If you own a building with a metal roof, please take a few minutes to read this article because it could save you time, money and headaches. I am a commercial general contractor providing pre-engineered and conventional buildings to customers. Monolithic roof systems represent the majority of the roofing material we use, primarily standing seam metal roofs by Butler Manufacturing. The following applies to most metal roofs manufactured for the U.S.
Each time I am asked to inspect a roof because it’s leaking, I am consistently shocked and amazed to find that “a roofer” has made one or several visits trying to plug, paint and tar the areas on the roof which had been pointed out as leaking. These “perceived leaking areas” usually are not where a leak originates from but usually where they end up due to wicking and capillary actions in play with the real source of the water or most of the time, condensation. By the way, that is why I get the call because what the roofer has done rarely addresses the problem.
A well installed steel roof can last for 25-35 years without major maintenance or expensive costs for re-seaming, patching etc. Here are a few tips on how to give your roof the proper attention and extend its life:
- Any work on a metal roof should be done by a contractor who spends the majority of his or her time installing these types of roof covering.
- Inspect your roof regularly, at least annually.
- Clean your gutters and downspouts bi-annually, Spring and Fall.
- Keep roof curbs free of debris.
- Thoroughly wash and clean area of all debris, solutions after maintenance on roof top mechanical units.
- Caution workers on roof – help prevent roof punctures.
- Inspect and reseal as necessary all roof penetrations – pipe flashings and curbs, etc.
- Inspect the roof if a heavy storm or weather condition may have caused damage. (Contact your builder).
- Check A/C units frequently for proper condensate disposal.
- Empty A/C units’ evaporation pan as necessary to prevent overflow onto roof.
- Remove excess ice and snow as necessary.
- Recoat corroded surfaces with Uniflex 500; this is compatible with most standing seam roof coating.
- Always walk in flat of roof panel, near supporting roof structural.
These suggestions are from Butler® Roof Systems Roof Owner’s maintenance manual for Standing Seam and Fastenthrough roofs.
The roof over your head was a big investment and meant to keep you and your assets dry and protected from the elements. With the proper care metal roofs have lasted 40 years.
Always have a metal roof specialist inspect and maintain your metal monolithic roof!
For more building advice on Design, planning and construction and maintenance of commercial buildings contact Kevin at 413-626-7040. Kevin is a licensed Construction Supervisor and Real Estate Broker in Massachusetts. Look for his upcoming newsletters beginning Fall of 2011 at www.oleary-group.com