Elements Of A Good Roof Maintenance Program

February 2012 Volume 4 Number 2

The ultimate goal of an effective roof maintenance program is to extend the roof’s useful life. The elements of a successful program include periodic inspections, routine maintenance and repairs and correct applications of quality roofing products.

Regardless of the age of the roof, periodic inspections are vital to ensure that a roof reaches its useful life. As your roof approaches the end of its life cycle, maintenance decisions become critical. An experienced roofing contractor can check the roof membrane, flashings and drains for common problems. When defects are spotted the contractor can make the appropriate repairs or provide accurate budget figures for more extensive work.

Membrane defects vary by roof type. For the typical asphalt built up roof system, common problems are exposed felts, wind scour of the gravel surfacing, blisters, exposed embedded metal, sumped pitch pans, and splits.

Common defects seen on modified bitumen systems include open seams, blisters, fish mouths, exposed reinforcing scrim and lose of granular surfacing.

For single ply systems, the common problems include open seams, open flashings, membrane punctures or tears and sumped pitch pans.

When looking at some of the older white thermoplastic membranes like Hypalon, surface degradation (the loss of top surfacing) and exposed scrim reinforcement are prevalent.

Membrane flashings are often found to be a common problem source. In general, the assessment of the flashings is similar to the assessment of the field membrane insofar as the type and extent of the defects. Two important items to look for are the attachment of the flashings and the related metal counterflashing.

The slope and drainage of a roof system are important observations on any good roof maintenance program. Clogged drains are a common problem and are easily fixed. If a roof has inadequate slope, tapered insulation may be added to provide the proper pitch to allow the water to get to an internal drain or spill off a perimeter edge into a gutter.

Other factors to note in a good roof maintenance program are the cost of repairs compared to the cost of replacing the roof system, the leak history of the building, the durability of the existing membrane, the integrity of the attachment of the membrane and the possibility of foreign contaminants such as grease from exhaust fans and compressor oil from air conditioning units.

A comprehensive roof maintenance program is essential to maintain the manufacturer’s roof warranties and to insure that your roofing investment exceeds its useful life.

Spann has a dedicated service department that conducts maintenance inspections, repairs and emergencies.

Let us show you, from real life examples, how a planned maintenance program can save you or your clients big dollars over the life of the roof.


459 Allied Dr. • Conway, S.C. 29526 • 843-347-2220 • Fax: 843-347-9719 www.spannroofing.com

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