How to Establish a Roof Maintenance Program
The most important reason for establishing a roof maintenance program is to protect the capital investment of a new roof.
Proper roof maintenance will not only add years to the life of a roof, it will also uncover problems before a roof leak wets insulation, creates mold and damages the interior of the building.
Fortunately, the professional roofing contractor and roofing manufacturer are ready to help, with programs specifically designed to make it easier for building owners to keep track of roof maintenance work.
The first step in creating a program is to establish roof information files. This data is essential for any roof inspection if a proper and ongoing evaluation of the roof conditions is to be made. The file should contain the following sections:
Design and Installation
- Project records, roof drawings, specifications, etc.
- Roof plans showing the location of all penetrations, rooftop equipment, drains, entry doors, etc.
- Approved submittals of roofing supplier’s product data used for the new roof.
- Field reports related to the roof installation
- All correspondence between the GC, roofing sub contractor, architect, engineer, etc., involving the roof installation.
- Warranties from the roof or system manufacturer with contact names.
Inspection and Maintenance
- Periodic inspection reports filled out chronologically
- Reports and digital photos of repairs
- Record of any construction changes or modifications to the roof surface. Examples would be the installation of a new HVAC unit, exhaust vent or roof walkway system.
- Record of rooftop equipment services—who, when and where.
Establish a Regimen
The next step in creating a roof maintenance program is usually implementing a periodic inspection regimen. These should be made twice a year, just before the roof passes through the most severe weather cycles—typically late Fall and early Spring. Additional roof inspections should be made after storms or rooftop service calls.
Before starting the inspection, a checklist should be developed. It is best to create a customized checklist for the generic roof type—built-up, single ply, modified bitumen, spray polyurethane foam, shingles, etc. Problem areas should be marked on the roof plan and notes made on the checklist. View our detailed roof maintenance information and guidelines, as well as our scheduled roof maintenance checklist here.
Identifying the roof problems, then the repairs necessary, and logging them is critical. This makes it easier for prior repairs to be located and checked during inspections.
The third step in the program is scheduled maintenance. This typically occurs on an immediate basis, in response to storm damage; on a yearly basis, for re-caulking, etc.; and on a multi-year basis for more elaborate base flashing repairs, coatings and restorations.
Costs are typically estimated on an individual repair basis. In this way maintenance scheduling can be budgeted accurately. This method also allows for cost comparisons of projected maintenance by roof type or age. Through maintenance scheduling, a comparison of projected maintenance costs versus roof replacement costs can also be made at any time.