Weisman Roof Management
Georgia Tech Study Finds Poor Roof Maintenance Causes Sick Buildings
Sick building syndrome is a moisture-related problem that can develop in a commercial building if the roofing system is not well maintained, according to a recent study by the Georgia Institute of Technology.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indoor mold growth can be controlled by managing moisture that enters facilities. In addition to disrupting building operations, commercial roof leaks can also contribute to the occurrence of severe internal Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) problems.
Highlights of the Georgia Tech study, Roof Maintenance Record Analysis Toward
Proactive Maintenance Policies, include:
The Nature of Building Moisture Problems
- Moisture problems in building envelopes are common and universal. They affect all building types and geographical regions.
- Moisture accumulation causing bio-contamination in buildings has been associated with numerous mold-induced personal health problems.
- Litigation related to water damages is on the rise; a triple digit increase of lawsuits in commercial buildings has been observed.
- Damages caused by moisture include component disfiguration, dimensional changes, rotting, decay, mold, and corrosion. Unexpected deterioration can result in a shorter functional service life of building parts leading to a premature failure of the structure.
Roof Maintenance Is the Solution
- Compared to other portions of building envelopes, commercial roofing systems are much less durable, less energy-efficient, and more trouble-prone.
- One of the well-accepted causes of roof leaks is the lack of roof maintenance.
- Many building owners do not have commercial roof management in place. Due to this, roofing-related decisions are typically made with incomplete information, and, therefore, approximately 85% of roofs are replaced unnecessarily.
- Deferred roof maintenance is also a typical problem resulting from lack of a roof management plan which leads to a reduction of building performance.
The study concluded an increase in minor roof repair and inspection frequencies (maintenance) reduces the odds of roof leaks. The notion is similar to the practice suggested by the roofing industry that roofs should be inspected at least bi-annually. The study also confirms the drastic impact that age has on roof's performance, and the need for different maintenance regimes based on age. WRAM
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