This is the continuation of “10 Reasons Why You Should Inspect Your Roof“. For part 1 of this article, click here.
6. Vegetation Damage
Vegetation can grow on roofs when gutters and other low areas are not cleaned regularly. Birds land and nest on roofs. They also deposit seeds, which promote the growth of vegetation. Gutters are a particular source of vegetation growth because of the accumulation of dirt, seeds, and moisture. In addition, tree branches scraping on roofs during wind can cause significant damage. Gutters should be cleaned regularly, and trees near roofs should be trimmed to prevent contact with roof surfaces.
A further problem with vegetation growth is that roots can penetrate through the roof membrane and create leakage. Root damage to roofs from vegetation can be significant and pervasive. Regular inspection can help draw an owner’s attention to a budding problem before further damage is done.
7. Roof Cleaning
Regular roof inspections also draw attention to the need for regular roof cleaning. No task can provide a better payback than the low-cost practice of cleaning trash and debris from the roof. A clean roof is less likely to have wind damage. Loose trash and debris not only may cause wind damage in a storm, but trash tends to wash to the low points at drains or gutters. Trash obstructs proper roof drainage and creates leak problems that would otherwise not exist.
Thieves often break into buildings through unlocked roof hatches or skylights. Regular inspections can disclose security breaches and enable owners to reduce the likelihood of vandalism or burglary. While a broken skylight is likely to be a source of water leakage, unsecured skylights can also present a security threat.
9. Warranty Repairs
Many owners pay for repairs that are covered under a contractor or manufacturer’s roof warranty. Leaks can be caused by many factors, only some of which are covered under a roof warranty. However, when a leak is detected, an owner should have a qualified person perform an inspection to determine whether or not to file a warranty claim. When a roof warranty claim is filed, the contractor or manufacturer will visit the site and make a determination whether the leak or repair is covered. The key for the owner is maintaining possession and ready access to the warranty document, as well as timely filing of the claim.
10. Needed Improvements
Regular inspections highlight the need for continual building improvements, many of which affect the roof. For example, the increased presence of electronic equipment, computers, security systems, and video displays has encouraged many owners to install lightning protection on older buildings.
Roof access is an important provision for all buildings. It is well known in the industry that roofs that are accessible are maintained while roofs that are difficult to access are ignored. Regular inspections are facilitated with improved safe access to roofs. Installing permanent ladders and safety rails around roof hatches greatly facilitates safe access to roofs.
Establishing a schedule for routine roof inspections should be a priority for building owners. Inspections are inexpensive and can provide valuable information that can prevent expensive repairs later. In addition, regular roof inspections provide a checklist for routine maintenance work and enable owners to prepare budgets for future years. Roof inspections are the first step in a proactive roof management program that can help owners have planned and scheduled repairs instead of emergency leak repairs. Few other building maintenance procedures provide a better return on investment than regular roof inspections.
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