Polar Plunge in July? Can Your Building Take It?
The one thing that is constant about the weather is it is not constant. For example, this very week we experienced cooler temperatures and rain in July due to a polar plunge in the Midwest. This cold snap reduced average temperatures by 10 to 20 degrees, making for record cooler temperatures, and frankly a nice break from the triple digits we had recently experienced.
Even more fascinating is the fact that the Farmer’s Almanac predicted this very cold snap, and predicts additional scattered thunderstorms for our area into August. In fact, the Farmer’s Almanac has more accurately predicted weather during its 80 year history than any other meteorological report or weather predicting agency using their proprietary method. This certainly makes for a reliable source.
To that end, the Farmer’s Almanac does predict hotter, drier weather coming up, which begs the question can your building take it?
“When you consider the impact of rapid and ongoing heating and cooling of commercial properties due to weather, you must take into account the expansion and contraction of materials, which can create a point of failure,” said Keith Post, CEO of KPOST Company. “This allows for water to enter the building, an unfortunate reality that most property managers will not realize until a large rain uncovers leaks inside.”
Meet the Havoc Brothers – Expand and Contract
“Building materials are engineered to move so that the building can appropriately withstand the elements, ground shifting and overall expansion and contraction from the changing temperatures, “ said Tracey Donels, KPOST Company service manager. “When you consider how many elements a building endures in a single week, it’s truly a testament to the endurance of the materials.”
Tracey went on to say: “Each year we have two massive thermal changes in the spring and in the fall. When you add the polar vortex we are experiencing this summer, there are now two additional thermal changes – one at the beginning and one at the end. The reality is that building materials can only withstand so much, so these extra occurrences can definably impact the life span of building materials.”
We do know that building materials have a life cycle, and that life cycle is extended by proper maintenance. But how do you prepare for the everyday challenge of temperature changes? And the associated issues of the building expanding and contracting?
“The obvious answer is regularly scheduled assessments and preventative maintenance,” said Keith. “It is also important to prioritize based on the need. Consider that the commercial roof takes the brunt of direct sunlight, rain, snow and most other inclement weather elements. It is important to ensure that the roof receives proper maintenance by a reputable commercial roofing partner so that you keep the water out of your building.”
Take the Right Steps
When determining the best commercial roofing partner to perform an assessment and associated preventative maintenance, it is important to remember they must have the skill set to properly assess damage from a manufacturing point of view. This means understanding where to look, how to spot trouble spots and potential issues, and how to perform a visual inspection that results in a good condition assessment / maintenance report.
There are multiple areas to assess and determine the level and priority of damage so that a repair schedule can be made. Getting the inspection report will not only provide you with a budgeting tool, but also a prioritization tool to determine which repairs are critical and which can be scheduled at a later date.
The inspection report should be broken out to “warrantable” and “non-warrantable” repairs. In many cases “warrantable” repairs will be paid for by the manufacturer under your warranty, as long as you maintained the roof per the warranty agreement.
“Your building is always in motion and constantly under attack from elements,” said Tracey. “Keeping on top of assessments and preventative maintenance is the best way to keep water out of the building, keep tenants happy, and minimize the need for expensive repairs down the road.”
You can find more tips and information in the KPOST Company white paper “If Farmer’s Predict a Rainy Season, Can You Keep Water Out of Your Building?“ Download your free copy and learn more about extending proper roof inspections as well as great tips for keeping water out of your building. Download now!