Did you know that the roof represents 5-10% of the total cost of a building, but more than 70% of the costs of litigation are due to its defects? Most losses can be avoided by the correct design, execution and maintenance of the roof system. Material suppliers and roof builders offer guarantees for materials and workmanship, for certain periods of time. However, these guarantees are usually void in the event of lack of roof maintenance or damage caused by severe weather or roof traffic.
What “wears” a flat roof?
- vegetation or algae growing in areas with ponding water (due to incorrect slopes, poor thermal insulation or clogged drains)
- accumulation of debris with risk of perforation of the waterproofing
- failure to solve minor roof problems in time
- long-term exposure to UV rays, freeze-thaw etc.
- short-term exposure to air pollutants and harmful chemicals
- inadequate treatment of the roof system in areas with structural movements of the building
- change of purpose of the building (an increase in relative interior humidity can cause severe condensation problems in the roof system)
- lack of a proactive maintenance program
Obviously, there are also problems that may affect the roof, no matter how well-cared it is, such as:
- extreme weather phenomena (strong winds, hail, torrential rains with water exceeding the upper levels of the roof waterproofing)
- equipment improperly installed on the roof (solar panels, air conditioning units)
- accidental or intentional damage (holes or cuts in waterproofing) caused by persons having access to the roof
What needs to be done?
The following are the main steps a building owner or manager should follow for proactive flat roof maintenance:
- Keeping track of roof data (material warranty, periodic inspection reports, roof maintenance and intervention invoices, drawings and technical specifications etc.)
- Periodic cleaning of the roof and drainage elements (drains, overflows, gutters, downspouts, etc.) of debris, soil, vegetation etc., carried out annually and whenever necessary
- Periodic inspection of the roof (1-2 times a year) in order to detect potential problems – visual inspection of the waterproofing together with wet thermal insulation detection using the infrared method, which provides a clear picture and an accurate diagnosis of the roof
- Inspection after severe weather events (after storms with strong winds, hail, torrential rains, etc.)
- Inspection of the roof after the intervention of third parties in order to repair or maintain the equipment installed on the roof
- Correct and rapid repair of roofing by specialized and certified teams
- Restricting traffic on the roof, allowing access only to authorized personnel
Who should take care of flat roof maintenance?
A flat roof maintenance program should be carried out by a commercial roofer Denver specialist with experience in flat roofing. They will check the overall condition of the roof and assess the quality of the roofing work required. Infrared personnel are recommended for infrared inspections. Also, repairs should be carried out by Denver roofers certified by the respective suppliers of roof waterproofing materials.
Roof inspections should also be carried out before tending for the works necessary to restore the function of the roof. Thus, the builders can bid based on a pre-established list of works, which makes it easier to differentiate the bids.