If you’re in charge of maintenance at a church, you’re used to repaving the parking lot, replacing lights in the sanctuary and vestibule, and cleaning up between services. However, one part of your church that’s easy to forget but crucial to the structure’s longevity is the roof. Generally, roofs last about 30 years, but depending on how much church roof maintenance you do and how old the building is, that could vary. To make sure that church roof repair doesn’t turn into replacement, make these three guidelines part of your maintenance routine.
Understand What You’ve Got
Before you can fix the roof, you need to understand your church’s structure. Schedule a professional church roof inspection to learn how many years the roof should last and what you can do to preserve it. Before the inspection, review the blueprint of the structure if possible, or measure the roof so that your inspector can bring a ladder or crane if necessary. During the inspection, figure out what materials the roof is made of. Common materials include the following:
Shingles made of metal and slate tend to last much longer than those made of asphalt, so knowing the shingles’ makeup helps you determine the roof’s life expectancy. The inspector also can let you know whether you have a waterproof or water-shedding roof. Waterproof roofs are flat and made of water-resistant material so that they can withstand puddles. On the other hand, water-shedding roofs are sloped so the water just runs off. If you have a waterproof roof, your roof maintenance routine must include removing any standing water after major rainstorms.
Prioritize Church Roof Maintenance
Maintaining the roof isn’t something you can leave to take care of when you’ve got the free time; you must prioritize it. Even if you only clean your gutters annually at home, with your church, remove any debris you find immediately. If water can’t run into the gutters, it builds up on the roof, damaging it. Check for missing or broken shingles and replace any damaged ones. Remove weeds and other plants, especially saplings in the spring, and look for large deposits of dirt beneath the shingles.
Once you’ve completed these church roof maintenance tasks, it’s time to head inside for another church roof inspection. Go to the top floor, attic, or another space that allows you to see the roof’s interior. Check for discoloration, which is a sign that the roof is leaking or that the gutters aren’t working. Look out for signs of issues, such as leaks or places where you can see sunlight. These inspections may seem tedious, but they prevent issues that require extensive church roof repair.
Replace the Roof When Necessary
It can be tempting to put off repairing a church roof so you can use the money elsewhere, but the roof is one of your biggest assets. When you find many discolored or wet spots under the roof and the shingles are broken, contact a professional roofer to schedule an appointment. Make sure you choose a company that specializes in church roof maintenance, since houses of worship involve special concerns:
- Avoiding repairs during services
- Working around unusual features such as steeples
- Preserving historic buildings’ appearances with custom sheet metal fabrication
- Adapting older infrastructure to new materials and machines
All of these issues make installing a new roof oftentimes is much more complicated with a church. However, this process directly corresponds to how long your church roof lasts, so it’s worth your time and energy.
To ensure that people can enjoy and worship in your beautiful church for decades, follow these three guidelines for handling church roof repair. Church roof maintenance is complicated, but with the help of professional inspections and regular maintenance, you can preserve your building’s future.