Commercial roofs, like any other part of the building, require regular upkeep to assure they continue performing properly and protecting the rest of the building from rain and weather. After an inspection you’ll likely hear your roofing contractor describe the need for maintenance, repair or replacement. Which of these comes into play is dependent o the overall condition of the roof and what it needs to remain in tip-top shape.
Maintenance typically needs to be conducted every year, occasionally twice a year or every other year, depending on the area and location of the building. A building on a wooded lot or in an area that experiences extreme weather conditions is likely to need maintenance work more often than a building in a clear field that only receives mild weather throughout the year. Maintenance can include a number of tasks from spreading gravel to even it out, touching up tar around exhaust ports, clearing drainage tubes, and just doing an overall inspection to check for damage or weakened spots in the roof.
Roof Repairs tend to be more specific than maintenance, often occurring as needed for storm damage from hail or lightning, and occasionally for a specific event such as a wild animal nesting on the roof. Repairs typically involve patching or replacing a small section of roof when the bulk of the roof is still too new to warrant a full replacement. Further repairs may include replacing damaged gutters and exhaust pipes, chimneys, or the boots and flashing around them.
Regular maintenance and timely repairs can extend the life of the roof, but eventually it has to be replaced. Roofs have a timeline based on the manufacturer’s recommendation as to how long you can expect them to last before needing replacement. The conditions they undergo based on weather and environment can add or subtract from that timeline but it’s still a reasonable frame to plan a budget and have a general expectation as to when you need to start keeping a closer eye on the roof, performing more inspections with the expectation a replacement will be needed soon.