Norton Seal roof-maintenance-and-repair-D

Loss Control & Risk Management

Roof Safety and Repair

You’ve worked hard for your business, and the roof over your head is its first line of defense from things like wind, rain, hail or ice. That’s why it’s so important to take care of it! With the right maintenance, you can keep your roof performing at its peak for years to come. Here are some tips to keep in your arsenal:

Recognizing the Signs of a Roof Problem

Think you might have an issue with your roof currently? Here’s what to look for.

  • Water stains on the ceiling may indicate a crack or hole in the roof.
  • Mold or foul odor smell can mean water from a leaky roof.
  • Bubbles in the roof can indicate standing water or moisture underneath. Prolonged water over time can lead to premature aging and deterioration of the cover, which may lead to leaks. Leaks that are not detected will likely lead to rusting and rotting.

Identifying Areas of Inspection

Before you call out the professionals, study up on what you should be looking for and feel confident nothing will go unnoticed. Here are some guidelines:

  • Roof flashing – strips of metal or other impervious material installed around the perimeter of the roof edge where the roof meets the wall. A gap in the flashing or roof cover greatly increases the potential for roof cover failure during a high wind event and water intrusion or mold.
  • If there are skylights, check to be sure they are properly secured. Skylights that are not well sealed and secured around the seams edge can leak, which may cause the skylights to become dislodged and allow for rain and debris to enter the structure.
  • If you have repaired your roof from leaks in the past, check those areas to make sure they are still intact.
  • Inspect the area around your roof for trees, loose material and debris. Keep trees around the roof area trimmed to prevent damage and materials falling into the gutters and downspouts. If you are in a hurricane prone area, check if the gutters include straps designed to resist uplift.
  • Inspect rooftop vents and equipment to make sure they are well sealed. Seal any gaps with flashing cement. Replacement may be necessary if the metal flashing is badly deteriorated, or if vents can wiggle back and fort
  • After a storm, inspect your roof for damage.

Hiring a Professional

Consulting a professional roofing contractor may be helpful if concerns exist after a maintenance review of the roof or a substantial storm. Use these helpful tips when bringing in the pros.

  • Look for insured, licensed or bonded professionals and ask to check references. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau to check for complaints filed against the contractor.
  • Obtain several bids for services so you know you’re getting the best deal.
  • If you are hiring a professional to install a new roof, make sure that the roof deck is checked for water soaked or deteriorated material. Make sure to have damaged material replaced before the roof is installed.
  • Get estimates in writing and ask about fees before making an appointment.
  • Require a signed contract with fees, costs and schedule clearly listed.
  • Ask for a written guarantee, if not already provided in the contract.
  • Pay only when the work is complete and you are satisfied. Reputable contractors will not threaten or pressure you to sign anything if the job is not complete or if you are unhappy with their work.

Properly Maintaining Roof-Mounted Equipment

Proper maintenance of roof mounted equipment, such as HVAC, photovoltaic systems, exhaust fans and other mechanical units, can lead to long-term savings by prolonging the life of the equipment, lowering utility bills and providing greater protection in a storm. Take these steps to ensure your roof and equipment is protected.

  • Make sure all roof-mounted air conditioning systems are properly vented to help with efficiency.
  • Replace the air filter in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Check motors, bearings, and belts to ensure proper operation and keep parts well lubricated.
  • Watch for signs that belts have become brittle or cracked.
  • Make sure fans and equipment are secure and balanced and do not vibrate or shake.
  • Inspect for rusted panels and for any potential leaks around connections.
  • After maintenance has been performed by a professional, inspect the unit to make sure all screws, cables and straps are tightened. You should also check for any debris or tools that may have been left behind.

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Related Topics: Protecting Your Business , Safety Programs