College Planning & Management

JAN 2013

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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ROOFS: MAINTAIN, MATERIALS, PERFORMANCE Proactive roof maintenance is critical to long term performance. There are a variety of roof system software programs available, but software is no replacement for a proper inspection on a regular basis. roof maintenance. "My experience working with colleges and universities across the country has led me to conclude that roof maintenance is unfortunately lower on the list of priorities," says Peter D'Antonio, national sales manager for educational facilities for Sarnafi l, a commercial roofing and waterproofing manufacturer based in Canton, MA. In addition, he says the variety of roof system types that may be found at any one campus may create servicing issues. Some roof systems require more maintenance than others and once a roof is in place, facility maintenance workers may not be able to differentiate in system types. The solution for many facility managers is to create a campus standard with a preferred membrane manufacturer. Such a standard provides not only a basis for maintenance but also a basis of design for architects to use on new buildings, according to D'Antonio. Potential Problems Regardless of who takes responsibility, responsive, proactive roof maintenance is a must. "Proactive roof maintenance is critical to long term performance," D'Antonio says. "There are a variety of roof system software programs available, but software is no replacement for a proper inspection on a regular basis." A major consideration is the important 56 PHOTO COURTESY OF ROXUL, INC. OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND. Campus roofs aren't very exciting. They're up there, out of sight, and at their best when you don't notice them. And when you do notice them, it's most likely because they're not doing their job of keeping the elements out and the inside environment dry, warm, and comfortable. Only a well-maintained, waterproof roof can sustain a facility for a long period of time. This can be ensured through proper and regular roof inspections and maintenance and by using adequate quality roof materials. function served by any roof. "While any building system needs maintenance, a roof is kind of special in that it's a primary weather barrier," Wilen says. "It can take abuse in storms as well as normal wear and tear." Without doubt, roofs that are not cared for adequately can lead to serious problems. "I've seen the results of roofs that were left to atrophy and became damaged and the significant damage that occurred," Wilen says. Most obvious is water infi ltration, he points out, with wet surfaces prone to mold and mildew. Too, many types of insulation will lose insulative qualities if they become wet, leading to increased energy costs as well as condensation issues. "Water on surfaces can cause all kinds of problems," Wilen says. "If leaks are allowed to occur, you risk reducing the useful life of the roof itself." COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT / JANUARY 2013 Timely Assessment Perhaps the most vital step in roof maintenance is assessing issues quickly. Once problems are identified, you can resolve them before they lead to damage of interior elements. "The items immediately below the roof, such as insulation, can be expensive to replace," says Wilen. "If problems are identified early, you can be spared significant damage." A measure recommended by experts is scheduling inspections on a regular basis. Brian Lambert, director of products and systems for the Garland Company, a Cleveland, OH-based provider of roofi ng systems and maintenance products, advises making twiceyearly inspections. Typically, one should take place before winter weather sets in so any deficient areas can be repaired. Another should be conducted in the spring to WWW.PLANNING 4EDUCATION.COM

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