If you own and operate a store or other commercial business, one of your worst fears may be having to close down for a few days to have the roof replaced. It's tough to keep a business open when roofers are working on it since falling materials present a hazard to anyone walking by. Closing for even a day can eat into your profit margins. So, what's the answer? Well, it might be to take better care of your commercial roof so you don't need to replace it anytime soon. Here's how to do that.
Have the roof professionally inspected once a year.
You can give your commercial roof a cursory glance to detect issues like peeling membranes and leaks, but since you're not a professional, you might accidentally overlook some problems. Therefore, it's best to pay a roofing company to come and look over your roof annually. Look for a company that specializes in commercial roofing, as commercial roof systems are quite different from the shingle roofs used on many residential structures. Some roof companies may have a subscription plan that you can sign up for which includes an annual inspection along with discounts on any necessary repairs or maintenance, so ask if such a program is available.
Start funding a "roof repair" account.
If your roofing contractor does discover that basic repairs are needed, you will want to make them ASAP. Letting little issues like peeling membranes or pooling water slide, even for a few weeks while you gather funds, can lead to more extensive damage that costs even more to repair. So that you never have to wait to make repairs, start setting money aside in a separate account for roof repairs. A few thousand dollars will go a long way and should cover most basic repairs like patching or replacing flashing.
Take care of the trees.
Are there any trees around your commercial building? Trees are beautiful, but they are a huge threat to your roof, especially if you do not take care of them. A branch blowing back and forth in the breeze, scraping your roof as they go, can rip a hole in the roof membrane. If leaves fall on the roof, they can trap water against the roof, which can weaken the roof materials and lead to deterioration or leaks.
Arrange to have your trees trimmed once a year, and make sure the trimming company really cuts back any branches that overhang the roof. If a tree keeps growing out over the roof between trimming appointments, your best bet may be to have the entire tree removed. You can plant a smaller one in its place, perhaps a little further back from the building.
Ask employees to immediately report any signs of roof trouble.
One problem that sometimes comes up in commercial buildings is that roofing issues go unaddressed because employees notice them but do not say anything. Especially if you are not personally present in your building each day, you must make sure your employees know to watch out for signs of leaks and roof damage and to contact you immediately if they suspect anything. You may even want to give your higher-level managers the phone number of your roofing company so they can call directly if there is a major issue rather than having to wait for you.
Having to replace a commercial roof is a huge undertaking. With good care, which starts with following the tips above, you can reduce the likelihood that you'll need a new roof on your building. Reach out to your commercial roofing contractor to learn more.