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Home / Preventive Maintenance and Remedial Repairs

Preventive Maintenance and Remedial Repairs

“Roughly 2/3’s of commercial roof activity today consists of re-covering or re-roofing existing buildings.  While periodic inspection and routine maintenance are the best investment a building owner can make, far too often the roof is out of sight, out of mind (until it leaks, of course). "
Rickard L. Fricklas, 9/10/2012  read more

Benefits of Preventive Maintenance and Audits

Roof audits, preventive maintenance and remedial roof repairs are integrally connected and collectively they help to enhance the longevity of metal roof systems

The roof audit allows us to provide the owner with a detailed professional document that reports on the condition of their metal roof, ancillary components and interface integrity.  Keeping your metal roof system at a constant “high level” of maintainability is one of the most important facets to longevity and sustainability.

The roof audit provides details on defects or deficiencies currently present on the roof that are detrimental to weather-tightness and longevity.  Additionally, the audit identifies suspect water breach areas or the onset of potentially harmful degradation that may become a problem in the near term and makes recommendations to remove the liability.

“Leak Maintenance” Service

National Roof Coaters offers an alternative to our “full metal roof restoration” called “Leak Maintenance” service.  The NRC “Leak Maintenance” service utilizes the “roof audit” findings and observations to customize “remedial repair” and “preventive maintenance” recommendations & activities into a proposal of specified scope.  The “Leak Maintenance” service is typically offered to customers who: 1) have metal roof panels that are in good condition, are functioning as designed and do not require the application of a protective industrial coating, 2) have metal roof ancillary components, trim and other details that require attention, 3) have a confined number of active roof leaks that have been identified for root cause repair, 4) wish to keep their metal roof system at a level of maintainability for a modest cost, and 5) have a desire to keep the entire roof system under a comprehensive warranty for a minimum of five years or longer.

The National Roof Coater roof audit and associated “Leak Maintenance” proposal: 1) addresses customer specific concerns and requests, 2) identifies roof system deficiencies that need immediate remedial repair attention, and 3) details preventive maintenance work items that will head off future deterioration and/or water breach issues.

The “Leak Maintenance” service is a very cost effective way to harness such benefits as:  prudent asset management, roof system longevity & sustainability, manufacturer warranty compliance, proactive leak prevention, mitigation of premature capital expenditures, and more.

If you own a galvalume SSR metal roof system, and you maintain it properly, it should outlast the service life of the building

“In conclusion, the data from this project support the supposition that a galvalume SSR system could be installed today on new or retro-fit low slope roof system in a wide range of environments and not require replacement during the buildings entire service life.  Of course proper roof inspections and maintenance associated with the roof ancillaries would still be required, as they are with any roof system.  But the projected service life demonstrated in this study clearly demonstrates the sustainable benefits of using galvalume coated steel roof panels for new and retro-fit applications.”  Ron Dutton, 9/12/2013  [Read article]

If your metal roof system was installed later than 1980 it is more likely than not fitted with galvalume roof panels

Recent studies have confirmed that galvalume metal roof panels can last in excess of 60 years and even outlast the service life of the building they cover.

In over 45 years of inspecting, evaluating and analyzing galvalume meal roof systems it has been National Roof Coater findings through these detailed examinations that metal roof failures almost always begin and end at the ancillary roof components, panel laps or at highly stressed and loose fasteners.

Isolated panel surface protection

Condensate and corrosive discharges, being a separate problem, can be detrimental to any roof type covering.  These areas can be protected with proper drain piping and/or preservation.

Improper repairs

External applications of “non-conforming”, “non-compatible” repair materials installed on your system may in fact be the single most damaging action that can lead to moisture retention, infiltration and interstitial related panel and component degradation.

More is not necessarily better.  Specific leak identification location and appropriate repairs that meet manufacturer specifications is the optimum solution.

All too often inappropriate materials are placed arbitrarily about the roof in surplus amounts in an attempt to stop water breaches.  This can directly metastasize from a modest remedial repair into a full blown nightmare.

Metal roof system failures often begin at lap joints & ancillary component details such as:

View Examples

Note:  In many cases, if a roof leak does occur, it is the lack of internally applied sealant and insufficient pre-load of fastening mechanisms at these laps, joins & flashings that attach to the metal roof system panel assemblies that propagates moisture infiltration.  Ponding water (i.e. lack of an evacuative path) also increases the probability of a breach of the roof system.  This can be the result of broken panel corrugations causing a negative slope, improperly designed equipment curbs, mis-aligned pipe flashing or misappropriated external material repairs.  Installation methods per industry standards and proper repairs facilitate the elimination of these deficiencies.  Note:  Ponding water in the presence of the suns UV rays acts as a magnifier to intensify heat that may lead to the subsequent degradation of underlying, externally applied materials.

There is much data available from well documented leak repairs on a preponderance of roofing systems that clearly demonstrates that roof leaks may not be as they appear.  In fact, roof leaks in metal roof systems are “not typically in the metal panels themselves”!  Most roof leaks can be traced and attributed to other components and conditions that are not integrally related to the roof itself.

Roof Leak Statistics

Roof Maintenance is an opportunity to improve profitability

Proactive vs. Deferred Roof Maintenance

“In this day of troubled economies, corporate downsizing, and drive for bottom-line profitability, corporate executives are looking anywhere they can find synergies, efficiencies and areas where they can reduce expenses.  And that search now includes the roof, where money can be found through proactive roof maintenance programs.

An often overlooked opportunity to significantly save money (or contribute to corporate profits) is in the area of corporate facilities maintenance and management”

Failure of roof system components can be caused by such conditions as:

  • Original construction flaws
  • Deficient design
  • Non-compatible material use
  • Improper repairs
  • Thermal cycles and associated stress
  • Loss of fastener pre-load
  • Migration of sealant from laps and joints
  • Tearing and destruction of flashing materials
  • Improper assembly installations
  • Third party damage

View Examples

Leaks vs. condensation (moisture migration) within the building envelope

Concealed Condensation

“Concealed condensation is one of the most difficult and damaging types of condensation. Typically, concealed condensation occurs on the underside of the steel roof deck when the roof insulation is not in contact with the roof panel, causing trapped warm air to come in contact with the outer panel. When we see concealed condensation we often find that the facing or vapor retarder is not sealed properly for the moisture levels and the ventilation is not adequate in the building.”

Negative building pressure or mass air flow imbalance tends to draw moisture into the building through roof and wall components that do not have effective air barriers or are subject to equipment and penetration flaws.

Keep Your Air Pressure Positive

“Operate your building at a slightly positive pressure with respect to the outdoors.  The amount of outside air supplied to a building should slightly exceed the amount of air that is exhausted. The imbalance between the supply and exhaust air creates a positive pressure inside the building relative to the pressure outside. This positive pressure forces air out of the building through open doors and cracks around window and door seals.  The airflow being forced out of the building prevents the infiltration of unconditioned and unfiltered outdoor air as well as the infiltration of ground level pollutants, such as car exhaust, pesticide/herbicide odors, pollen, etc.

The difference between the amount of outdoor air supplied to the building and the amount of air exhausted should be only large enough to maintain the positive pressure inside the building relative to the outdoors. A substantial pressure differential could result in the excessive loss of conditioned air, leading to increased energy costs. At an extreme, it could even damage systems like the roof, so proceed with caution and a light hand.”

Function, prudence and periodicity of Preventive Maintenance

As previously stated the function and main purpose of preventive maintenance is to identify, evaluate and correct potential issues with roof system panels and components before they cause a water breach, deteriorate beyond the ability to maintain or they degrade to a level that warrants premature replacement.  Minimize costs and maximize roof life through preventive maintenance.  It is a proven process.  Audit inspections and accompanying preventive maintenance should be completed, at a minimum, on an annual basis.  Semi-annual inspection is better, however the annual audit will allow for a good evaluation after a full seasonal cycle.

Audits and repair specificity

All roof audits include: detailed descriptions of: observations, findings, evaluations, analyses and recommendations. Additionally, a thorough & specific work-scope for remedial repairs and preventive maintenance that includes leak resolution, and photo galleries that illustrate roof system and component conditions and drawings is included.  National Roof incorporates a number of options to educate the customer on the completed work that includes: a final walk through with the foreman, regional sales rep or construction superintendent, post repair pictures (hard copy or digital) or a video as confirmation.

Partial Listing of Metal roof systems that NRC performs maintenance and repairs:

  • Butler Manufacturing
  • American
  • Star
  • Varco Pruden
  • Atlantic
  • Kirby
  • Gulf States
  • Metallic
  • Pascoe
  • Rigid
  • Whirlwind
  • Inland
  • Armco
  • Parkersburg
  • Nucor
  • Vulcraft
  • Chief
  • Golden Giant
  • A & S
  • Mitchell
  • Behlen
  • Steelox
  • Ceco
  • Bluescope
  • Mesco
  • Steel Systems
  • USA
  • NCI