Commercial roofs need quite a bit of attention, and at the end of the day, somebody will have to ask the question of who is supposed to take care of the roof. Unless it's clearly stated that a particular party is the one that's supposed to take care of a commercial roof, many people will choose to ignore the problem.
However, ignoring the issue isn't an acceptable solution because you may find yourselves without a roof in a short period of time. How can you determine whose job it is to take care of the roof?
The Roof's Manufacturer
When you buy a roofing system, they typically come with a warranty. These warranties provide protection in case the roof fails as a result of material failure. The warranty can also cover problems caused by poor workmanship if the manufacturer of the roofing system was also responsible for its installation. However, manufacturer warranties are usually limited to very specific types of problems and won't cover the regular care of your roof.
The roofing contractor whom you hired to install the roof may also have certain responsibilities towards your roof after the job is done. Many commercial roofing contractors will provide a warranty that lasts around two years, and this normally covers workmanship-related issues. In case there's an issue within the warranty period, this contractor should be the first person you call.
The Building Owner
Building owners usually take on many of the responsibilities that come with taking care of commercial roofs. Much of the work involved in taking care of a commercial roof will not be covered by a contractor's or manufacturer's warranty. Jobs such as keeping the roof clean and fixing damages caused by natural forces are not usually covered by a warranty. Therefore, the building owner will be responsible for handling such issues.
A building owner can pass off these responsibilities to a roofing contractor or pass the issue on to the building manager.
In certain cases, a tenant may have the responsibility of taking care of the roof in a commercial building. However, this will also depend on what is stated in the tenancy agreement. When a commercial building has a single tenant, the duty may be passed on to them. This is less likely when there are multiple tenants within the same building. However, they may all contribute to the cost of maintaining the roof indirectly.
For more information and assistance, contact your local roofing contractor.