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Month: July 2015

Commercial Metal Roofing: Preventative Maintenance Checklist for Facility Managers

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Depending on your location, your facility and accompanying metal roof can take a beating from the weather. Elements like strong winds, hail, rain, ice, heat, flooding, and even earthquakes can wreak havoc on the stability of your facility.

Whether you have a 10,000 or 100,000 square foot facility, it’s important to perform regular maintenance and checkups to ensure everything is safe and stable. While it’s a good idea to have your roof professionally inspected after a storm or on an annual basis, a facility manager or crew can still perform regular inspections. Simple problems and issues can be easily identified and solved without calling a professional. Here is a checklist that can help any facility manager keep their roof in good order between professional inspections and maintenance:

  • Check downspouts for clogging on both ends to ensure they are evacuating water as well as they should.
  • Check downspouts for other damage like crushing or leaking as to properly direct drainage.
  • Clear foreign debris from rooftop gutters and header boxes, and further inspect for damage.
  • Some roofs have scuppers, which are drains at the ends of the roof. These need to be periodically checked for debris and clogging.
  • If your roofing system uses an internal gutter system, it’s important to check and clean them periodically.
  • If your roof has windows or skylights, it’s important to fully inspect and clear the weep holes around each fixture.
  • There are generally lots of objects on a commercial roof, so it’s important to ensure all rooftop units and PV penetrations are watertight and securely fastened.
  • General cleaning of the rooftop can eliminate pooling water and rusting. This can result from the buildup of leaves, sticks, and other foreign objects.
  • Take note of the overall stability of the roof. If the roof appears to be sinking or if lots of water is pooling in certain places a professional should be called immediately.
  • Surveying the roof as a whole for general wear and tear, loose components, weathering, or missing pieces can help prevent a small fix from becoming a costly expense.
  • If your facility has trees surrounding it, ensure that no dead limbs are in danger of falling onto the roof. Large tree limbs can break off during storms and puncture metal roofing, not only causing holes, but extensive water damage.

Call In a Professional

While most simple maintenance can be taken care of by a facility manager or crew, hail damage and other major problems should be addressed immediately by a professional metal roofing contractor like WaterTight Roofing. If your roof is aging or has just been through a severe storm there may be damage that isn’t completely evident to an untrained eye.

Professional metal roofing contractors can identify places where damage has been done even if it isn’t visible. They also have the ability to find areas of concern and work with your team to help them be more effective in between professional visits. Spending money on proper maintenance and repairs today can save lots of money in costly repairs tomorrow.

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Metal Roofing: Dealing With Hail Damage

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One of the worst environmental enemies to any roofing system is hail. While a metal roofing system will stand up to severe hail better than other systems, inspections and repairs should be done immediately following a hail storm.

Most metal roofing systems are accredited with UL 2218 Class IV Impact Resistance. This is the highest level of impact resistance for metal roofing and as roofing ages, it doesn’t lose its impact resistance. It will be as resistant to hail in 20 years as it is today, with all other factors being equal.

Whether a metal roofing system is completely flat or textured, it will ensure a hail storm in the same way. Depending on the size of the hail, metal roofing will receive some indentations, which are typically not big issues. If various components of the roofing system are compromised, small repairs may be necessary.

Dents and punctures will be the most evident issues after a hail storm, but there are other less obvious signs of damage that only a professional will notice. The extreme vibration that accompanies a hail storm can loosen metal components and compromise the integrity of the roof.

Replacing Your Roof After A Hail Storm

If you have an existing roofing system that isn’t metal and has been severely damaged by hail, a metal roof installation by a company like WaterTight Roofing can be your long term answer to ensuring the safety and sustainability of your property.

Not all insurance companies will cover damaged caused by hail and other environmental factors, so making the best long term choice for your storage facility or other commercial facility makes financial sense. A metal roofing system will stand up to hail storms, and even the worst hail storms will not warrant a complete metal roof replacement.

A proper inspection following a hail storm will ensure that all leaks and damage from leaks are addressed and repaired. While it’s important to address dents, punctures, and other structural compromises, water damage sustained during these exposures can be just as damaging is not immediately addressed.

Lots of the damage a roof receives as part of exposure to the elements is cumulative and builds up over time. Some of it may not be apparent right away and incrementally gets worse over time and as more weather events occur. As a result, it’s a good idea to keep records of damage and repairs to the roof in order to track which areas have been compromised and which have been fixed properly. A record of visual assessments creates a starting point or benchmark so you can compare where your metal roofing system needs attention versus what can wait to be addressed.

Ready to learn more? Click below to get our metal roofing design guide.

How Often Should You Inspect the Roof on Your Commercial Building?

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With any roofing system it’s impossible to avoid maintenance and the roof itself shedding some dirt over time, but with metal roofing systems, the maintenance is quite low. Typically the only maintenance required on a metal roofing system is basic cleaning of gutters and other places where debris can get caught, as well as the occasional power washing to maintain the reflective surface.

If leaking does occur in a metal roofing system, it’s generally very easy to trace back to the source. With warranties and guarantees, the repairs typically should not cost you anything. The modular way in which metal roofing in constructed makes replacement of roofing components and insulation a breeze compared to other roofing systems.

If an existing shingled or tar roofing system begins to leak, it can be very costly to find the source repair the damage and replace the various components, and the chances of a recurring leak are much higher. A metal roofing system is much more reliable in both the short term and long term.

When to Inspect Your Metal Roofing System

With daily exposure to sweltering heat, solar rays, rain, and maintenance traffic such as air conditioner repair professionals, a metal roofing system can experience wear and tear over its life cycle. It’s clear that the longer a roof lasts, the more cost effective it is, which is why proper inspections and maintenance are essential to the viability of a metal roofing system.

Metal roofing systems should be inspected at least twice a year to ensure they are stable and functioning properly. It’s important to have a professional from a company like WaterTight Roofing perform the inspection because their experience helps them understand where weaknesses and vulnerabilities can occur. Depending on your builder’s recommendation, an inspection can be as limited as a visual survey of the roof and its components to a formal inspection with a moisture survey.

Ideally, inspections should be done once before the most severe weather season in your area and once afterwards. In cold climates, severe weather can be anticipated throughout the winter months where cold, snow, and wind can be most damaging to a roof. In hotter more southern climates, a roofing system is subject to more intense solar rays and radiation. There are also drastic temperature fluctuations where extreme heat can be followed by cooling rain, which causes metal to quickly swell and retract. This thermal shock can loosen and compromise components over time and needs to be addressed accordingly.

The following tests are important parts of annual or bi-annual inspections:

  • Infrared Scan: This scan measure the level of heat lost through the insulation. When insulation is wet it transmits heat better, so wet insulation will illustrate higher levels of radiated heat.
  • Nuclear Isotopic Meter: This scan sends hydrogen ions into the roof system and counts the number that bounce back. Water has two hydrogen ions in every molecule, so if the reading in the bounce back is much higher water is present in the roof.
  • Electrical Capacitance and Resistance Meter: This scan measures electrical conductivity and takes into account that wet materials conduct electricity better than dry ones.

In addition to regular scheduled maintenance visits from an experienced and accredited metal roofing professional, it’s important for facility managers to get involved with inspections, maintenance, and minor repairs.

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