Let’s face it, none of us pay much attention to our roofs until they leak. Of course once they do leak then it becomes an emergency. Stained ceilings, water damage to the interior and operational disruptions are just the obvious effects, but what about the damage we don’t see?
It’s important to remember that by the time moisture has become evident on the interior of a structure it’s already passed through many other building components including the roof membrane, roof insulation, structural decking, framing members, interior insulation and ultimately the finished ceiling. Small leaks may go unnoticed for long periods of time before they finally work their way through these various building components and materialize as a stain or drip on the interior.
As you can see the resulting damage evident on the ceiling now is just a portion of the potential damage that may have already occurred beneath the surface. This damage can not only lead to costly repairs to building components, but also increase the risk for health – related concerns resulting from mold and mildew.
All of us depend on our roof to protect our most valued possessions against Mother Nature and the elements. This is especially true in Michigan where our winters can be brutal. Snow loads, hail, extreme temperature changes and damaging winds are just a few of what nature throws at our roofs. We expect our roofs to protect us all the time so it only makes sense that periodic roof inspections be conducted to detect and prevent potential problems before they occur. After all “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” – (Benjamin Franklin).
It is recommended that roof inspections be performed each year in the spring and fall. This allows the roof to be observed before and after the most severe weather periods. Maintenance and repairs can then be performed allowing your roof system to maintain its water tight integrity. In addition, its recommended that all roof inspections be performed by qualified, reputable roofing contractors with the knowledge and expertise to examine, identify and repair as necessary any areas of concern. Drains, gutters and flashing details are especially vulnerable and should be thoroughly examined both for debris accumulation as well as deterioration.
When choosing a roofing contractor always insist on proof of workman’s compensation and general liability insurances along with verifiable references. A reputable contractor should have no hesitation in providing you with these documents. Without proper insurance you may put yourself at risk for any potential accident caused by the contractor. A site visit to your roofing contractor’s place of business is a good start. Ask questions, how long have they been in business? Additional resources available to you include the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List and the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Properly vetting your contractor is essential to a successful roofing relationship.
Next time you walk into your home or building “remember your roof” and you’ll be glad you did!