It is important for building owners to retain a professional roofing contractor to perform roof maintenance that includes visual inspection and necessary repairs. If building personnel decide to tackle a roof system problem, their actions may void a warranty. In addition, repairs made by an unauthorized contractor will likely void a warranty.
Roof inspections should be performed regularly by trained roofing professionals, preferably on a biannual basis (once in the spring and once in the fall). Early problem detection makes repairs manageable before they become serious. A procedure whereby this is done routinely and recorded in writing should be established.
Inspections and maintenance should also be made after extreme weather events, such as hailstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes. If damage is detected, it should be repaired as soon as possible.
When a roofing professional is contracted to perform annual maintenance, there are specific items that should be inspected closely because of their susceptibility to damage. These include:
- Flashing. Flashings are critical because a majority of leaks originate at these areas. A detailed inspection of the flashings should be made at locations such as skylights, perimeters, walls, penetrations, equipment curbs, and drains (see Figure 3). Flashings are typically stressed more than the membrane in the roof’s field because of thermal movement, possible differential movement, and UV degradation.
- Field. The field of a roof should be inspected for items such as surface wear, lap integrity, and overall degradation. A roofing professional should be able to recognize developing problems and provide proper repair methods.
A maintenance checklist is a useful tool for roofing professionals to use when documenting roof conditions. The checklist should be tailored to each roof’s specific requirements. It also can be used as a specification for bid solicitation for future maintenance work.