The change in weather from hot summer days to cooler autumn temperatures brings with it a change in building maintenance, as well as an opportunity to give your facility a general maintenance once-over.
One area that should receive your attention as we move into colder weather is your roof. Even if it's not in desperate need of repairs, your roof can be a major money drain if left unchecked. In general, it's a good to make a habit out of staying on top of your roof maintenance.
When it comes to your roof, you want to do everything you can to shake the old out of sight, out of mind thought process. Buildings.com stressed the importance of adopting a proactive approach to roof maintenance over a reactive one - making roof inspections a regular part of your building maintenance so that problems can be caught preemptively. Not only can being proactive with roof maintenance save money - roughly 11 cents per square foot - but maintaining your roof rather than fixing it can result in getting substantially more life out of it. According to Buildings.com, a properly maintained roof can last up to 21 years, versus a more lax approach to reactive roof maintenance, which typically results in a roof life of just 13 years.
The nuts and bolts
Winter can be particularly harsh on roofs, with extreme temperatures causing shingles to peel, expand and contract, snow and ice piling up and snowmelt posing potential leak hazards. As such, take special care when inspecting your roof, possibly even getting coworkers to give the roof an additional once-over to make sure things such as leaks and water damage weren't missed.
According to FacilitiesNet, a thorough roof inspection should also incorporate your windows, walls and glazing - oftentimes such leaks occur near the roof line and are uncovered by a roof inspection. Make sure the roof itself is tidy and clear of debris, trash and dead foliage, as this will make future forays to the top of the building easier and will reduce tripping hazards. In addition to the shingles, gravel or other roof surface, you should also take this opportunity to check the gutters and drainage system. FacilitiesNet reported that standing water can be indicative of a drainage problem, requiring anything from a good cleaning to more serious plumbing procedures.