge of the roof and flood the inside of the wall. Additionally, if water is allowed to stand on a roof and then freeze, this can cause a great deal of damage. Snow and water accumulation also creates a large weight load on the roof and its supporting structure. This can cause a roof failure that can have catastrophic results both in terms of loss of the structure and its potential for personnel injuries.
Except in the event of extreme winds, weather-related damage to roofs can be minimized with proper maintenance. Prior to the start of the extreme weather season, roofs should be inspected and repairs made.
As with any major system of the facility, the key to minimizing the impact of roof failure on a building and its contents is proper inspections and repair when the problems are still small. Even the catastrophic failure of a roof due to snow or water build up started because the gutters were not cleaned or small leaks in the roof were not fixed. Do not ignore that water spot on the ceiling of an office. It is an indication of further potential damage.