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EPDM Rubber Single Ply Commercial Roof Inspections

Roofing problems at commercial and industrial facilities can quickly add up.

Most maintenance managers are confronted with the dilemma of having too many roof problems for the money available. While a lack of finances is one issue, the underlying issue is usually a lack of frequent roof inspections. This is especially true in the case of single-ply rubber roofing like EPDM.

A typical EPDM rubber roof can last up to 50 years with proper maintenance.

EPDM roofs have become an increasingly popular flat roofing option for commercial systems. EPDM is one of the single-ply flat roofing systems that has been an appealing long-term solution for non-residential buildings. Similar to other single-ply roofing systems, it is widely used for its energy-efficient properties. Both TPO and EPDM are similar single-ply roofing systems. They are both durable rubber membranes that are commonly used on low-slope commercial buildings. That being said, there is still a high possibility for leaks and damage. Basic roof management and routine inspections can save money in the long run. Taking care of your EPDM roof will reduce ownership costs, reduce leak frequency and severity, extend roof life, and reduce management inefficiencies. A typical EPDM rubber roof can last up to 50 years with proper maintenance. Reach out to our Roofed Right inspectors right away to establish an inspection and maintenance plan that can fix any problems before they turn into a costly emergency.

Process of Making Your Commerical Roof Right

1.Gaining the Right Motivation

Around the time many businesses finally consider establishing a roof management system, they actually end up needing a roof replacement system instead. The obligation to pay and perform roof replacements has taken precedence over establishing a management system that could prevent the need for costly repairs and replacements.

If a manager can prolong the life of each roof by just one year, the organization will be able to recover the expense of a roof-management strategy. If a manager can prolong the life of each roof by two or three years, the strategy can cut roof expenses by a much larger factor.

So if an inspection plan can save businesses thousands on their EPDM system, then why don’t most businesses have one? It’s because they fear what they don’t know. They want to stick with what they’ve always done despite the damage it’s causing. It’s clear that most businesses never get around to starting an inspection plan. It’s also certain that even a minimal plan is better than no plan. That is why Roofed Right America makes a point to drive this point home with every building owner we work with.

2.Taking Stock

Once a manager commits to an inspection program for their EPDM roof, we begin our process. The first step is to lay out a plan and assign someone to be in charge. We promise to prevent major costs for premature roof replacements by utilizing our annual inspections and maintenance.

Our next step would be to gather all the information we need and develop a historical file that includes:

  • Date of installation
  • Installing contractor
  • System manufacturer
  • Warranties
  • Type of roof system, insulation, and roof deck
  • Leak history
  • Repair history, dates, type, and cost of repairs.

3.Condition Considerations

Once your EPDM roof is in place, Roofed Right will send an inspector to perform a condition assessment. There is no way to properly ensure that your rubber roof is functional without understanding its history and current condition. Our inspectors can conduct two types of inspections: visual and non-destructive.

With the roof information in place, the next step is for Roofed Right America to send an inspector to get up on the roofs and perform a condition assessment. No roof can be managed appropriately without knowing its history and understanding its condition, information that comes from conducting a roof inspection. Workers can conduct two types of inspections: visual and non-destructive.

Visual Inspections

Our visual inspections occur once or twice a year depending on the roof’s condition and traffic. A visual check-up is the best way to start an EPDM roof inspection since any tear, hole, or puncture, in the membrane can be spotted out easily. It’s also easy to spot leaks in the flat roof by looking for soft areas in the membrane. An inspector can tell when a rubber roof is bad through a visual check. Low areas, wrinkles, cuts, and holes in the membrane are all giveaways that your EPDM roof needs to be repaired or even replaced. A typical visual inspection includes:

  • An examination of the roof system, flashings, sheet-metal flashings, drains, and gutters
  • An evaluation of observed conditions that might affect the long-term performance of the roof system
  • Documentation of deficiencies requiring corrective action
  • Other information needed for developing long-range preventive maintenance (PM) needs.

Non-destructive Inspections

Non-destructive inspections can complement - but should never replace - visual inspections. Non-destructive measures include infrared, nuclear, and capacitance tests. These inspections can confirm the presence of moisture, establish a baseline for roof management, locate hard-to-find leaks, and authenticate the need for full or partial re-roofing projects. The inspector performing visual roof surveys is very familiar with the design, installation, repair, and types of failure specific to the roof system being surveyed.

4.Formulating a Plan

Once all the information about your flat roof is gathered and organized, it is studied by our managers to identify possible repairs, conduct maintenance, or plan for a re-roofing. This roof management plan is then shared with you, upper management, contractors, and maintenance staff. Each management program is designed specifically for your EPDM roof and is formulated to extend the roof’s life cycle.

Another important aspect of your roof plan is an inspection schedule that can prevent any emergency roof repairs before they become serious. Roofed Right managers develop well-organized plans to identify the problem areas in your EPDM roof and work towards budget approval to ensure that your roof lives a long and healthy life.

Contact the flat roof inspections experts today!
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