The past year has been a strange one for commercial property owners. With lockdowns keeping office workers at home and moving retail online, high rises and shopping plazas that were once a hive of bustling activity have stood empty for weeks at a time.
Though these buildings might essentially be in a state of hibernation, owners are still responsible for keeping their properties safe and functional — an especially difficult task in cities like Toronto that are subject to high winds and major temperature swings throughout the year. When a building stands empty for a year, damage can go unnoticed and lead property owners liable for major repairs.
For this reason, property owners in the Greater Toronto Area have been assiduous about making sure regular inspections are made and potential areas of weakness or vulnerability are monitored.
And as summer arrives, building managers are updating their lists of essential repairs and maintenance work that can only be completed when the weather is warm and dry. For many in Toronto roof repairs and renovations are the top priority.
How Lockdowns Have Impacted Commercial Roofs
The roofs of commercial buildings do a lot more than simply keep the rain and snow out. In addition to providing watertight protection from the elements, a commercial roof also plays an important role in systems like:
- Water management
- Air conditioning
Because many property owners have used the COVID-19 lockdowns as an opportunity to cut back on unnecessary expenses like lighting and water use, these systems may have been partially or completely dormant for months.
This can have a small but significant impact on how the roof responds to environmental conditions, and in some cases has caused flat roofing membranes to tear or degrade.
As vaccinations proceed and clients start to return to their rental spaces, the need for systems like air conditioning and ventilation to return to normal functioning may have an adverse effect on parts of the roof.
Even at the best of times, a large commercial roof is a complex ecosystem that is needs regular maintenance if it is not to deteriorate due to the wear and tear of seasonal temperature changes and precipitation.
After a year of lockdowns, it is more important than ever for property managers to start the summer off by booking a consultation with Professional Roofers who have experience working on commercial roofing projects to make sure that your building hasn’t sustained any damage.
A Commercial Roofing Checklist for Summer 2021
While you might feel comfortable getting up on your roof at home to check for damage every spring, inspecting a commercial property requires a greater degree of professional know-how. One of the reasons you should get in touch with a Toronto roofing company to look over your roof is that they will be able to spot issues and identify danger zones that someone with less roofing experience might miss.
The most significant dangers facing a commercial flat roof are:
- Ponding water
- Clogged drains
- Tears in membrane
- Puncture holes
- Surface erosion
Some of these are easier to spot than others, and the particular things you’ll need to look out for will depend on the type of roofing material used in construction. For example, a building with a tar-and-gravel roof won’t be at risk from membrane tears, but erosion will be a significant concern.
Toronto roofers will look for all of these warning signs, and will also be able to assess the general state of the roof itself.
Flat roofs generally have shorter life spans that pitched roofs, and will need to be replaced with greater frequency (though they are less expensive to install). They also require more attention in between installations. Even if your roof doesn’t need to be redone completely, you may need to have sections patched, drains snaked, and caulking or sealant re-applied to joints.
An expert in roof repairs Sydney advise that if your roof is reaching the end of its warranty period, or the roofers undertaking the inspection conclude that a replacement will be needed in the near future, it is advisable to book repairs immediately. There are three reasons for this:
- It’s always better to replace a roof before it starts leaking to save on more expensive repairs down the road.
- With Toronto still experiencing lockdowns, it is sensible to have the work done while the building is empty.
- Roofing companies get booked up quickly during the summer months.
As the pandemic slowly comes to an end, this is the perfect opportunity to make sure that when things open up again, your commercial property is ready to welcome tenants and workers back in. Get in touch with a roofing company in Toronto to book your consultation today.