Fall is the perfect time for commercial roof maintenance. Read this guide to keep your roof in good shape this season and for years to come.
What Is Preventative Maintenance?
Preventative maintenance is a proactive approach to roofing that emphasizes taking small steps now to avoid big problems later. Preventative maintenance is a great way to make sure your roof avoids leaks, outlives its warranty, and holds strong for decades.
Your Fall Commercial Roof Maintenance Plan
Fall is an important season for your roof—the steps you take now will help it avoid serious damage this winter. That’s why we put together this fall preventative maintenance plan.
We’ll start with steps that are easy to complete on your own and move to tougher tasks.
Clean Your Gutters
Fall gutter cleaning is incredibly important. Thoroughly clean your gutters towards the end of the season. Doing it too early is a waste of time because blockages will just build back up. How frequently you need to clean your gutters depends on environmental factors like:
- Density of vegetation on your property
- Weather conditions
- The type of trees in your vicinity
This is especially important to do before big storms. Dirty gutters get clogged during storms and can prevent water drainage. Water seeps into your home when it has nowhere else to go, which can lead to major structural damage.
Consider Gutter Guards
A gutter guard is a convenient piece of equipment that attaches to your gutters. Gutter guards are made of a metal screen that filters out debris while still letting water pass through your gutter system. This solution isn’t perfect, however. Debris still finds a way to creep into your gutters with guards installed, but the buildup happens much slower.
Proper gutter maintenance is key to keeping any type of roof in working order. We highly recommend cleaning your gutters as the first preventative maintenance step you take this fall.
Look for Interior Water Spots
Take a tour through the inside of your building and keep your eyes peeled for any water stains on the ceiling. Water stains are a common indicator of roof leaks, which commonly develop in the fall after summer storms.
Signs you should look for include paint irregularities like peeling, chipping, or cracking. More extreme water damage can even cause severe issues like warped walls and mold or mildew growth.
Clear Roof Debris
Extra debris on your roof can accelerate roof degradation. While we don’t recommend climbing on to your property’s roof, sometimes debris needs to be cleared. If you’re going to ascend your roof to clear debris, follow these steps:
- Prepare the tools you’ll need to clear debris. These will vary depending on your type of roof and maintenance strategy. Common tools include a soft brush broom and a leaf blower. A leaf blower lets you move debris without needing to make contact with your roof.
- Securely mount your ladder onto your roof. Make sure to place the ladder on a steady surface and a sufficient enough angle to be sturdy. Have a partner to hold it steady below.
- Carefully inspect your roof upon climbing on to it. Are there any spots that look dangerous? Does there seem to be a glaring issue that needs to be addressed by a professional? If you can’t be 100% confident in the stability of your roof, get off of it and call a professional.
- If your roof is safe to navigate, begin your preventative maintenance! Use your broom or leaf blower to get debris off of your roof while minding the ledge.
- Ask your partner to hold on to your ladder again while you descend with your tools.
Clearing roof debris is safe when done right. Follow the preventative maintenance steps above and get your roof prepped for the winter!
Check Your Insulation
Misplaced insulation can also cause roofing damage when it covers your vents. Vents are critical to providing air flow that prevents ice dams from forming in the winter. Read more about ice dams and how winter impacts roofing with our last blog.
Never handle insulation without a mask. Insulation commonly contains fiberglass, which is dangerous to breathe in—especially if you have a condition like asthma. If you’d rather be safe than sorry, contact professionals.
Inspect Your Flashing
We would never recommend roof repair and maintenance to an amateur, but some flashing repair is doable for an amatuer. Flashing is critical for your roof as well as your home’s structural stability, sealing the space between your roof’s underlying frame and the outdoors. There are a few potential problems to watch out for:
- Severe weather damage can misplace flashing.
- Exposure and long periods without service can corrode flashing.
- Critters can put small holes in flashing.
Sometimes entire sections of flashing have to be replaced. Replacement seems simple, but can easily go wrong. Leave it to the professionals if you want flashing installed correctly.
However, flashing isn’t always unsalvageable. Small issues like holes or gaps can be solved by:
Re-Caulking Your Flashing
Re-caulking is a pretty simple process that doesn’t require much expertise. Grab a caulk gun and evenly apply sealant to your flashing. Focus on parts of the flashing that have worn away, contain small holes, or are slightly damaged.
Caulk is a short-term fix. If you want a longer-term solution, contact the experts for a full flashing replacement.
Do an Amateur Roof Inspection
While roof inspections are best left in the hands of professionals, there are some things you can identify yourself. Take a look at your roof; are there holes, broken materials, or discoloration?
Record these things for easy communication with a professional. Describing your issues well is key to getting the right help and makes the professional roof inspection simpler.
Get a Professional Roof Inspection From Simpson Unlimited
Contact Simpson Unlimited for the gold standard in roofing services. We offer a variety of solutions that include:
Simpson Unlimited has been Virginia’s ultimate exterior service provider since 1993. We pride ourselves on our high-quality work and exceptional customer service. Keep your roof in great shape for years to come by partnering with Simpson today.