In many areas of the country, this has been a year of significant snow, ice and even blizzard conditions. All that snow and ice piled up on your church’s roof will eventually disappear, but before it melts away—and when it’s actively melting—it can cause problems that you might not even be aware of until significant damage has been done. Here are some tips on preventing problems before they get serious.
It’s important to schedule a regular maintenance review of your church building and its roof every year, and some roof warranties even require it. This gives you an up-to-date, professional assessment of your property. It will alert you to any issues while they are still minor and relatively easy—as well as less expensive—to address.
It is especially important to do this if your church property is maintained by volunteers who usually spend their limited time reacting to problems when they show up, whether it’s something simple like a burned out light bulb or more complicated like the heat not coming on some Sunday morning. If your maintenance team is always reacting, and not taking the time to be proactive, you are likely to discover a problem only when it has reached the major—and expensive—stage.
It’s important that the maintenance review be thorough. For example, you don’t want to ask someone to conduct a preventive maintenance review when there’s still snow on the roof, because they won’t be able to see everything. When they come, make sure that they check the roof fasteners for tightness and compression. Metal roof panels and curbs should be inspected for any punctures or rust which could shorten the life of the roof. HVAC condensation lines and the flashings on all roof penetration points should also be checked for cracks.
There are some things that you and your team can do yourself. You can check all gutters and downspouts and clean out any debris that might restrict water flow from the roofing system. You might need to do this more frequently than once a year, especially if you have trees overhanging the building which drop leaves or pine needles on the roof. Then when the professionals arrive, the gutters will be clear so that they can easily see if there are any material problems which have developed.
If the maintenance review does reveal any issues, large or small, don’t procrastinate. Follow up on your inspector’s recommendations for action. Remember that your church can much more easily afford to fix a problem in its early stages than to address a disaster because you procrastinated.
We firmly believe that responsibility for church buildings is an important part of the ongoing relationship that we have with every church we build or renovate. For this reason, we have a maintenance coordinator on staff. Mark Hall 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, or check out our free i3 webinar series for more information.