There are a few simple steps that building managers can take to preserve and extend the life of every retail roof in a chain’s entire portfolio. Although every roof is unique, instituting a strategy across the whole portfolio can provide continuity and a flexible base plan, which can then be tweaked as needed for individual buildings. Follow these five tips to enjoy greater longevity from all of your roofs.
Tip#1: Treat Every Roof as an Individual (Even with Identical Buildings!)
A one-size-fits-all approach to retail roof maintenance neglects to consider the individual challenges, needs, and stresses of each building. Circumstances from building to building (and therefore roof to roof) can vary widely. Consider the differences in age, drainage, equipment, location, and climate between the buildings across your portfolio and ensure the maintenance and upgrades to each roof reflect its unique situation.
Tip #2: Control Traffic and Create a System of Accountability
Restricting access to vital personnel keeps unnecessary boots and tools off the surface. A non-negotiable system of signing in and signing out by every person who accesses the roof, every time they access it, holds everyone accountable for careful and quality work while they’re up there.
Tip #3: Perform Necessary Maintenance — and Only Necessary Maintenance
It’s easy to create a portfolio-wide maintenance schedule identical for every building. But this “one-size-fits-all” approach will leave some buildings lacking proper care and other buildings receiving unnecessary treatment, which wastes resources. The better approach is to perform maintenance that will truly extend the life of the roof system. Performing a specific maintenance task just because it is on a list, even if it doesn’t have any impact on the roof’s lifecycle, is an unnecessary expenditure that could take the place of work that will actually improve the roof.
Tip #4: Remember, no Roof Stands Alone
Your maintenance plan should consider the entire building – not just the roof. The membrane is the most obvious part of the roof, but even a healthy membrane can be corrupted by poorly maintained supporting structures, such as exterior walls, sheet metal, EEFS work, and mechanical penetrations. When these areas receive frequent service and maintenance, the roof benefits.
Tip #5: Keep Meticulous Records
It is vital to track and record the performance, problems, and maintenance associated with each building in any given portfolio. Meticulous records make it much easier to design future maintenance programs and to avoid surprises by budgeting effectively for the years to come.
An infrastructure portfolio might contain thousands of individual buildings. Instituting chain-wide procedures can make maintenance more consistent and reliable — as long as each roof is treated uniquely. In the long run, creating a base strategy which you can alter based on each roof’s individual needs is the most economical and efficient way to ensure every roof in your portfolio receives the care it needs.