8 Tips for Roofing Preventive Maintenance Inspections

Use this tip sheet to assess and inspection your roof to identify the level of preventive maintenance your roof may require. 1. Remove all debris. Debris such as loose gravel, dirt, leaves, and twigs should be removed. These materials can retain water if left on the roof. The constant moisture can cause damage to the roof, promote growth of algae and mold, and cause standing water to form. 2. Clear drains. Field drains and auxiliary drains should be cleared to prevent ponding that may cause leaks or structural damage. 3. Inspect the roof surface. Perform a visual inspection of the roof system. On single-ply roofs, inspect for holes, cracks, or fastener back-out. On built-up roofs, look for areas with missing gravel or exposed felts. Inspect roof seams and transitions for cracks or holes and have them sealed. This inspection may raise questions about the integrity of the roof membrane that justify a professional examination. 4. Inspect roof penetrations. Roof penetrations include pipes, drains, and other components that protrude through the roof surface. Roof penetrations are highly susceptible to leaks. It is very important to examine HVAC units, conduits, vents, gas lines, rain collars, and pipe boots. If that a roof penetration is leaking or damaged, the problem should be professionally diagnosed and repaired. 5. Evaluate rooftop perimeter. Walk the roof perimeter to inspect the edge details and note any areas of concern, including soft spots, mold, or algae. Inspect the flashing at walls and curbs for any punctures or damage. 6. Inspect the sealant. Keep an eye out for sealant or caulking issues such as cracking, openings, deterioration, or crazing. Sealant failures are often found around penetrations and perimeter flashings. Sealant requires regular inspection and often has to be repaired. 7. Prevent leaks before they start. A roof inspection may reveal areas of deterioration that will require repair. Repairing these small defects before they become major issues will save thousands of dollars down the road. If the damage is beyond the facility staff skill set, or you are uncertain of the proper repair, contact a professional. 8. Perform additional investigations. If the areas of deterioration require additional investigation, consider destructive testing, which requires making an opening for closer inspection, or non-destructive testing, such as infrared scanning, to determine the severity of the issue.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Building Contractor

In any construction project, there are three main parties involved: the owner or client, the management team, and the contractor. The building contractor plans and coordinates construction activities, and must complete the project within the established time and budget. Contractors are responsible for the entire construction process, and must determine the best methods to finish the project as specified. General Responsibilities of a Building Contractor In general terms, a contractor is responsible for planning, leading, executing, supervising and inspecting a building construction project. The responsibility extends from the beginning to the end of the project, regardless of its scope. Contractors accomplish their duties by planning activities, supervising workers, and ensuring the project follows local codes and laws. A contractor may hire subcontractors for specialized areas, such as electrical installations and HVAC systems. Specific Roles and Duties of a Building Contractor As mentioned before, a building contractor has multiple responsibilities, which may vary depending on the contract. There are many roles a contractor can assume during different stages of a project, and this section covers the most common ones. Project Planning Every project has a master schedule that describes all activities, along with their time distribution and planned budget. This schedule has a completion date that contractors must meet, and hefty penalties normally apply for missing the deadline. A late completion can only be justified if the project was delayed by external factors beyond the contractor’s control, such as extreme weather. The first duty of a building contractor is creating a project plan to deliver it on time. Some responsibilities include: Planning all crucial project development and implementation details. Determining the construction equipment and material requirements, and planning their procurement.Predicting possible changes and creating risk mitigation strategies.Meeting any legal and regulatory issues. Establishing effective communication among all project participants. The building contractor must establish a budget for the construction project, and follow it as closely as possible. The budget is a useful tool to track project costs, since contractors can detect waste by comparing their actual expenses with the planned budget. Project Management The contractor needs to complete the project on time, and this involves many construction management activities: Ensuring funds are available to keep the project movingPurchasing materials with enough anticipation for them to reach the site when neededPurchasing or renting the construction equipment required for the projectInterviewing and hiring subcontractors to complete specialized workCreating progress reports to justify intermediate payments Building contractors are also responsible for their personnel, making sure their staff has the right size and technical skills. Contractors also manage payroll for their own employees, and subcontractor payments. Project Tracking Project tracking is fundamental to complete the work according to contract specifications and schedules. In addition to tracking progress, contractors must prevent disruption. This involves several complementary activities: Quality controlUsing cost-effective construction methodsEnsuring a constant supply of materials, and scheduling purchases well in advanceConstruction site safety During the construction process, the building contractor is responsible for tracking progress and managing any necessary changes. Of course, contractors must always have the project scope, time and budget in mind when making decisions. Legal and Regulatory Issues Contractors have a handful of responsibilities in terms of legal and regulatory issues. They  must acquire all the necessary permits and licenses before starting the project, while covering any fees and taxes that apply. Also, the entire construction process must follow local legislation and building codes. Being unaware of legal requirements is not a valid excuse in construction projects, which means that contractors must have updated knowledge. With the right construction permits and contractor licenses, the project can progress without disruption. Health and Safety Issues The contractor must guarantee health and safety in the construction site, by implementing adequate procedures and raising awareness among workers. The contractor is also responsible for the proper operation of equipment and preventing any accidents from misuse. The contractor deals with any emergencies and unforeseen issues at the project site, and must report them to the client’s supervision staff. Conclusion Building contractors have many roles during the different stages of construction, and each role comes with different responsibilities. Contractors should be capable of managing uncertainty and taking decisions on a daily basis. The track record of a contractor is also very important since those with ample experience can respond better to common issues in projects.