How to Extend the Life of Your Current Roof

Your general contractor or local roofer probably told you that you need a new roof. Good news! Chances are that you DO NOT! This post includes the best practices from leading brands who are avoiding expensive roof replacements and getting the most life out of their current roofs. From cutting edge thermal drone imaging to elementary yet important grease containment, Director of Operations and Sales at RoofingSource, Tom Dawson, explains tactical tips you can implement immediately and introduce you to some long-term strategies to reduce the need for expensive new roofs.

1. Keep Your Manufacturer’s Warranty Valid

Many of our clients don’t know if they have a roof warranty. If they do, they are most certainly doing things to violate it. Did you know that if you don’t perform and document annual preventative maintenance, you could be violating it? Experience some rain? Ponding water can void the warranty. Any third party damage? Yeah, that is most certainly not covered!

  • Notify your manufacturer of any service performed to the roof (leaks, maintenance, repairs, etc.)

  • Make sure that “like-to-like” repairs are made. (“Like-to-like” repairs are when the same membrane is used on top of the membrane. For example, if you have a PVC roof, make sure the repairs are done with PVC and not roof cement.)

  • Implement a preventative maintenance program- an in-house maintenance program or RoofingSource’s RoofCare

  • Check to see if your manufacturer offers a warranty extension with proof of a maintenance program


2. Determine If Your Roof ACTUALLY Needs Replacement Or Restoration

You may have been told you need a new roof, when that may not be the case. We use annual inspections to get a longer view of the roof and understand if there has been a recurring issue. Just having an inspection of one time provides just a snapshot and not the full story. We perform core cuts and use drone infrared imaging so we can see the moisture content of a roof system. You’d hate to replace the entire roof if just a small section is saturated. Assess each part of the roof system and not just the field. Rooftop unit and parapet flashing, drainage and penetrations are all important parts of the roof that warrant a repair, not a new roof or roof replacement.

 
A core cut

A core cut

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Thermal drone imaging

Thermal drone imaging

 

3. Implement Inexpensive Preventative Maintenance 

Like mentioned in the first point, preventative maintenance isn’t just proactive and smart, but required by your roofing manufacturer. Our RoofCare program is for building owners and facilities managers who choose to have us handle their routine maintenance. Regardless if RoofingSource conducts the preventative maintenance or not, I highly recommend before and after photos and signatures of on staff management to be included as part of the punch list. If your building is a restaurant, containing your grease is of utmost importance. Regardless of your which roofing membrane is on your roof, grease causes chemical damage and will eat through your roof causing annoying short term leaks and expensive long-term damage.

Field Advisor PM
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4. Know Who Is On Your Roof And Why

Third party vendors (e.g. HVAC technician cutting filters to size) can cause serious unintentional damage to your roof. If your staff or others need to go on the roof, I recommend using walk pads/sacrificial sheets (additional membrane used in high foot traffic areas or where grease is discharged) and requiring before and after photos and signature/sign-off so there is accountability on the services provided.

 
Walk+Pads
 

I hope these tips help you save money by avoiding the need for a new roof, and allow you to reap the most life out of your current roofs. Have a question about a specific recommendation I mentioned or need help with your roof? Send me an email or give me a call at 407-592-8363.

 

Written by

Tom Dawson
Director of Operations & Sales
tom.dawson@roofingsource.com