With winter on its way, now is the time for Commercial Property Managers to get the exterior of their buildings and landscaping ready for the coming freezing temperatures. Making sure you mitigate any potential dangers is simply smart risk management and helps to avoid possible catastrophic effects from the failure to do so.
Roof Asset Management
Making sure that your properties main line of defense – its roof – is ready for the rigors of winter should be a top priority to every property management. High winds, freeze and melt cycles, snow accumulations, ice dams, icicles, hail and sleet can cause damage to roofing, flashings, drains and soffits.
Proper preventive maintenance of a commercial roof can maximize the life of the roofing system. The initial cost of your roof is only a portion of its total cost of ownership over the roof’s lifespan. The key to increasing performance, while simultaneously decreasing cost, is a proactive to successful roof asset management. Properly identifying and repairing minor problems now will help to avoid major complications tomorrow.
Regularly inspecting and repairing common roofing components (flashings, drains, curbs, etc.) is a preventative maintenance chore that every commercial property manager should perform every fall.
Commercial Roofing Inspections:
- Inspect drains and downspouts to make sure they are clear of blockage that will inhibit proper drainage.
- Check penetrations and flashings for any gaps or tears.
- Inspect rooftop vents and equipment to make sure they are well sealed.
- Look for any signs of damage to the roof and recommend solutions.
Basic Commercial Roofing Repairs:
High-Quality Mastics – These specially engineered polymers are more flexible, UV resistant and weather resistant than coal tar or asphalt. That makes these a better choice when making repairs to commercial roofing. Polymer-modified mastics perform better at low-temperatures thus preventing cracking and leaks from occurring when things start to freeze. Mastics may cost more up front, but their unparalleled performance makes the true cost over the lifetime of a roof a greater value than lower-priced options.
Reflective Coatings — Combating the elements with high-quality reflective coatings that are UV-resistant and can withstand harsh environmental conditions will also help to avoid cracking and leaking. Reflective coatings not only act as a protective barrier, but can also help save money on energy costs as they have been proven to increase the R-value of the entire building.
Drainage System — As one of the most essential parts of a commercial roofing system your drainage system needs to be working properly. A commercial property is at risk of water damage if water does not flow freely through gutters and downspouts. If water is allowed to pool on your roof or dripping down the exterior walls of your building, it can cause major damage to both the interior and exterior of the building. It is imperative to regularly clean the gutters and maintain the drainage system.
- Empty the Gutters — Clean out the leaves, twigs and other debris that has made its way into the gutters. When cleaning out the gutters, look for signs of broken shingles or roofing tiles, as pieces from these roofing materials might have fallen into the gutters. If you see broken pieces there, you know you have damaged roofing materials that need to be replaced. You also want to check the gutters for standing water. This is a sign of a blockage somewhere in the gutters that needs to be removed.
- Check the Roof Drains – Drains and downspouts can get the same debris and blockages too. It is important that all drains are completely cleared out. If while inspecting the drainage system and downspouts you notice holes, racks or other damage.
Trim Nearby Trees – To prevent the continual need to clean gutters and drains of leaves and twigs, remove overhanging branches that may cause a bigger problem than necessary. Tall trees can cause damage to the roof and siding during heavy winds and heavy snows.
Why Leaf Removal is so Important — Many fail to realize the importance of removing leaves. Yes, this is the time of year that growth slows, the plant will continue to create nutrients and energy (photosynthesis). This energy is stored and used the next growing season. Leaves left on Fescue grasses will interrupt the photosynthesis process, as the sunlight is blocked. Furthermore, newly seeded lawns left covered with leaves can also increase rot conditions as a dark, damp environment that smother weaker plants.
It is advised that leaf removal should happen every 7 to 10 days regularly versus waiting until all the leaves have fallen. Using blowers as opposed to raking leaves can alleviate the removal of seedlings from the soil. Leaves can be composted to make good organic matter for gardening, or they can be used as a mulch layer in natural areas.
Asset Management Alliance has deep roots in the Delaware community helping all types of commercial property owners protect and enhance the value of their investment through employing a diligent and fully vetted management, maintenance and engineering team that is available 24/7 every day of the year.