Why Roof Maintenance is Important
A guide to developing a roofing maintenance strategy
Roofing systems are not just a simple shield on top of a building. They are complex systems that redirect water, shield from snow and ice, expand and contract in the heat and cold, and insulate the building below to create a safe and clean environment. The technology is ever improving and it is important to know how to maintain each type and style roof. Developing a roofing maintenance strategy for each type or system is important in order to reach the best possible product and longevity for each roof. Implementing these strategies are just as important and will keep clients and roofs very happy. There are six steps to developing a roofing maintenance strategy.
Generate A Paper Trail of Roof Documentation
One of the main issues with warranties, repairs, and other client/company relationships is lack of documentation. Keeping a full documentation from start to finish of a project as well as all repairs and warranties afterwards is important. Keeping track of the date and time of these events will really give you the customer support you want for happy customers. The first and most important step to a Roof Maintenance Program is documentation including as many fields as possible. Including, but not limited to the following.
- Plans and specifications from the original project.
- All proposals and contracts for any roofing done.
- Copy of the warranties and if/when they were done.
- Records of leaks and reports of any fixes.
- Maintenance and repair records.
- Any correspondence on that roof-related work.
Make sure to be as detailed as possible. When you are detailed, it gives the business and the customers peace that they will be taken care of.
Warranties often come with a secondary warranty on the repair. Make sure that those are documented as well. A Business will want documentation(a virtual paper trail) from the first point of contact until it is time for a new roof. Having that documentation will make the process a whole lot easier.
Keep Electronic Roof Data
Similar to a paper trail, it is important to document everything electronically. A paper trail is important to follow in house, but not every document goes with to a job site or to a client meeting or roof inspection. Documenting each and every conversation on an electronic system will help to see anytime.
Picture this. The client is asking questions about a warranty or a repair, but the contractor does not have their paperwork with. Implementing a system backed up in the cloud can really save the contractor by having the right information at their fingertips. Tablets are so cheap nowadays that they should be able to carry one with so they can take notes, back up those notes, and pull up everything there is to know about a client in order to best help the client.
Take the extra expense and create a system to document each and every interaction electronically so the client/contractor relationship can be as clear and as concise as possible. Service is important, so make it a priority.
Have a Detailed Roof Survey Checklist
Most roofing companies offer a Free Roof Inspection, so in order to be a step above the crowd, have a detailed roof survey checklist. This checklist will cover all the nooks and crannies in a roof and will save the headache down the road.
First, draw the roof to scale in its entirety. CAD is a tool that is used to draw out shapes and sizes to scale. Knowing the exact dimensions of a roof, where the gutters are, where the seams are, the slope, etc is of utmost importance. Having accurate information will create a solid quote, find problem areas and map them, and keep a project clean and within budget.
This survey should also include precise documentation of where conduits run, where exhaust fans and pipes are, where a chimney is, and a core group of rules for water runoff.
Water flow will be the biggest point of this checklist due to not wanting any standing water on a roof. The contractor will mark the flow of water, any spots that may cause a problem, and places to be sure to seal properly. Gutter flow on a roof is also very important to know the amount of flow of water. Create a survey checklist in order to reach the roof in entirety.
A Roof Condition and Priority Report
When a contractor surveys a roof, they will want a roof condition and priority report and checklist. This report will include the full inspection survey, a guided long term maintenance plan/schedule, what the findings are and how the method used to come to those findings, the best recommendations, and the cost of those future repairs/maintenance. Having all these findings in a report will give the client all the answers and options for their roof.
Maintenance groups should be put into three categories. First, roofs that are new and easily maintained. Secondly, roofs that are getting older, under warranty, but need more work. Third, roofs that are in need of a lot of work and are nearing the end of the recommended 20 year lifecycle. When you split up roofs that way, the client can see where they are in that 20 years so they can plan accordingly for pricing out repairs and possible roof replacement. The Contractor should always look at the cost benefit analysis with the client during a roof condition report and the priority of the roof. When the contractor can give the client the information in the roof condition and priority report, it shows the client just where they should prioritize their money as roofs are not cheap.
It is easy to have the break-down mentality for a client because they will only
call when they have an issue. That sounds easy enough, but scheduling roof repairs is best for both client and contractor. Contractors are busy, so it is hard to have an emergency break-down repair. Making that clear in the roof maintenance contract is important.
Scheduled roof repairs will make it easy to fix problem areas before they penetrate into the house or business causing more issues for the client. A leaking roof usually comes with secondary effects such as wet insulation, corrosion, mold, and interior damage.
Scheduled maintenance will ease a client’s fears and worries about any roofing issues as they know it will be taken care of. Service is important to both client and contractor, so make it one less possible problem to worry about by scheduling maintenance.
Inspect Roofs Twice a Year
It is recommended to inspect a roof twice a year by The National Roofing Contractors Association. The first inspection should be done after the first Hot day of the year and after the first real Cold day of the year. Spring and Fall is where these usually fall. This is due to the rapid expansionand contraction of the roofing system which will cause gaps to open, shingles to pull apart, and any real issues to show themselves.
In this inspection you will look for the following;
- Damage caused by storms
- Warranty repairs
- Housekeeping and cleaning
- Repairs to be paid for by owner
Roof Maintenance is important to both client and contractor. Having a Roof Maintenance Strategy will put all the pieces into place. Develop and tweak a strategy that best meets the needs of the clients and contractor. Use this guide as a reference and as always remember that service is the most important aspect for a roofing business.
If you have additional questions or want to see how ORB is developing routine maintenance strategies for our clients, schedule a free consultation today!