What You Need To Know
With a high-quality commercial or industrial roof system in place, most building owners and managers assume they can look forward to many years of worry-free, failure-free performance from their roof.
What they are really getting – at a cost that can run to hundreds of thousands of dollars or more – is a false sense of security. Here are some of the factors that could be contributing to serious financial leakage in one of your most important capital assets.
- FACT: Today's roof systems, especially those which use the tough new single-ply synthetic membranes, offer superb quality. But they are also technically challenging to design and specify, to install, and to maintain - either as new construction or as replacement systems. Studies show that most commercial and industrial roofs today fall short in one or more of these three areas.
- FACT: Research shows that only about 15 percent of commercial/industrial roofs today last for ten years without expensive performance problems.
- FACT: On the average, only about five percent of roof system problems are covered by the manufacturer's warranty, assuming that it is still in effect. Some estimates are that nine out of ten manufacturer's warranties on roof systems are voided without the owner's knowledge before the new roof is eighteen months old should they not comply with warranty requirements and recommendations.
- FACT: In ninety-eight percent of all roof-system integrity failures, the problem is not due to the roof system itself but to (a) mismatching of roof system type to building type at the specifications stage; (b) improper installation of the roof system, the insulation system, or the adhesive/fastener/ballast system; (c) failures in flashing, rooftop drainage, skylight, or other adjunct systems; (d) excessive rooftop traffic or improper installation or maintenance procedures for rooftop equipment units; and/or (e) improper roof system maintenance procedures or materials.
THE SOURCE OF THE PROBLEMS
Traditionally, commercial and industrial roof systems have been specified by architects and engineers, installed by contractors or subcontractors, warranted by manufacturers, and maintained by building owners or managers. It's an unsystematic approach that can create problems because no one takes ultimate responsibility for the performance of your roof system. And it results in billions of dollars in unnecessary costs every year for American business and industry.