Commercial Roof Maintenance Tips

Posted by Pekin Insurance on Jan 12, 2015

A commercial roof, like any capital investment, can last for many years when properly maintained. With a regular inspection and maintenance plan, you can address minor issues before they become serious problems that can lead to substantial roof and other property damage.


  • Remove all debris such as loose gravel, dirt, leaves, and twigs. These materials can retain water if they stay on the roof, and the constant moisture can cause damage to the roof surface. This material can also promote the growth of algae and mold which may increase the rate of degradation of your roof surface. This material can also contribute to clogs and form areas of standing water.
  • Clear field drains and auxiliary drains of debris to prevent water pooling that can cause leaks and structural damage due to the extra weight of the water.
  • Inspect the roof surface for damage. On PVC and rubber roofs, inspect for cracks, holes, or missing materials. On built-up roofs, inspect for areas with missing gravel or exposed tar paper. Have damaged areas repaired as soon as possible. Consult a qualified contractor to recommend the best solution for your roof.
  • Inspect for discolored areas and moss or algae growth where standing water may have been. These areas of the roof may need to be repaired to prevent ponding. Consult a qualified contractor for recommendation on treating algae or moss with chemical solutions to inhibit growth.
  • Check the flashing at walls, plumbing vents, skylights, and other rooftop equipment for damage. If flashing is found to be loose, has gaps or cracks, or is missing, have it repaired. Caulk or other sealants may be used to repair minor gaps or damage.
  • Inspect roof seams or transitions for cracks or holes and have them sealed.
  • Establish a proper walkway along the most-traveled roof areas to prevent damage from foot traffic.
  • While performing maintenance on rooftop equipment, ensure appropriate platforms are used for the work and to store supplies. Appropriate platforms will evenly distribute excess weight across the roof surface and prevent damage.


  • After significant snowfall, remove accumulations of snow as soon as possible to prevent ice dams. Inspect the roof for signs of damage after snow removal and repair as needed.
  • Ensure drains remain clear to allow the snow to melt and prevent ice dams at the drain openings.
  • Have a qualified contractor remove ice dams to prevent damage and accumulation of water. Ensure your ceilings are adequately insulated and the roof is properly ventilated to reduce the risk of ice dams.

By following these maintenance tips and consulting a roofing specialist when needed, you can avoid roof damage and potential business disruption this winter.

Ben Atkinson
Loss Control Representative


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