Posts Tagged ‘roof inspection’

Winter Can Be Your Roof’s Worst Enemy

January 20, 2011

Commercial Roofing Takes a Beating

Winter has two faces: A snowy wonderland or a serious threat to rooftops.  Blizzards, freeze-thaw cycles and frigid temperatures place extraordinary stresses on commercial roofing systems. While most are designed to withstand harsh wintry conditions, roof failures can occur when these systems are pushed beyond their limits.  Heavy snow is a major concern.  Clogged drains and leaks are others.  Snow loads of just two to four feet can be hazardous, depending on the building deck.  For a concrete deck, two or three feet of snow usually are not a problem.  But for roofs constructed of economical light gauge steel, often used in strip malls and warehouses for instance, collapse is a genuine danger.  Snow loads of a few feet could be hazardous and snow removal may be indicated.

When snow removal is necessary, using the wrong shovel on a single ply roof can be a big mistake.  Many roofs are ruined that way.  For this reason, a roofing professional should be considered a valuable partner in proper snow removal, potentially saving a building owner the cost of repair resulting from shovel damage failures.

The best safeguard against winter calamities is routine roof inspections just before and just after winter.  Minor problems with drains, flashings, copings and so forth can be repaired before winter.  Spring is the time for identifying major defects such as split membranes caused by wintry weather.  Major roof repairs or reroofing should be scheduled for the summer and fixed well before winter arrives.

A building’s drainage is also at risk during wintry weather.  Snow and ice can obstruct drains and build up during freeze-thaw cycles.  This ice can get under flashings, copings, drains and joints and wreak havoc on all types of roofing systems.  A roofing professional has the experience and knowledge to identify and correct problems before they become catastrophic.

Most buildings are designed to withstand the worst case scenarios of wintry weather, but if a design flaw becomes apparent, extraordinary measures may be required in the winter.

For example, heating tape may need to be installed around drains to alleviate ponding and ice buildup.  Because of the energy costs to melt ice and snow, heat tape is not an ideal solution but may be the only way to avert a disaster if the building is prone to this problem.  Each type of roofing system presents its own strengths and weaknesses. A roofing professional can determine when a roof is no longer reliable or can assist the owner or property manager in obtaining the routine maintenance required for the roof to survive another winter.  Building owners often replace their roofs as soon as the warranty expires even though it could provide several more years of reliable service life.  An experienced roofer can assess the condition of the roof and may recommend maintenance to keep the roof viable for an additional number of years.  They know how to cooperate with manufacturers to obtain accurate technical information about the reliability and performance of roofing products and their suitability for a particular application.


Take Care Of Your Roof And It Will Take Care Of You

June 15, 2010

Roof Maintenance  

It does not matter if your roof is wood shake-shingles, comp shingles, tile, hot mop or whatever.  Your roof needs you.  Roof maintenance should be done seasonally or at least semi-annually.  Before harsh winter sets in again is a good time.  Walk your roof slowly and inspect it thoroughly one section at a time.  Get rid of all leaves, branches, twigs and any other debris.   An electric or gas blower does this job nicely. 

Look for broken or missing shingles, shakes or tiles.  Nail down or replace shakes that are curled and sticking up.  Replace shakes that are exposing felt between shakes. Nails sticking up should be driven down.  Trim tree branches hanging within 4ft of roof.  Clear gutters and downspouts by spraying water with a hose.

Pay particular attention to roof protrusions and where different sections of roofs meet or intersect with walls.  Most roof leaks develop in these areas.  Roof protrusions are anything that sticks thru the roof, such as pipes, vents, chimneys etc.  Remove cracked or dried out caulking and replace with a good polyurethane caulking.  Use a wire brush if necessary and make sure surface is clean and dry.  Seal loose bricks and mortar in chimneys.  Dab some roof cement under any loose comp shingles.  

Listed below are the top 5 leak causing areas on a roof

1. Chimneys
2. Roof mounted AC units
3. Roof mounted solar panels
4. Dormer vents, heat vents, and plumbing vents
5. Valleys and crickets

Inspect the ceilings and walls on the inside of your home.  In most cases a spot on the ceiling will tell you that you have a leak.  In more extreme case the sheetrock will actually cave in.  The first sign of a roof leak should be fixed immediately, before extreme damage occurs.  Take care of your roof and it will take care of you.

A Quick Roof Inspection Can Save You Thousands Of $ On A New Roof

December 3, 2009

A Quick Roof Check Can Save You Thousands Of $

With the cooler temperatures lurking around the corner, this is the time to remember last winter’s experiences and take care of them now.

Last year we had a surge of phone calls coming in from homeowners frantic that the ceiling or walls were going to cave in because they encountered water seeping down their homes’ inside wall.  Or tenants were worried about walking out the front door because of excessive amount of icicles hanging overhead and on the side of the building.  They were experiencing Ice Damming

Most homeowners, developers and property managers think that ice damming is only a roofing problem.  It is actually an insulation and ventilation problem.  Here is what happens.  After a snowfall, the snow begins to melt next to the roof creating a layer of standing water.  Add to that the hydrostatic pressure of the ice and snow and water appears in places that normally would not leak.

To Fixing the Problem… Call Your Local Roofing Professional To Diagnose the Right Solution!

Your Local Roofing Professional will take a look at your roof and look for telltale signs of damage.  These signs can include granules missing from your shingles, weak spots, blisters, cracks, and missing shingles.  An inspector can evaluate your eaves and valleys to ensure that they are not leaking or will not be leaking in the near future.  By having these regular inspections, you can extend the life of your roof.  You will not have to make extremely premature replacements, which can save you a lot of money in the long-term. You certainly do not want to replace a thirty-year roof in fifteen.

A lot of money was spent on roofs a couple years ago when we all experienced heavy snow and freezing temperatures.  What if that money was spent unwisely?  What if all you needed to do was check for insulation and ventilation?  Isn’t it worth the 15-minute inspection?

Contact United Roofing & Remodeling now to setup a roof inspection with one of our roofing specialists at 612-617-1717