Maintaining the function and performance of the building envelope is critical for a commercial building Owner. Despite the importance of the envelope, I frequently see roofs that have been neglected and defects that have evolved into a far bigger problem that requires a more extensive and costly repair.
Roofs need to be inspected every six months as a minimum but ideally at the end of each season. In addition to these planned inspections, roofs should be inspected after storms or earthquakes. Storms and earthquakes can damage roof linings and flashings and roof materials loosened by these events, quickly become a health and safety issue as well as a weathertightness issue.
We’ve just entered Autumn so now is the perfect time to take a look over your roof and identify any works that need to be undertaken before winter sets in. Addressing defects early is always more cost effective – a small tear in the roof membrane can have a patch repair undertaken. A small tear left over winter can turn into a large section of debonded membrane, water damaged substrate and an unhappy Tenant in the floor below.
Saving money should be a good motivator to get a roof inspection underway but if you are still lacking enthusiasm, perhaps the view will entice you – the best view from any building is always from the roof:
Roof inspections should only be undertaken by trained individuals with the appropriate safety equipment.
There will always be factors competing to destroy your building and some level of reactive maintenance will always be required. However, having a Forward Maintenance Plan in place and undertaking routine inspections of critical elements such as the roof, will reduce the number of surprises and help you prioritise resources and funds.
by Victoria Richardson