Roofing Maintenance and Things to Look out for

We’ve talked a lot about the importance of inspecting your roof, performing periodic maintenance and making vital repairs before cold weather sets in. Let’s focus today on just how damaging natural debris can be. All those beautiful autumn leaves can wreak havoc on a facility roof.

Debris Buildup and Unintended Consequences
All it takes is a little moisture and those feather-light leaves biodegrade into a soggy, heavy mass that clogs drains, blocks scuppers and invites mold, fungi and mildew. If not promptly removed, leaves and debris can lead to backed-up water, which increases the live load on the roof deck. Over time, standing water can leach the pliable properties out of some single-ply membranes, reducing flexibility and the life of the roof.

In the winter, ponding becomes critical when pooling water freezes and expands, forcing its way into tiny cracks or under flashings. Additional ice weight can cause structural damage and expensive repairs, or – in extreme cases – even roof collapse.

Preventative Maintenance Reduces Risk
Maintenance crews should be trained to look for leaves and other debris around drains and scuppers. During the fall, frequent checks and prompt debris-removal are necessary to prevent buildup and blockage. Areas of standing water could indicate blocked drains. Partially blocked drains allow water flow, albeit sluggishly, so even if you don’t see standing water that doesn’t mean you don’t have a drainage problem..

Professional Inspection
In addition to disposing of leaves and debris, a qualified roofing specialist will water-test both internal and external drains and inspect gutters and downspouts. It takes a trained eye to recognize early problems with sealants, flashings, mortar, seams and penetrations. Gutters and downspouts should be checked for sagging, loose connections and broken or missing fasteners.

Want to learn more? Contact SW Roofing today!

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