Roofs are among the most misunderstood-and neglected-building components. And like other building components, they eventually wear out and require replacement.
However, normal aging and eventual deterioration is different than roof failure, where the roof system fails to attain its design life. The service life of a roof system is dependent on the quality of the original roofing materials, the appropriateness of design and material selection, and the care and quality of installation. Another important factor influencing a roof system's longevity is roof maintenance.
An effective preventive-maintenance (PM) program does not wait for problems to develop, but instead schedules regular roof inspections and promptly attends to required repairs. The best time to develop a PM program is during the design and installation of a new roof system. However, in most cases, facility managers must deal with existing roofs as part of their duties.
The first step
It is difficult to fix a problem without first knowing what the problem is. In roof management, the first step is to identify what roofs are owned and what condition they are in. Gathering historical information and cataloging roofing assets is tedious and time-consuming, but necessary. The following information should be identified:
-Date of installation.
-Existence and duration of warranties.
-Type of membrane, insulation and roof deck.
-Leak history, including any warranty claims and their resolutions.
-Repair history, including dates, type and repair costs.
For newly completed roofs, the following information should be compiled during installation and should be part of the closeout document:
-As-built plans and specifications, including any addenda.
-Current roof plans showing locations of penetrations and equipment.
-Minutes of pre-bid and pre-construction meetings.
-Shop drawings and product data.
-Daily quality-assurance reports.
-Correspondence relating to the installation of the roof system.
-Manufacturer or contractor warranties.
-Documentation of roof inspections or evaluations, including photos.
-Documentation of changes made to the roof or new equipment installed.
-Documentation of repairs or corrective action.