Roof Maintenance Tips for Property Managers

Posted: March 13, 2014 in National Real Estate News

A roof can be one of a building’s biggest financial investments and something that is easy to protect and neglect. Roofs receive a constant beating from a variety of sources: extreme weather, structural movement, foot traffic, damage from accidents, and a lack of maintenance. Worst case scenario, repairs left completely ignored can lead to the need for a total replacement. The key is to detect a problem sooner rather than later, before problems become serious.

A well-maintained roof is your first defense to help ensure a secure and worry-free property. These tips for maintaining your building’s roof can help save you untold time and expense.


Roof inspection and consistent maintenance are critical in maximizing a roof’s lifespan and should typically be done on a yearly or bi-yearly basis. The Kirberg Company in St. Louis recommends at least two roof inspections every year: one in the spring and one in the fall after the extreme weather of summer and winter. Additionally, it is recommended that you have your roof inspected after any damage, such as construction, fire, or a serious storm.

These are the key elements of an inspection:

  • Regardless of shingle type, check for splits, cracks, and missing shingles.
  • Regularly clean gutters to prevent leakage and back-up. Heavy, clogged drains can cause stress on the structure of the roof. In winter, ice and snow is the problem, and in the summer, a heavy, clogged gutter can put strain on a roof, but is also the perfect breeding zone for mosquitos.
  • Check for debris behind skylights, valleys in the roof, pipes, and any other penetrations.
  • Check vents and fans.
  • Make sure all seams and joins are secure and that sealants and flashings are in tip-top shape.


Location, location, location. This theory applies to more than just real estate sales. For your building’s roof, every season offers its own special challenges. From summer storms to heavy winter snow falls, or leaf pile-up in fall, it all adds a different stress element.

Properties in Arizona and Vermont have very different wear and tear concerns and should alter their maintenance plans accordingly. In a warmer climate, pest control might be the priority, while property managers in the North need to think about cold weather issues like freezing water and heavy snow falls.

Here are some climate-specific roof problems to consider:

  • Vermin and pest control: Termites, squirrels, raccoons, and birds would all love to take up residence in your roof. Block small entry holes and remove new residents as quickly as possible.
  • Rain and humidity damage: Heavy rain and consistent humidity are mold’s best friends and can lead to structural damage and tenant allergies. If water damage does occur, remedy the situation quickly and ensure that no materials have permanent damage.
  • Heavy storm damage: Driving wind and rain can loosen tiles, start leaks, and cause trees to fall. Do a scan after every storm.
  • Snowfall weight damage: A heavy snowfall can put added pressure on the structure. Have a company that offers snow removal services at the ready.
  • Sun damage: Excessive sun can shorten the life of many roofing products like sealants. Make regular checks to ensure seals are doing their job.

A solid roof maintenance and repair plan helps landlords and property managers avoid major problems by identifying and fixing them before they get out of control and costly. It will also help maintain good communication with tenants and residents, reducing potential legal liability. For additional tips on how to work with a roofing professional and the items you should have on your monthly checklist, read the original post on All Things Property Management.


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