The calendar has flipped to 2015 and the roof is still over your head. It’s a good time to make a list of items to check on for the new year regarding your roof.
Some of these tips are specifically geared to business owners in Oklahoma and Texas where we face unique challenges from the environment. But for the most part the tips on this list apply to any commercial roof just about anywhere.
1. Clean your gutters
Like flossing you teeth, this may not seem like a fun chore, but when done regularly it gives your building a bright smile and ensure that the roof lasts longer. By clearing away debris from within your gutters, the water will be able to drain properly from the roof. Why is that important? Because it prevents buildup of water on your roof which can damage the surface, shingles, or cause leaks. Be sure to take proper precautions when cleaning your gutters. Make sure to use a proper ladder and have a second person on hand to assist in spotting potential danger areas. There are many techniques for cleaning a gutter and you can also hire a professional if you need to.
2. Trim trees
Look around at what Mother Nature has created! It’s beautiful and home to squirrels and birds, but a tree can also be a threat to your roof and your building. Make sure you trim back tree limbs or remove trees that are too close or hanging over your roof. As a benefit, clearing trees will also make sure your gutters will not be clogged with twigs and leaves.
3. Repair damage immediately
Many home and business owners make the mistake of not acting soon enough when damage occurs to their roof. If you are aware that you have damage to your roof, act immediately. Contact your insurance company and request that a claims agent examine the damage. Take photos of the damage as soon possible after a storm. Insist that the damaged roof be repaired as quickly as possible, otherwise your roof and your building will be exposed to the weather and risk further damage.
4. Replace missing shingles
Those missing shingles do not look good nor are they helping your roof stay safe. Don’t let your roof go unprotected, replace missing or damaged shingles as soon as you can. If you cannot make the repairs yourself, contact a professional.
5. Clean and inspect your chimney
If your building has a chimney you should be aware that you must have it inspected and cleaned regularly. Hire a professional to examine your chimney (unless you are skilled and don’t mind getting dirty). Even if your chimney is not a working chimney, you should still inspect it for possible obstruction or buildup of damaging materials.
6. Update Insurance Information
January is a great time to pull out your insurance policy and brush it off. Is the information on your policy up-to-date? Do you have enough coverage? Is it time to shop around for a quote? Take part of a day to look at your coverage and talk to your insurance agent if you need to, to make certain you’re getting the best coverage and that you’re in a good position heading into the new year.
7. Have your roof inspected regularly
Speaking of inspection — have your roof inspected at least once per year (more if you experience storm damage). Have a professional get on the roof, they are trained to spot danger areas. This is the best way to ensure that your roof will last and your investment will not go to waste.