10 Essentials For Every Flat Roof Maintenance Checklist

Very few pieces of paper are as valuable to your business as a flat roof maintenance checklist. It may not look impressive, but keep it handy anytime you deal with your company’s low-slope or flat roof. A checklist helps ensure a long life for one of your business’s most important assets, your commercial roof

Check and Double-Check

A flat roof maintenance checklist ensures you miss nothing when you or your local commercial roofer examines your business’s flat roof. You have too much to do already; why run the risk of missing some vital issue with your company’s roof during roof maintenance and inspection? 

Only go onto your flat roof if you feel safe in doing so. Keep a sense of spatial awareness so you know where the roof edge is at all times. Watch out, too, for projections and depressions which could cause a slip and fall incident. When you, your facilities crew, or your roofer is on the roof, this checklist will help everyone focus on the roof and its condition. 

Three Keys to Success

The first three items in our 10-point checklist are your keys to long-term success with your commercial roof:

  1. Have a rooftop inspection toolkit at the ready, whether you are accompanying your roofer or going it alone; the kit should include this checklist, a pad and pencil to take notes, a camera for recording pictures, your building’s roof plans or aerial photos, a 50-foot tape measure, and an LED flashlight to peer into dark areas.
  2. Keep a running record of everyone who visits the roof; record their name, what company they represent, why they are on the roof, and where on the roof they are working or visiting.
  3. When you inspect your roof, perform an active triage, with each item (seam, HVAC curb, vent, scupper, etc.) receiving one of three designations: good (no action needed), fair (monitoring required but no immediate action required), or bad (requires immediate attention to prevent further damage).

A Trio of Trouble

While outside and navigating the roof, these three categories of problems should be given special attention:

  1. Visible damage and debris — organic matter; blocked, clogged, or broken gutters; dislodged downspouts; damaged internal drains; signs of insect intrusion.
  2. Wear and tear — look for age-related issues with flashing, chimneys, vents, fascia boards, drip edge, roof decking, and structural steel; are parts missing, or do you see corrosion, rust, or rot?
  3. With flat roofing — check for ponding, punctures, blisters, missing ballast, elongated fastener holes in metal pieces, open or loose seams in the single-ply membrane, and wind scouring.

Below Decks

The final four items can be checked off inside your property. Keep the checklist handy and inspect:

  1. Walls — look for signs of mold, dark spots, peeling paint, or dampness.
  2. Chimneys, vents, and roof hatches — search for signs of dampness which could flag a roof leak; you may have to feel walls for moisture or coldness.
  3. The roof deck — check the structural integrity of wood elements, rust in steel components, and the condition of sheathing or deck plates; check for light coming in from above (a sure sign of a hole and therefore a source of water infiltration).
  4. All surfaces for leaks — Leaks can run down walls, drip from ceilings, or crawl across horizontal surfaces; take pictures and, if you are working alone, immediately contact your professional roofer to consult with you on the leaks and remedies.

Now What?

After working your way through your checklist, what are you to do with the information you gained? If you inspected your commercial roof and roof deck alone or only with your facilities crew, contact your nearby commercial roofer for additional help with roof maintenance

If you inspected the roof with your contractor, they can discuss strategies for dealing with all the issues, from the good to the fair to the truly bad. Both of you will have a good understanding of the problems, since you both witnessed them. Your roofer, of course, draws on deep reserves of experience to correctly diagnose leaks and recommend remedies. 

Plan to get the “bad” spots repaired immediately, as in within days at the most. Your building is vulnerable to further, greater damage if you do not address the small leaks and minor problems. 

Your roofer can share with you the several issues your own facilities crew can handle. Turn to your commercial roofer for major repairs to keep your warranties in force. Your in-house crew can usually handle light roof cleaning and interior maintenance. Trust your roofer to solve drainage, seam, and deck problems. Connect with your ally in commercial roofing today, Damschroder Roofing Inc. For businesses in the North West Ohio area, we provide the perfect partner for full roof replacement and more.

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