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

July 1, 2015

New commercial roof in dallas, TX

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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