Part one covered roofing repairs and replacement basics, while part two gave tips for new installations and re-installations. Now, to cap off this series, let’s talk about how maintenance factors into all of this. Having a completely functional roof does not mean that you can just lie back and let it take care of itself – remember that once a roof demands your attention, it will likely already be failing. Maintenance is integral to keeping your roofing system working well, as well as helping you save on unnecessary costs from issues that are left untreated.
There are two types of maintenance: reactive and preventive. Let’s take a look at each of them in detail.
Reactive maintenance, as implied by the term, is maintenance done in response to issues that crop up, such as leaks, damaged components, and loss of structural integrity. At this point, intervention must be done immediately to prevent escalation of the problem. Since DIY roofing is an inherently unsafe process that may create bigger problems – especially in the face of an already existing problem – it’s also probably best you tap a professional for the job.
An article on Buildings.com says that proactive or preventive maintenance, in general, helps property managers save around 10 cents per square foot every year compared to reactive maintenance. Also, properties maintained before issues happen last an average of 21 years, while roofs that receive maintenance after an issue manifests itself will likely last only up to 13 years.
Preventive maintenance covers:
- Routine cleaning. Cleaning is a simple enough process, but it saves your roof (and your pockets) from a lot of problems down the road. A clean roof means leaves and other debris will not clog the gutter, and will thus allow water to flow freely.
- Inspections. Inspections must be done twice a year – before the start of the worst season, and after it. Inspectors should look out for any damage on the surface of the roof and the field membrane, as well as around the drainage system. Conduct extra inspections after severe weather incidents as well.
Lastly, make sure your contractor runs a good maintenance program. A trained eye can help you spot sources of possible issues well before they become a real issue, and guide you in harnessing the full functionality of your roof.