Commercial roofing contractor climbing ladder to access roof

The most important reason for establishing a roof maintenance program is to protect the capital investment of a new roof. Proper maintenance will not only add years to the life of a roof, it will also uncover problems before a roof leak soaks 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 general contractor, subcontractor, 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. Click here to view our 40-Point Roof Maintenance Checklist.

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.

Scheduled Maintenance

The third step in a roof maintenance 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 schedules 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.


Establishing a roof maintenance program is key to the long-term success of any commercial roofing system. Not only will it help keep the warranty intact, it will also help reduce overall roof maintenance costs and ensure optimal system performance.

To learn more about establishing a scheduled maintenance plan for your roof, click here to schedule a free roof inspection with an American WeatherStar Approved Contractor.