Do you know this centuries-old proverb? Perhaps you heard it in school:
For want of a nail, the shoe was lost,
For want of a shoe, the horse was lost,
For want of a horse, the rider was lost,
For want of a rider, the message was lost,
For want of a message, the battle was lost,
For want of a battle, the war was lost,
For want of a war, the kingdom was lost,
All for the want of a nail.
What does this old proverb and church maintenance have in common? Well, if you don’t keep an eye on every part of your church building, you could end up with much bigger problems than a simple missing nail or loose screw. In this post, we will focus on the roof of your church building.
Keeping Your Church Roof in Tip-Top Shape
We’re thinking about roofs because winter is coming—and, in fact, some areas of the country have already seen their first snowstorm. Rain, snow and ice in freezing conditions can increase damage risks to your church’s roof. Since it’s best to do a roof inspection before snow or ice has accumulated and you can see your entire roof, we suggest that your church has someone get up there for that inspection as soon as possible.
Church Maintenance Checklist for Your Roof
Here is what we suggest you should look for when you’re up there (carefully!) scoping it out:
- Roof fasteners: Are they tight? Is there good compression?
- Metal panels and curbs: Are there any punctures or rust?
- HVAC condensation lines: any leaks or dampness?
- Flashings on roof penetration points: any cracks or separation?
- Gutters and downspouts: Are they clean? Is anything blocking flow (and yes, bringing up a hose to run a test is a great idea!)?
- Screws and nails: Are any missing or loose?
When to Bring in the Professionals
If you find loose or missing screws or nails, then by all means take care of that yourself. But if your inspection reveals something bigger has happened—that flashing has cracked and split or panels are rusting—then it’s probably a good idea to bring in a professional to assess the situation. You don’t want to cover up a problem that’s already moved below the surface of the roof itself. If you re-seal the top and trap an existing problem inside your roof, you could be inviting a bigger (and costlier) crisis down the road.
Good Church Building Stewardship
We’ve talked in the past about how strongly we recommend an annual roof inspection. This could actually be required if your roof is relatively new and still under warranty. Since so many parts of your roof can begin to deteriorate long before you see any issues at ground level, regular roof inspection and repair is part and parcel of good stewardship.
You’ll thank yourself for being proactive later—especially when you catch a minor problem and can correct it easily and economically.
If you think there could be an issue, feel free to contact Mark Hall, our trained maintenance coordinator, and have him take a good look at it for you. He is trained on various maintenance issues and can provide a roof evaluation and an inspection estimate. To learn more, contact him today at 614-875-1689.
And of course, since your church maintenance program should involve much more than the roof, we suggest you sign up for our 2017 free i3 webinar series, which will provide many more useful church building and maintenance tips. Next year’s topics will be announced shortly!