Keep a lid on it: Why you need to pay attention to roof maintenance

roof maintenance

Sometimes it feels like there’s an endless to-do list when maintaining a building or a house. Some of the upkeep can be put off until later. But roof maintenance is one of the tasks that needs to be top priority — especially with our Canadian climate.

Heavy snowfalls, spring thaws and rain, scorching summer heat and leaf-clogged eaves troughs in autumn can wreak havoc on any roof if you’re not paying attention.

So, what’s the big deal?

Your roof may be out of sight but keep it top of mind when thinking about risk management. What may not seem like a big deal can rapidly escalate into a major headache and cause significant business disruption, as well as health issues for your staff and customers.

Don’t wait until you see water dripping inside your facility. You can avoid costly repair bills by taking a pro-active approach toward your building’s exterior surfaces.

What to look for

First off, let’s talk about puddles – fun for kids to splash in, but a warning sign on a flat commercial rooftop. An adequate drainage system to eliminate puddles after a storm or winter thaw is crucial. While some puddling may occur naturally, any pooling that persists for more than a few days is a potential problem.

Each square foot of puddling adds about 5 lbs. of weight per square inch. Also watch for damaged flashing that seals the roof where angles meet and along the seams.

On pitched roofs, the water won’t puddle but extreme weather events can damage the shingles, eaves troughs and flashing which will compromise your building’s “exterior envelope”.

Health issues from mold and mildew

Mold and mildew caused by water damage from roof leaks can create serious health issues for your staff and customers. Many people are sensitive to mold, which can cause throat irritation, stuffiness, difficulty breathing, coughing, wheezing and eye irritation. Those with asthma or compromised immune systems are particularly vulnerable to mold exposure.

Once mold has contaminated a facility, extreme care must be taken to clean it and prevent further growth.

Roof maintenance – check regularly and act quickly

As part of your building’s maintenance routine, be sure to have a roof maintenance professional inspect the roof at least twice a year, particularly in the spring and fall.

In the spring, identify any damage that may have occurred during the winter from snow and ice. Be sure to have the repairs done immediately before heavy spring rains cause more deterioration.

Inspect the roof in the fall to make sure it’s in good condition to handle the harsh winter months.

Tip Sheet
  • keep gutters and drains clear of debris
  • trim back overhanging branches
  • keep the roof clear of snow (if possible)
  • schedule regular roof inspections, especially after severe weather events
  • inspect the perimeter, especially the flashing
  • check for loose shingles – or on a flat roof, cracks in the membrane
  • observe the seals around pipes and other roof openings
  • repair any roof damage as soon as possible

Making small repairs to prevent roof leaks is one of the best ways to extend the life of your roof and protect your facility’s interior.  A financial investment now will save a lot of money later on and will ensure that the building — and the people inside it — stay safe and sound.

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Preventing the Growth of Moulds in the Workplace

The public has increasingly become aware of the health effects and symptoms of exposure to mould. For instance, it’s not uncommon to hear about schools closing when mould growth is discovered. Mountainview Elementary School in Howie Centre, Nova Scotia was the latest to close.

An indoor mould growth
Indoor mould can impact the health of a building and those who live or work in the space.

Mould is a serious issue that needs to be addressed to prevent human exposure and further damage to building materials and furnishings. Every Allcare cleaner pays close attention to moulds, making sure to check janitor rooms, window sills, washrooms, and elsewhere for the first signs of mould growth.

In this post, we’ll explain how mould develops and what your workplace can do to eliminate a mould problem.

What do Moulds Need to Grow?

Moulds need moisture and nutrients to grow, so keeping a dry and clean environment is an essential step to prevent them from growing.

It’s also important to note that different kinds of moulds grow on different materials. Certain kinds of moulds like an extremely wet environment. Other kinds of moulds may be growing even if no water can be seen. Even dampness can give certain kinds of moulds enough moisture to grow.

Sources of Moisture

Moisture can enter the workplace in various ways. It could be from leaks in the floor, walls, or roof, or through plumbing leaks, poor drainage and window condensation.

Dampness and moisture can also build up in a workplace throughout the day from activities like washing or cooking. Moisture also accumulates when there is not enough ventilation to expel that moisture.

In your workplace, you should constantly be aware of musty odours, condensation, and discoloration, which are signs of moisture problems, water damage, and mould growth. And take action once you suspect a mould problem is developing.

Removing Mould

When dealing with mould, you should always limit your exposure by wearing a dust mask and rubber gloves.

Small areas of mould can be cleaned by scrubbing the area with detergent, then sponge with a clean, wet rag and dry quickly and thoroughly. Large areas of mould should be cleaned by professionals.

Simply killing mould with is typically not enough since people can react to particles present even in dead mould. Removing mould entirely is usually necessary.

Extra attention should be paid to porous materials like wood that moulds can infiltrate from the inside out, and grow on or in. These materials that are wet and have mould growing in them usually have to be removed and replaced.

And remember…

Unless the root cause of the moisture and water accumulation is corrected, mould will continue to come back time and again.

Is your office mold-free? Here’s how to deal with this health-impacting problem

mold

Concern about indoor exposure to mold has increased along with public awareness that it can cause a variety of health effects and symptoms, including allergic reactions.

In the workplace, just like at home, mold growth needs to be strictly avoided.  Significant problems can arise if the growth is left unchecked, affecting the look and smell of your facility — and possibly even causing structural damage.

How does it grow?

Mold can grow on virtually any surface, as long as there is moisture or water, oxygen and an organic source.

These tiny toxic organisms reproduce by creating spores that are too small to be seen by the human eye — and these spores continually float throughout the indoor and outdoor air.  Exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose and throat in certain individuals, especially those prone to asthma or with weakened immune systems.

Don’t let the mold take hold

Moisture control is key to mold control.  When leaks or spills occur indoors, act promptly.  Any moisture problems should be addressed and cleaned properly.

Here are some key steps to avoid an overgrowth:

  • repair leaky plumbing or leaks in the building structure as soon as possible
  • look for condensation and wet spots, and fix the source of the moisture immediately
  • perform regular HVAC and roof inspections
  • maintain indoor relative humidity below 70%
  • be sure to properly vent moisture-generating appliances
  • provide adequate drainage around the building and slopping
  • pinpoint areas where leaks have occurred, identifying the causes, and taking preventative action to ensure that they do not re occur.
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We can take care of any existing mold or mildew problems and show you how to avoid them in the first place.