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How to Maintain a Church Roof

Posted on February 20, 2015 by Bill Skubik in Maintenance

Roof maintenance is an integral part of maintaining a dry and safe gathering space for your congregation. Follow these upkeep tips to avoid leaks and maintain the warranty.

The first step is to keep your roof, gutters, and drains clean.  Easily avoidable clogged gutters, downspouts, and drains can trap water or snow on the roof.  Look for leaves, branches, and other debris that has gathered behind HVAC units, pipes, skylights, and other objects.  The buildup of liquid and weight on the roof can cause deterioration and may result in a faulty roof.

To avoid excess debris, trim back any overhanging tree branches. Not only will this small action reduce future maintenance, it will decrease the risk of falling limbs damaging your church.

Careful observations of the church roof and gutters can detect many potential problems before they become a threat . Some warning signs that are visible from the ground include discoloration or dirty streaks appearing on the interior or exterior church walls, especially close to the top.  Keep an eye out for dislocated and broken slates and tiles.

Also try to complete a full roof inspection at least twice a year.  Scared of heights or not sure what to look for? Have a qualified professional perform the inspection for you. Make sure that the surface, caulking, sealants and flashings are watertight.  Take a close look at places where pipes, chimneys and skylights extend out. Small problems can quickly turn into big problems that lead to other issues and larger bills.  A tiny leak can quietly damage not only walls and floors, but also costly mechanical and electrical systems.

Regardless of the magnitude, be sure to repair problems immediately.  Contact a church roofing specialist that has experience with your roof type. Seek the guidance of a company who has an understanding of the complexities of a church roof, steeple, gutters and the remaining parts of the church building.

The next thing to examine is your ventilation.  Warmer attics can create ice dams on sloped roofs. Ice dams form when heat rising from your church melts snow on the roof.  The melted snow then refreezes on the cooler edges of the roof. Gradually, the ice buildup prevents water from draining.  This often forces liquid under the roof covering and directly into your attic or building. To avoid ice dams, keep your attic floor insulated and ventilate the space to keep it cool.

Proper maintenance and inspection of your church roof is key to its longevity.  A little prevention can spare the church costly repairs later, so stay on top of it!


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