What Building Owners Need to Know

There are several variations on flat-roof properties built in Canada, but your roofing system basically looks like this, made up of various layers of insulation, vapour barriers, overlays, reinforced membranes and coatings.

Warm Roof Construction Layers

Your main enemy is water.

When installing a new roofing system, engineers and builders go to great lengths to ensure that your roof is sealed to prevent water from entering the complex surface barrier system in order to avoid costly leak damage to the building structure below.

Leaks Aren’t Rocket Science

Engineering and construction are closer to rocket science – but roofing maintenance isn’t so complex. Imagine all the places on a roof where water might enter: where joints come together, where pipes, vents, electrical outlets or drains perforate the vapour barrier of the roofing system – all the tiny cracks, construction holes and seams that are filled with insulated caulking and foam. It’s a big surface – water is quite impressive at finding cracked seams as an entryway to your roofing layers and causing serious damage over time.

Out of Site, Out of Mind

What makes roofing so mysterious and unknown is that not too many people are actually up on a roof to investigate what’s going on. Besides not being permitted there due to safety issues and company insurance coverage, we trust that the roof was built by professionals and we avoid thinking about it until we are forced to – usually when a leak catches our attention. By then, unfortunately, the building’s roof vapour barrier has been compromised and its very expensive roofing system ($$ in the millions of dollars depending on the roof size) is already in need of costly repair or – in the worst case – early replacement. Budget needs to be diverted out of operations and into capital expense for repairs. Darn. The cost of owning a building, right? Not necessarily. RMS is offering you an inexpensive solution and the power to be in control of your roofing structure.

Maintenance = Economic Responsibility

Under current maintenance practices in Canada, a commercial roofing system is expected to last between 15 and 20 years, depending on various factors like its components, construction, and type of exposure to environmental conditions. If the barrier system of a roof remains intact through regular maintenance, however, that same roof can sometimes double its lifespan. For several thousands of dollars per year, maintenance will keep your roof viable for longer – instead of a few million dollars every 15 or so years. It’s not much different from the investment in your car, built by engineers to the highest standards – you wouldn’t dream of not maintaining it with oil changes, fluid top-ups or tire pressure checks. The same applies to your roofing system – regular environmental conditions cause breaks in the water barrier system and if not properly maintained, leaks and damage occur, leading to much earlier and costlier replacement requirements.

Dedicated Maintenance Company vs. Engineering & Construction Firms

It’s about cost and purpose. When designing and building an entire roofing system, you pay top dollar for the expertise and professional training of engineers, designers and contractors. The majority of their large revenue source lies in full roof replacements or large construction repairs. They don’t have much time or interest in running across the city for small jobs like checking your flashing, soffits and caulking for cracks and potential leaks. Also, if they do come to assess your building, their fees are much higher given their profession.

At Roof Maintenance Solutions, our technicians are fully and professionally trained in preventative maintenance and repair – not engineering and full construction – so our fees are inline with maintenance service, not engineering and construction services.

Our entire focus lies in keeping your roof viable as long as possible – we gain no benefit from a roof replacement. This provides you with an impartial, professional, preventative maintenance service without the high fees associated with non-maintenance companies.

RMS Owner, Ernie Cecchetto, has worked for over 20 years as a managing partner in successful roofing engineering firms and has seen too many commercial roofing systems replaced too soon due to lack of maintenance. He started RMS in response to a need in the industry he sees time and time again – an inexpensive, dedicated, preventative roof maintenance service for building owners.

We do have a certified contract roofer on staff to assess complex damage to your roof should your needs reach beyond maintenance – but only if needed. If your roof just needs maintenance, your fees are lower, but the benefits you gain are exponentially higher.

Engineering Firm & Construction Referrals

We also recognize the point when your budget is best served by roof replacement – when maintenance and repair are no longer the most economically viable option for your current roof. If and when that time arrives, we will gladly refer you to the many local firms we have built trusted relationships with for over 20 years in Eastern Ontario. We’re just saying, the engineers and construction firms focus on major roof construction with high revenue returns – let us fill the gap in the industry for the less costly preventative maintenance that is guaranteed to keep your roof serviceable for longer and keep your capital expenditures lower.

To understand how roof maintenance contributes to improved environmental practices, see:

Environmental Impact of Preventative Roofing Maintenance

Fascinating to Know What Actually Happens

So how does water penetrate the clever barrier system? It might surprise you that birds, seeds, and wind play a big part along with other common-sense problems that typically arise on your roofing structure.

To learn about the main causes of Roofing System Deterioration, see:

Five main causes of Roofing System Deterioration

Scott NashBuilding Owner Support