It might be tempting to ignore a minor leak in your business’s roof, or even more than one. Many of us spend our workdays “putting out fires,” dealing with routine problems of varying degrees of seriousness. Once you’ve dealt with the immediate issue by moving anything that’s directly under the leak and arranging to collect the water, it’s only natural to think about other matters that may seem more pressing. But even minor leaks in low-traffic areas can get much worse very quickly.
The best way to avoid this dilemma is regular inspection and maintenance by professional roofers. That level of planning ahead is even more likely to fall by the wayside as daily short-term problems accumulate. However, postponing maintenance and repairs can lead to major losses — some less obvious than others, as this list illustrates.
The most obvious possibility is harm to physical property. Beyond outer roofing materials, substrate, and insulation, water can damage carpets, ceiling tiles, furniture, and equipment. Those items are at least replaceable – business documents may not be, whether they’re paper or digital. (Few of us devote enough attention and time to creating backup copies, much less storing them in a separate space.) Inventory may be ruined.
You or your tenants may find your regular business activities disrupted for hours if not days as roofing materials and equipment are replaced. Preventative maintenance may also be inconvenient, but at least you have a degree of control over when it’s done.
Businesses that don’t deal in physical products can also lose significant amounts of cash flow. If your company sells access to spaces, as hotels and self-storage and parking facilities do, the risks you face are just as serious as those of retailers. And if high moisture levels cause mold and mildew to spread, customers and employees may experience health problems. At the very least, the resulting odors will spread far beyond the area of the leak itself.
The cautionary tale of Peanut Corporation of America is extreme and therefore unusual but warrants attention. In 2008 and 2009, the company’s processing plant in the southwestern Georgia town of Blakely caused one of the largest outbreaks of food-borne illness in American history, which sickened more than 700 people and killed nine.
Employees reported that water entering the facility through multiple roof leaks was carrying in bird droppings, a common source of salmonella bacteria. That water could have landed on processing equipment or peanuts themselves. (It’s also possible that the large holes in the roof permitted more direct contamination: In 2008, an inspector reported a live bird walking and flying inside the facility.) The company was forced into bankruptcy and its owner was sentenced to 28 years in prison for multiple safety violations.
Replacing a leaky commercial roof can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Energy Seal Coatings advanced coating systems are a cost-effective alternative that will extend the working life of your roof even if its older, and there are tax advantages as well. Our cool silicone and acrylic roof coating professionals will repair any damage before the coating is applied, and the process will not disrupt your business. Spring rains are right around the corner. Request your roof coating system installation estimate now.