Fall Roof Maintenance: August is the time!
Planning Now Saves Time, Money and Risk Over the Year
No one in Chicagoland wants to think about fall or winter right now; summer just got here three weeks ago! Nevertheless, August is the best time to do roof maintenance and to plan ahead, no matter what kind of building it sits on. Some basic evaluation and roof maintenance can avoid very costly (and dangerous) problems during the winter, and can be a real time saver for anyone or any organization preparing a budget for the coming year.
Allow us to make a few suggestions for your August:
1. Get Gutters and Downspouts Checked Now!
Whether it’s your home or your business, whether you have trees nearby or not, getting your gutters and downspouts in shape for fall and winter is the single smartest move any property owner can make. Why? Because leaf clogs, holes in metal, weakened attachments and a host of other issues, combined with improper insulation, can create opportunities for ice dams to form. And ice dams will do more damage than almost anything else at a time of year when it’s almost impossible to repair. Moreover, insurance often won’t cover damage from ice dams since underwriters assume that routine maintenance can prevent them.
Making sure that your gutters and downspouts are clear, in good repair, and properly secured to the structure will not only avoid damage (both inside and outside) and a potential insurance nightmare, but will also prolong the life of your roof and structure because the roof will properly shed water, even in the coldest periods in the winter.
Another investment to consider is heating coils for your downspouts to keep snow melt flowing during the “thaw” phase of any freeze-thaw cycle. Preventing large buildups of snow on the gutters keeps gutters in shape and lowers the risk of falling snow and icicles, too.
2. As long as you are up there, check the roof and plan for maintenance!
No roof is a “set it and forget it” kind of thing. Only a properly maintained roof will last for many years. Think of it like you think of your carpet: if you don’t vacuum the carpet, at the very least, it won’t hold up for long. A roof’s constant exposure to elements makes checking on it regularly that much more crucial. Shingles can come loose in high winds or heavy precipitation. Roof membranes can give way around
attachment points. Seams around skylights may be vulnerable. If anything is mounted on the roof, such
as a satellite dish or a compressor unit, seams around those items should be checked as well. Flashings periodically need re-sealing. As long as these items get regular attention, a roof’s life can far exceed its warranty period. One long-time customer has extended the life of their flat roof by four years past what a structural engineer said it could handle; all they did was follow these steps every year. They have used those years to build their reserves in advance of a complete tear-off and replacement so that their members will not need to pay a special assessment. Yes, they still have to replace the roof: but they bought themselves time to prepare.
3. Once you know exactly what shape your roof, gutters, downspouts, and other structures are in, you can prepare your budget accordingly.
Most homeowners, both single-family and multi-unit, budget by calendar year. By checking the roof in late summer, you have information you need to prepare your own budget, or your building’s budget, for the coming year to ensure long-term building and financial strength.
Businesses can take advantage as well, no matter when their FY begins. Knowledge is power. Knowing what types of maintenance are needed this year and in years to come allows property managers to set rental rates responsibly and ensure maximum profits after expenses. Being able to plan well in advance for needed capital expenditures can help with long-term tax expenses as well.
What issues are you facing? MLS is ready to partner with you for the life of your roof. Call us to schedule a free inspection. We will evaluate your roof and all related elements and provide a no-cost estimate for immediate needs, then work with you to estimate longer-term maintenance costs. Call us today and put our expertise to work for your better bottom line!
This article provides information only. We cannot guarantee any services without first inspecting any property and then preparing an estimate.