With the rainy season almost upon us it is important to prepare your roof by performing annual inspections and making the necessary repairs to ensure your roof is ready to protect your investment to its full potential. Like your car, for a roof to function at its best, it requires periodic maintenance and inspections. This helps identify minor issues and repair them before they become major problems that can cause thousands of dollars in damage.

The following lists are items that are common to most buildings and should be checked annually. This list should provide a basic guide to what to look and watch for to help you get the most value from your roofing investment.

1) Make sure the gutters are clear of debris and that downspouts are clear and flowing. On some buildings gutters that are full of debris are not much more than a nuisance. Some buildings however have gutter installation that can cause water to back up over the backside of the gutter causing damage to rafters and sheathing as well as water damage to the interior of the building.

2) Make sure that any debris that has accumulated on the roof is cleaned off and disposed of. Plugged drains on a flat roof can lead to major leaks and possible roof collapse when the water cannot drain off correctly. On sloped roofs debris in valleys, around skylights and chimneys flashings and in some cases on the roof itself can restrict water runoff. This can cause water to back up under flashings and shingles resulting in leaks and interior damage. The important thing to remember is water runs downhill and anything that restricts the flow of water is a potential leak.

3) Pipe and vent flashings should be checked to ensure the flashings are solid and in place with no missing parts. The sealant around the flashings should also be checked at the same time. Over time the sealant dries out and loses its elasticity. As pipes and vents expand and contract with temperature changes this sealant can open up creating gaps where water can enter between the pipe and flashing.

4) If your building has skylights make sure they are properly sealed and secured in place. If the skylights are not sealed properly they can allow the inside heat to escape increasing your utility bill. Improperly sealed skylights can also allow wind-driven rain to enter the building. If a skylight is not secured properly it can be blown off in heavy winds.

5) If your downspouts drain into interior drain lines or underground drains make sure these lines are clear and flowing as well. If these lines are plugged or restricted in heavy rains it can cause water to back up onto the roof.

6) Check flat roof surfaces for deterioration and damaged areas. Shingle roofs should be checked for missing or damaged shingles. Tile roofs should be inspected for cracked or missing tile. Any problems found should be repaired immediately.

In order to avoid the costs and hassles caused by roof leaks (i.e.: frustrated tenants damaged interior belongings, concessions, etc.) an inspection of your existing roof assembly is highly recommended prior to the onset of the winter rains.

Read more information about our roof maintenance program. If you have questions or would like a complimentary quote, please contact us 510-547-6330. You can also send an e-mail to doug@fidelityroof.com.