Commercial Roof Maintenance And Keeping Gutters and Drains Clean

If you own a home or a business, you know how important your roof is. It’s a vital structure that separates you from the intense elements of Mother Nature. When you’re dealing with a residential roof, most homeowners understand how regular roof maintenance helps keep things in good standing and they do it on their days off, weekends, or long holidays. As a business owner, when’s the last time you took care of commercial roof maintenance? It often gets pushed aside or forgotten about as the every day requirements of running a business overcome any building maintenance that’s not already being taken care of. However, commercial roof maintenance is just as important as residential roof maintenance and could be the difference between a safe, structurally sound roof and one that only lasts for a few years. Luckily, one of the easiest ways to maintain your commercial roof is by keeping the gutters and drains clean. In this article, we’ll also cover everything you need to know to maintain your commercial roof this year.

Keeping Gutters and Drains Clean

The Importance of Clean Gutters and Drains

Gutters are one of your building’s first defense systems. They catch all of the water pouring down off your roof and guide it safely away from your building and its foundations. This is especially necessary on commercial roofs, which tend to be more flat than slanted. Over time, leaves degrade and become heavy and the moisture trapped in that pile of compost is the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. That’s why roofs have gutters and drains.

Gutters and drains are the reason that your roof doesn’t buckle under the weight of accumulated water and debris and they’re actually pretty easy to maintain. All you need to do is make sure that they’re clean. Gutters that are filled with debris, leaves, sticks, old Frisbees that were never recovered, and whatever else is up there can’t do their job. It can be frustrating process, because you need to do it multiple times throughout the year, but it’s worth it. If your gutters are clogged, they won’t do what they’re supposed to. This means your business’ shingles, siding, soffits, and more are vulnerable to damage from backed up water and debris. When your commercial roof becomes vulnerable, it’s more likely that severe damage will occur from preventable instances.

Get yourself a good ladder and start by cleaning out all of the visible debris from your commercial building’s gutters. Follow any and all safety recommendations and make sure you alert any people passing by to what you’re doing—you don’t need any accidents happening. Once you’ve cleaned out all of the debris, you’ll want to focus on your downspouts. This is the part of your roof that actually takes the water away from your building and if it’s clogged, it won’t work and all of the gutter cleaning will be for nothing. You can use a hose or a plumbers snake for the best results. If that doesn’t work, most downspouts can be taken apart for cleaning and reassembled when done.

Inspect Your Roof

While you’re up there cleaning your gutters and drains, you might as well give your roof an inspection. Commercial roofs are more prone to damage than residential roofs because they are often flat instead of slanted. The lack of angle means that things don’t just slide off as easily as they do in residential homes. Water is heavy when it accumulates and standing water can quickly lead to a compromise in your roof’s integrity. Look in any areas where water may have accumulated and make sure to clean it up while you’re there.

You should also check your roof from the inside out. This step is often overlooked, but can be the difference between a simple fix and a huge payout. Go to the top floor of your building and look up. Do you see any areas where water may be leaking through? Are there any sources of light sneaking in? If so, you probably have a leak or a hole. Call the professionals to get more detail on what’s happening in your building and how it can be fixed. If you ignore this problem, you’ll only find yourself in deeper waters—literally.

If your commercial building has shingles, you need to pay attention to them during your inspection too. Shingles are essentially the first line of defense on your roof. Most commercial buildings don’t have shingles, but if yours does then you can’t ignore them. First of all, keep an eye out for any missing shingles. If your roof is missing a shingle then it has a weak spot. You should also be on the look out for curling shingles, blistering shingles, buckling shingles, or stained shingles. All of these are indications that there is a bigger problem that needs to be addressed. If you find any problems with your shingles, it’s time to call in the professionals.

Finally, when doing your inspection, make sure you look for any mold or mildew. When you catch these problems early enough, they’re usually easy to fix without undergoing any major construction. If they’re ignored, mold and mildew could seep into the foundation of your roof and cause a much bigger, more expensive problem. You can opt for at-home remedies or head to your home improvement store and find something more powerful to tackle the mold. If it looks like the mold or mildew has already overtaken a large area of your roof, it’s best to call the professionals for an inspection. That way, you won’t overlook any structural problems that may go unseen to the untrained eye.

Preventative Action is the Best Action

As with most things, preventative action is much better than waiting until there’s a problem. If you have a maintenance crew, make sure they’re up to speed on what they need to do to clean the gutters and drains while keeping an eye out for damages. If you don’t have a crew, pull up your sleeves and get ready to make some rounds. Keep an eye out for standing water, blocked drains, and any buildups of leaves or debris. Here are some great tips for inspection and preventative basics:

  • Make roofing inspections at least twice a year and clean out the gutters and drains each time.
  • Remove any loose items on the roof.
  • Consider removing your roof cover granules to increase the flow of water off and away from your roof.
  • Check for any standing water or blockages.
  • Maintain good landscape and keep long trees trimmed so they don’t spill over onto your roof.
  • Make sure your downspouts and drains don’t lead to a place where water will accumulate near your building’s foundation.
  • Replace any broken or damaged pieces of your gutter and drain system as soon as possible.
  • Keep everything anchored down for the best protection.
  • Reattach and tighten any pieces you removed during cleaning.

The more you make inspections, the better you’ll be able to spot problems. Just remember, sometimes problems can be invisible to the untrained eye, which makes calling a professional a sound investment.

When to Call the Professionals

After a particularly strong storm has blown through, or if you’ve never done your own commercial roof maintenance, make sure to call the professionals. It’s always better to know what you’re dealing with from the beginning and to get things taken care of as soon as possible. If you don’t have any major problems, it’s still recommended to get an annual inspection regardless of the weather. Having a professional come in will speed up the entire process and save you money in the long run. Plus, routine inspections are the key to preventative maintenance—both of which will greatly extend the life of your roof. The professionals at Advocate Construction have the experience and expertise that you want in a detailed roofing inspection. During their inspection, if you have any commercial roofing damage, they’ll be able to provide you with an immediate estimate and make any necessary recommendations for repairs.

If anything is wrong after the inspection, our experienced roofing contractors from Advocate Construction will make sure your repair job is done efficiently and with complete transparency. We pride ourselves on working with integrity and longevity in mind. To contact an experienced roofing contractor from Advocate Construction, give us a call today at (414) 386-3900. You can also reach out to our customer service hotline, 833-409-ROOF (7663) or visit us at