Just like other parts of the building, the roof requires ongoing maintenance and preventative repairs. Studies have shown that a roof that has not been well-maintained will, on average, last for half the length of the manufacturer material warranty. Proper maintenance and care maximizes the life expectancy of roofs, which means savings in the long run.
It is recommended that roofs be inspected in the fall before the winter and then again in the spring. That’s because the harsh elements of snow, rain, ice and cold temperatures common to Canadian winters can put a lot of wear-and-tear on the diverse components of roofs. Therefore, roofs should be inspected and maintained both to ensure that they’re prepared to take on the harsh winter months and to see how they held up to the winter that just passed.
Why is it important to do pre-winter roof inspections and maintenance?
Many property owners and supervisors do not think of their roofs until it is too late. Leak repairs can be very expensive in the winter months because repairs become harder to complete, take longer to fix, and in many situations can be very dangerous. It’s better when roof work can be done in dry and safe conditions. Hence, it may be more efficient, and therefore more cost-effective, to do roof inspections and maintenance before winter arrives.
Who can perform pre-winter roof inspections and maintenance?
A seasoned roofing contractor or professional roofing consultant should be hired to inspect roof conditions and carry out any required roof maintenance and repairs. A qualified roofing professional will be prepared with the necessary tools and experience to identify any faulty roof components where leakage may occur in the future. The roofing contractor will be able to patch roofing membranes, clean drains and eaves trough systems, fix rubber and metal flashings, and re-apply necessary sealants and mastics that have failed.
What should the property owner/supervisor expect from roof inspections and maintenance?
Expect the roofing contractor to provide a written roof inspection report. The report will point out any deficiencies and defects identified on the roof. Usually, the report includes photos with captions. These descriptions explain the repairs that need to be done and are usually written in easy-to-understand language. The cost for the roof repairs and maintenance will usually be outlined on the first or last page of the report.
Once an agreement is made between the building owner/supervisor and the roofing contractor, the roofing contractor will use his/her roofing tools and expertise to repair and maintain the roof. The written report is a great reference point for the owner/supervisor of the building to visually see what took place before and after the roof maintenance and repair. The inspection and maintenance report is also a great document to keep and refer back to, to see what areas of the roof need periodic attention.
Carrying out a proper pre-winter roof inspection and maintenance in the fall can proactively save property owners a lot of money in the long term. Identifying minor roof deficiencies before they become undetected roof failures can prevent headaches in the future. If there is one takeaway from this article, it’s that roofs age just like other building components, and that they also need preventative care to last longer.
Nuno Torres is manager and foreman at Luso Roofing & Sheet Metal. Located in Toronto, the family-owned and operated company specializes in installations and repair services.