The importance of good maintenance in and around your church cannot be over-emphasised. Regular property maintenance helps to reduce the risk of property damage as well as harm or injury occurring to church members, visitors and other members of the public. In addition, it helps to minimise costs in terms of repairs, medical expenses, damages, property or liability insurance claims and policy excesses.
Part of keeping your church safe and in good repair involves having a sound maintenance plan in place, and taking steps to help make your building more resistant to disasters and wild weather events. This very often starts with the roofing system. This is due to the fact that a building’s capacity to cope with wild weather such as a windstorm is largely dependent on the state of its roof.
You should conduct roof inspections regularly and also following a major storm or disaster. Issues to look for in an inspection include:
- Missing or cracked roof-tiles or loose ridge-capping.
- Gaps in or dislodgement of roof-flashing.
- Stagnant or ponding water.
- Rusting of iron sheeting, gutters or nails.
- Water stains or mouldy odours inside the building which may indicate leaks.
- Leaf litter and other debris in the gutters and around downspouts (see below).
- Any damage to the roof covering such as cracks, tears or air-bubbles.
- Inadequate anchoring of roof-mounted equipment.
All roof repairs should ideally be handled by a professional roofing contractor who has the required experience, expertise, liability insurance, and safety gear and equipment.
Of particular concern regarding your property’s roof is the guttering system. When gutters and downpipes are clogged with debris it can lead to serious drainage problems. It could also increase the risk of the building suffering from flooding, and also make it more susceptible to fire damage during the dryer seasons. Water build-up in the gutters can eventually lead to gutter collapse; it also allows insects and other vermin to breed and weeds to grow. To help provide good drainage and to ensure your gutters last, get them cleared regularly.
In addition, complex roofs – such as those with lots of intersecting points – are often more prone to debris accumulation along ridges and intersections, increasing the risk of wind-borne embers occurring during a fire situation. Buildings with complex roofing systems may require extra attention when it comes to care and preventative maintenance.
It’s also important to be aware that failure to maintain a building’s roof could result in denial of an insurance claim for damage. For more information, contact the FI office.
Written by Tess Oliver
Tags: asset protection, maintenance, weather