Now that we’ve sold property owners on the value of roof maintenance, let’s take a look at the nitty-gritty details of a comprehensive roof maintenance package. Here’s what one successful roofing contractor includes in his maintenance plan:
1. Sweeping of the roof, cleaning gutters, inspection of all seams, protrusions and sheet metal flashings, and a refresh on all sealants and caulks.
2. Provide before-and-after photos and a copy of your company’s inspection sheet. If applicable, a copy of this work sheet should be sent back to the roof manufacturer guaranteeing the job.
3. If additional work is needed, the customer receives a picture of it and a price.
4. For built-up and modified bitumen roofs, an aluminum recoating is sold every three to five years.
“We send customers an email or call for scheduled maintenance,” said Mike Satran, president of Interstate Roofing, Portland, Ore. “These reminders work great. And that’s important, because maintenance is the most profitable division we have.”
Part of these roof inspections means walking the roof and perimeter to check for open seams caused by lack of maintenance or debris pushing its way into the seam. Even debris that doesn’t penetrate the membrane can case staining and/or lead to potential damage or premature deterioration.
On roofs that have been roughed up by storm damage or other causes, qualify and quantify the issues noted during the inspection. Quantify the number of conditions requiring repair, and qualify the extent of damage. Determine the best repair technique by evaluating the extent of the damage. Will a patch in cold cement suffice, or will areas of the roof need to be removed and a full system, permanent repair be required?
When maintenance repairs exceed the terms of “covered repairs” under the maintenance agreement, be sure to note and document them clearly. (For example, “Repair HVAC ducting, install condensate line and position to drain, etc.).” Prepare a detailed scope of work and estimate so the building owner understands the condition of the roof and the potential for damage, premature deterioration of the membrane or leaks.
Next is the issue of potential leaks from rooftop equipment that has been poorly maintained by other trades or damaged by a storm.
It’s likely that most professional roofing contractors have “seen it all” when it comes to rooftop equipment problems. But here’s a reminder list for your crews and foremen on where problems on rooftop equipment are most likely to be found:
1. On poorly designed filter access covers for HVAC ductwork.
2. On improperly-sealed joints, seams and holes on HVAC ducts.
3. On bent, loose or missing filter access panels on HVAC units.
4. On holes and loose edges on HVAC fresh-air intake hoods.
5. On holes and poorly installed “weather-stripping” in HVAC air intake panels.
6. Through wind-blown rain into skylight louvers.
Blair Construction LLC of Millersville, Md., has gotten a handle on rooftop equipment problems by partnering with other trades.
“We offer commercial property management services, which has really helped our maintenance division take off,” he said. “Our customers just need to make one call to handle all their building needs.”