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Preventive Maintenance and Waterproofing for Roof Systems

Waterproofing roofs is a great precautionary measure in anticipation for rainy weather. It is especially important in commercial roofing. Hawaii schools and office buildings need all the help they can get once the first drops of rain come by. Making roofs waterproof helps in not only keeping leaks away, but ultimately in keeping building structures in good shape, protecting everyone and everything within.

Waterproofing is one aspect of preventive maintenance done on roofs, which can greatly extend the lifespan of roofing structures. Waterproofing and other preventive maintenance methods are best done by roof repair companies, but there are steps you can do yourself to prevent wear and tear and make sure your roof is in good condition. Just remember to practice safety measures, and if you are unsure of your own abilities, call an experienced roof cleaner to help you out.

Periodic inspections

All roof systems require periodic checking to see if these are free of debris and that the drains are clear. It is recommended to check roof systems every three months if you live in an area that has lots of trees that shed leaves.

Inspection and cleaning guidelines

  • To keep your roof tidy and free from damage, follow these guidelines and tips.
  • Clear the roof surface of all forms of debris, such as dried leaves and gunk that has gathered behind pipes. Make sure to check and clean other roof penetrations, such as HVAC units. It is important to get rid of the debris because it has a tendency to hold water, which can accelerate the deterioration of your roof especially if it is asphalt-based.
  • Remove caulking that has been cracked and damaged. Clean the area and reapply caulking material, preferably a polyurethane compound.
  • Install zinc control strips in areas that are starting to collect algae or moss (kill and remove the moss first!). These strips prevent moss growth on roofs by releasing zinc carbonate into the rainwater that washes over the roof. The zinc will then be deposited on the shingles and prevent moss from growing on the roof surface.
  • Check flashings for holes and other signs of wear and tear. It the flashings have deteriorated, these have to be replaced.
  • Clear the gutter and check the downspouts if they are draining properly. If the water isn’t flowing as it should, the pipe may be clogged and need to be flushed out.
  • If you have a tree hanging over your roof, trim back the overhanging branches.
  • Wire brush rusty and corroded areas and apply rustproofing to the surface.
  • Get your roof cement ready and apply it under shingle tabs that have become loose. Shingles that have been damaged must be properly replaced.

Waterproofing basics

There are four common types of roofing systems: shingle roofs, flat roofs, tile roofs, and metal roofs. The material that will used for waterproofing depends on the roof type and surface material, but generally waterproofing roofing systems require preparing and priming the surface first. Preparing entails cleaning the surface thoroughly and making sure all components are secure. A primer is then applied to enable the waterproofing material to properly adhere to the roof surface.

If you are not sure about the waterproofing method and material that would suit your roof system, call the experts. Remember, investing in good preventive measures early on is better than spending hundreds—even thousands—on roof repair.