Roof maintenance: what building owners need to know

During the past several years, roofing contractors and roof consultants throughout the United States have seen substantial increases in requests for roof asset management or preventive maintenance services. Whether this is a result of building owners and building managers recognizing the long-term benefits of such services or simply having an increased concern for cost control and "getting the most out of their roofs" is difficult to determine. However, this change in buying habits certainly has affected the roofing industry.

It seems as though everyone in the roofing business—from manufacturers to consultants to contractors of every size—has developed a program, system or department to address owners' roof system maintenance needs.

Most of us on the service end of the roofing industry would agree, in most cases, any preventive maintenance is better than none. However, because there are so many approaches to address owners' needs, it becomes important for the building owner community to understand the basic services typically provided and what to look for when considering to move from a crises-management mode to a proactive one.

This article will attempt to clarify roof system maintenance questions for building owners and provide some reasonably objective answers. Remember, there is no such thing as the absolute right answer or wrong answer to any question. What follows is a result of personal experience and conversations with numerous successful roofing contractors and happy and unhappy building owners.