Roof Maintenance in Florida
What wears out a roof?
Either long-term exposure to the elements (sun, water, freeze-thaw) or shorter-term exposure to damaging air pollutants and chemicals
Such as building settlement or expansion/contraction not accommodated by the roofing system
Such as vegetation in areas of standing water or algae
Not Fixing Problems Promptly…
These can add up to a much shorter roof life – e.g., if a small problem is not repaired, then a large amount of insulation can be damaged
Forgetting About Maintenance…
This is perhaps the single biggest cause of premature roof failure
Change in the Use of the Building…
e.g., an increase in the interior relative humidity of a building can cause severe condensation problems within the roofing system
Economics and Roofing
In this period of tough economic pressure and uncertainty, it is imperative for building owners and anyone in the facilities maintenance and management profession to spend their
monies wisely and manage their facility assets properly. The ultimate goal should be to achieve maximum service life at the least possible cost. For this reason, life-cycle costing has never been more appropriate. Frankly, we live in a world looking for short-term, quick fix solutions. We often compromise the end-goal by taking the road of least resistance. When it comes to our commercial roofing portfolios, we frequently have the misconception that if our roofs are not leaking, we don’t need to bother with them. This out-of sight, out-of-mind perspective is one of the root causes for premature roofing failures. We need to adopt a proactive roof maintenance protocol to ensure the maximum service life from our roofing system, and to reduce the collateral damage caused by leaking roofs at our facilities.
To help provide a list of costs and expenses to track, your
company CFO can provide you with:
- Costs of damage to building interiors (furnishings & fixtures)
- Costs of damage to merchandise and inventory.
- Costs of damage to equipment (computers, electrical, HVAC, etc.).
- Costs from lost use of space.
- Costs and exposure to issues of air quality and work environment
- Costs of legal claims (“slip & fall” accidents)
- Costs of water damage clean-up
- Costs of energy loss through wet and damp roof insulation in both the heating and cooling seasons.
- Costs of business interruption.
- Costs associated with higher insurance premiums due to more frequent claims arising from water damage.
- Costs of premature roof replacement
Why roof maintenance a good investment
Roofing systems are assets, and have a finite life expectancy. Life spans have ranged widely from as little as five years to documented cases of 50 years or more. However, most membrane roofing systems will be replaced or can expect to receive significant renovation in less than 20 years. Few people would purchase a new car and not change the oil to protect their major investment. Unfortunately, once an investment is made in a roof system, the roof is out of sight and is unlikely to get much thought until there is a problem. By then, damage may be extensive. It takes good financial controls and a corporate commitment to ensure that the roof is maintained. The good news is that the payback can be spectacular over the long-term.
Crunching the numbers. The goal of this study is to express, in financial terms, the value of Roof Maintenance Management. Still another goal is to enable the roof to perform its primary mission: to protect the interior of the building. Another goal is to conserve energy by keeping the insulation dry. Since wet insulation loses effectiveness, a dollar value can be assigned to this wasted fuel cost. The long-term presence of wet roofing materials can have other consequences. In its most dramatic manifestation of neglect, roof decks have failed, endangering roofing workers and/or occupants beneath. Disintegrated components such as rotted nailers and corrodedinsulation fasteners, have contributed to catastrophic wind blow-off.
- Project records, roof drawings, specifications, etc.
- Roof plans showing the location of all penetrations, rooftop equipment, drains, entry doors, etc.
- Approved submittals of roofing supplier’s product data used for the new roof.
- Field reports related to the roof installation
- All correspondence between the GC, roofing sub contractor, architect, engineer, etc., involving the roof installation.
- Warranties from the roof or system manufacturer with contact names.
- Periodic inspection reports filled out chronologically
- Reports and digital photos of repairs
- Record of any construction changes or modifications to the roof surface. Examples would be the installation of a new HVAC unit, exhaust vent or roof walkway system.
- Record of rooftop equipment services—who, when and where.