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Best Practices for Maintaining Commercial Roofs

Date: September 26, 2023

When it comes to maintaining commercial roofs, the importance cannot be overstated. Not only does it protect your investment, but it can also save you a considerable amount of money in the long run. So, what are the best practices for maintaining commercial roofs?

In this blog, we'll explore the significance of commercial roof maintenance, the cost-saving benefits it offers, and how it can extend the lifespan of your roof. Additionally, we'll delve into essential practices such as inspection, cleaning, gutter maintenance, roof repairs, and more.

Importance of Commercial Roof Maintenance

Commercial roofs are the unsung heroes of your business infrastructure. They shield your valuable assets, equipment, and employees from the elements day in and day out. 

However, they are also constantly exposed to harsh weather conditions, UV rays, and wear and tear. Commercial roofs can quickly deteriorate without proper maintenance, leading to costly repairs and premature replacement.

Regular roof maintenance offers several crucial benefits:

  • Preventing Costly Repairs: Proactive maintenance can catch small issues before they escalate into expensive problems. Fixing a small leak now is much cheaper than replacing an entire roof section later.
  • Extended Roof Lifespan: Commercial roofs can last for decades when properly maintained. This means you won't have to shoulder the hefty cost of a complete roof replacement prematurely.
  • Energy Efficiency: A well-maintained roof can help with energy efficiency. Proper insulation and sealing prevent air leaks, reducing heating and cooling costs.
  • Protecting Your Assets: Your business relies on the safety and functionality of your commercial space. A well-maintained roof prevents damage to your inventory, equipment, and workspace.

Cost-Saving Benefits

Investing in regular commercial roof maintenance may seem like an additional expense, but it's a smart financial decision. Here's how it can save you money:

  • Avoiding Major Repairs or Replacement Costs- Imagine you have a minor roof leak. If left unattended, it can lead to water damage, mold growth, and structural issues. You can avoid expensive repairs or a full roof replacement by catching and addressing the problem early through routine maintenance.
  • Enhancing Energy Efficiency- A well-maintained roof helps regulate the temperature inside your commercial building. Proper insulation and sealing prevent heat or cold from escaping, reducing energy bills in the long run.
  • Minimizing Business Disruption- Major roofing issues can disrupt your business operations. It may require you to close your doors, resulting in lost revenue temporarily. Regular maintenance helps prevent these interruptions.
  • Increasing Property Value- A well-maintained roof enhances the overall value of your commercial property. Should you decide to sell or lease it, potential buyers or tenants are more likely to be attracted to a property with a well-preserved roof.

Prolonging the Lifespan of Commercial Roofs

Commercial roofs are designed to last, but they need care to fulfill their potential lifespan. Here's how proper maintenance can help prolong the life of your roof:

1. Regular Inspection Schedules

Scheduled inspections are the backbone of effective roof maintenance. By inspecting your roof at least twice a year, you can catch issues in their early stages, preventing them from becoming major problems.

2. Identifying Common Roofing Issues

Understanding the common problems that afflict commercial roofs is crucial. These include:

  • Leaks and Moisture Damage- Leaks may start as minor nuisances but can quickly escalate into significant problems. Moisture damage can compromise your roof's structural integrity and lead to mold growth.
  • Ponding Water- Ponding water occurs when water accumulates on your roof and doesn't drain properly. It can weaken the roof structure and lead to leaks.
  • Roof Membrane Damage- The roof membrane is a critical component that keeps water out. Damage to this layer can lead to leaks and other issues.
  • Flashing Problems- Flashing seals roof penetrations like vents and chimneys. Damaged or deteriorated flashing can allow water to infiltrate your building.

3. Cleaning and Debris Removal

A clean roof is a healthy roof. Here's why cleaning and debris removal matter:

  • Importance of Clean Roofs - Clean roofs are less susceptible to damage and deterioration. Leaves, debris, and organic matter can trap moisture and accelerate roof decay.
  • Clearing Debris and Organic Matter-Regularly remove leaves, branches, and other debris from your roof. Pay special attention to areas around drains and gutters where debris accumulates.
  • Preventing Algae and Moss Growth - In humid climates, algae and moss can take root on your roof, causing damage. Clean your roof to prevent these growths from gaining a foothold.
  • Benefits of Pressure Washing- Pressure washing can effectively remove stubborn dirt, stains, and organic matter from your roof. However, professionals should do it to avoid damaging the roof's surface.

4. Gutter and Drain Maintenance

Proper drainage is essential for a healthy roof. Here's how to maintain gutters and drains:

  • Ensuring Proper Drainage - Ensure your gutters and drains are clear of debris and functioning correctly. Clogged drains can lead to water backup and roof damage.
  • Clearing Clogged Gutters and Downspouts-Regularly clean gutters and downspouts to prevent blockages. Consider installing gutter guards to minimize debris buildup.
  • Inspecting for Leaks and Rust- Check gutters and downspouts for leaks or rust. Repair or replace damaged sections promptly to ensure proper drainage.
  • Adding Gutter Guards- Gutter guards are a worthwhile investment. They keep debris out of your gutters, reducing the frequency of cleaning and potential clogs.

5. Roof Repairs and Patching

Addressing issues promptly can prevent them from worsening. Here's how to tackle roof repairs:

  • Timely Addressing Minor Issues - Take your time with minor issues. Small leaks, loose shingles, or damaged flashing should be repaired promptly to prevent more significant problems.
  • Effective Patching Methods - Learn effective patching techniques or hire professionals to do the job right. Using compatible materials ensures a lasting repair.
  • Importance of Compatible Materials- always use materials compatible with your roofing system when making repairs. Mismatched materials can cause more harm than good.

How Long Do Commercial Roofs Last?

Commercial roofs are a significant investment for any business, and their lifespan can vary depending on various factors. 

The longevity of a commercial roof depends on the type of roofing material used, the quality of installation, the local climate, and the level of maintenance it receives. Here's a general overview of how long commercial roofs can last:

  • Single-Ply Membrane Roofs: Single-ply roofing materials like TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin) and PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) are known for their durability. They can last between 15 to 30 years or even longer when properly installed and maintained.
  • Built-Up Roofing (BUR): BUR roofs consist of multiple roofing felt and asphalt or bitumen layers. With regular maintenance, these roofs can last anywhere from 20 to 30 years.
  • Modified Bitumen Roofs: Modified bitumen roofs, a type of BUR with added flexibility, have a similar lifespan of around 20 to 30 years.
  • Metal Roofs: Metal roofing systems are known for their longevity. Depending on the type of metal used (e.g., steel, aluminum, or copper) and the quality of installation, they can last anywhere from 30 to 70 years or more.
  • Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) Roofs: SPF roofs have a lifespan of about 20 to 30 years with proper care and maintenance.
  • Asphalt Shingle Roofs: While more commonly used in residential construction, asphalt shingle roofs can also be found on some smaller commercial buildings. They typically last around 20 to 30 years.

It's essential to note that environmental factors can significantly influence the lifespan of a commercial roof. Roofs may wear out more quickly in areas with extreme weather conditions, such as intense heat, heavy rainfall, or severe storms.

Additionally, proper maintenance plays a crucial role in extending the life of a commercial roof. Regular inspections, restorations, and cleaning can help identify and address issues before they become major problems.


The importance of maintaining your commercial roof cannot be overstated. It serves as a crucial shield protecting your investments and assets. By investing in regular maintenance, you not only save on costly repairs but also extend the lifespan of your roof, ensuring long-term durability and energy efficiency. From inspections to cleaning, gutter maintenance, and timely repairs, these best practices are your key to safeguarding your commercial space and financial well-being.

About Mikku & Sons
Mikku and Sons red repair track with its logo painted on its side- roofing company track wraps
Our roofing company was founded in 2001 by Michael Riutta, who is still part of the ownership and management team. Between Michael, his two sons and co-owners, Devin and Joshua, and our crew members, we have many years of experience to handle any type of roof repair or roof installation solutions you may need.