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Maintenance: The Key to Long-term Roof System Performance

Roofing professionals generally agree a good roof system requires proper design, quality materials and quality application to perform successfully. Yet once the roof system is installed, nothing is more critical to its long-term performance than establishing a program of regular inspections and proper maintenance.

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) believes the most effective way to achieve long-term roof system performance is for a building owner to have a formal, long-term relationship with an NRCA-member professional roofing contractor. An NRCA-member

professional roofing contractor:

• Understands local building practices

• Understands different roof systems and can make recommendations concerning which type of system is best for a particular building

• Has a trained and experienced work force that knows how to complete the work

• Can respond quickly if a problem arises

• Is well-established in the community, so the owner understands with whom he or she is working

•Works in, and gives back to, his or her local community

• Understands the local business environment

NRCA has expressed concerns regarding the long-term warranties offered by many roofing material manufacturers because warranties do not necessarily provide assurance of satisfactory roof system performance. Warranties often contain provisions that significantly limit the warrantor’s liability and the consumer’s remedies in the event problems develop or damage occurs to the roof system. Instead, NRCA believes the best way for a building owner to ensure satisfactory post-installation roof system performance is to have a formal, long-term maintenance agreement with an NRCA-member professional roofing contractor.

Maintenance programs typically offer the following advantages:

• A maintenance program is proactive (rather than reactive). It can help to identify problems at their early stages when they can be corrected and before they become catastrophes.

• Regular maintenance can reveal and address sources and causes of leaks before they occur. Too many owners have their roof systems examined only after a leak occurs.

• A maintenance program allows for a planned, organized approach to management of a roof asset and allows for responsible, timely preparation of long-term capital expenditures.

• Response time to address leakage problems is greatly improved. Warranty repairs, on the other hand, can take time to be processed while the problem remains unresolved.

Building owners should take care in selecting a roofing contractor to perform maintenance work. Additional information is available from NRCA or from an NRCA-member professional roofing contractor in your area.

NRCA, a nonprofit trade association, is one of the construction industry’s most respected organizations and the voice and leading authority in the roofing industry for information, education, technology and advocacy.

NRCA offers a service to help building owners locate NRCA-member professional roofing contractors in specific geographic areas. NRCA’s website allows roofing consumers to search for roofing contractors by ZIP code, type of roof system and radius; it also provides a wide range of information and services to help building owners and homeowners make informed decisions about replacing and maintaining their roof systems. This information can be obtained from NRCA’s website at

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