Sunlight, precipitation, wind, flying objects, sometimes even foot traffic, and in the case of the photo below, hoof traffic, all of these things combine to make the roof of a building susceptible to a lot of risk.
Poorly installed roof systems and products and their associated flashings are, in my opinion, the most common cause of roof problems during a roof’s life cycle…not goat traffic.
I sold commercial roofing products and construction services for most of the 1990’s for a company called Centimark, the nation’s largest roofing contractor.
I learned a few things from being in that business about roofs – here are my top 5:
1. Roofs are indeed the most vulnerable part of the building envelope
2. during a re-roofing project, the “tie-in” is the most vulnerable part of the building envelope – just wait and see what happens to a “bad tie-in” during a storm
3. corners and edges are the most vulnerable part of the roof’s construction, therefore these areas should have a more detailed nailing and/or attachment pattern
4. gutters, particularly internal gutters, and their downspouts, often require frequent cleaning and maintenance – extend gutter leaders and other drainage paths away from the building and insure that there is a positive flow away from any ground level interiors
5. flashings and terminations need to be checked every 6-12 months either by binocular views from the ground, or by a simple walk over inspection, just to verify that the flashings are durable and doing their job to stay watertight – while there, check the roof field for performance issues
Even on the hottest summer day, roofs are doing their thing – some better than others!
Remember that the roof is indeed the most vulnerable part of the building envelope. Everybody show your roof some love, please…