Facility Roof Maintenance – Keeping Drains & Gutters Clear During Fall

Previously, we have discussed the significance of checking your commercial roof, carrying out regular maintenance work, and performing the necessary fixes early before the cold season arrives. In this report, we are going to focus on the impact of waste accumulation–all these pretty fallen leaves can actually damage your commercial roof.

Debris Buildup and Unintended Consequences Debris Accumulation and Involuntary Effects

All you need is a little humidity and all those feather-light tree leaves can quickly turn into a large soggy mess that blocks gutters and trains and makes a breeding ground for mold and mildew. If you don’t discard these on time, all this debris will accumulate and cause water standing which increases the burden on the roof bed. Backed-up water (1” deep) increases the live burden on the roof deck by as much as 5 pounds/ft2. As time passes, accumulated water can drain out the flexible features of some one-ply layers and shrink the pliability and duration of the roof.

During the winter season, plashing becomes a crucial concern when ponding water freezes and spreads out, making its way into tiny recessions or sub-flashings. Extra accumulated ice may lead to lining damage and costly fixes – worst-case scenario, a roof collapse may occur.

Precautionary Maintenance Decreases Risk

Maintenance staff should be expertly trained to watch out for fallen leaves or other accumulated waste around the drains and gutters.

It’s important to carry out regular inspections and early removal of waste during the fall season. Spots of landed water may also be a sign of clogged drains. Drains that are blocked only partially may still allow the water to flow through so this doesn’t mean you have a drainage problem. Discoloration on the roof’s exterior can also signify earlier plashing, which is also a sign of caution. Since many times these debris accumulation issues are not clearly visible to the unskilled eye, it’s important to hire a skilled roofing expert to do a check.

Blocked gutters and drains should be unclogged right-away before heavy weather conditions can turn mushy leaf mess into frozen blockages.

Professional Checks

Along with the removal of accumulated leaves and waste, an expert roofer can inspect the water flow through the interior and exterior drains and check the condition of downpipes and gutters. During the inspection, he’ll look out for any minor details that the maintenance team missed e.g check gutters to make sure they are properly positioned and securely bolted. This task required an experienced eye to notice any problems with closures, flashings, tar, seams, and recesses early. Downpipes and gutters should also be inspected for bowing, droopy links, and shattered or lost closures.