A Seasonal Guide to Christchurch Commercial Roof Maintenance

08 January 2024

Maintaining a commercial roof in New Zealand isn’t a “one-and-done” exercise. The unique climate in Christchurch, with its wet winters, scorching summers, and unpredictable weather patterns, means property owners need to take a consistent approach to the maintenance and repair of their buildings. Roof maintenance is an ongoing commitment that requires your attention throughout the year. 

In this article, we’ll share tips for commercial roof maintenance written specifically with Christchurch property owners in mind. We’ll provide you with a roadmap for keeping your commercial roof in prime condition, whether you tackle it yourself or prefer to call in the professionals. We'll also offer some insight into the types of maintenance tasks that should be performed in each season.

Follow this guide, and you can help prevent any nasty surprises in the next big storm or heavy rain. 

Spring Roof Maintenance

After a harsh winter, frost, ice and water can all leave their marks on your commercial roof, leading to leaks, water damage and weakened roofing materials. Spring is the time to nip any winter damage in the bud, with timely repairs scheduled early in the season. 


Actions for Spring:

  • Clear debris that has accumulated over winter - Remove any fallen leaves, twigs and other detritus that has found its way onto your roof in strong winds.
  • Get on top of any lichen, moss or mildew - Damp conditions can be a breeding ground for organic matter. Lichen, moss, mould and algae can quickly get out of control if left untreated, but an annual clean stops them in their tracks. Choose a company that offers a non-invasive clean that won’t damage your roofing materials.
  • Trim overhanging branches - If there are trees near your building, now is a good time to give them a hard prune, ready for the warmer months ahead. Overhanging branches can do untold damage, and the more a tree encroaches over your building, the more difficult it is to remove safely. 

Summer Roof Maintenance

Between Christmas and the summer holidays, it's easy to overlook your roof in favour of heading to your local for an ice-cold beverage. However, the relentless sun and potential for sudden, intense downpours make summer an important time for roof maintenance. 

Being proactive during these warmer months can prevent minor issues from becoming major headaches, ensuring your roof remains in top condition and ready to face whatever the weather throws at it.

Actions for Summer:

  • Check ventilation systems -  In the summer, heat can build up in poorly ventilated spaces, leading to increased energy costs and potential damage to roofing materials. Make sure that your ventilation systems are clean, unobstructed, and functioning correctly to prevent these issues.
  • Inspect for pests - Warm weather can invite unwanted birds, rodents, and insects, who see your roof as a prime nesting spot. These pests can damage your roof by gnawing on materials, blocking drains with their nests, and creating moisture issues. Carry out a thorough inspection of any nooks and crannies, and call pest control if any signs of an infestation are found.
  • Keep an eye on trees - While you might have addressed overhanging branches in the spring, summer can see additional growth or breakage, posing new risks to your roof. Regularly inspect nearby trees for dead branches, excessive growth, or instability. Address any concerns straight away to prevent damage.

Autumn Roof Maintenance

While the end of summer may cast a long cloud for the sun worshippers among us, it’s a roofer’s favourite time of year. Autumn is the perfect season for getting up on your roof and taking a good look at any repairs or maintenance it needs in preparation for the wetter months. 

The last good opportunity to get things in order before winter sets in, being proactive in autumn ensures that your roof is ready for whatever the stormy season brings.

Actions for Autumn:

  • Clear leaves and debris - Keeping your spouting clear of debris is essential if you want to avoid blockages and resulting leaks. Many of the most common roofing issues start with poorly maintained spouting, so it’s not a job you can afford to put off.
  • Inspect for wind damage - While we usually think of winter as being the hardest season for our roofs, autumn can do a real number on roofing materials too. Wind and rain can lift and warp roofing materials, particularly older PVC corrugated sheets. We recommend carrying out a thorough inspection to check for any weak points or signs of deterioration.
  • Check flashing and sealant - As part of any roof inspection, it’s worth paying a close eye to flashing and sealant, which can become dislodged or deteriorate over time. 
    Schedule repairs - If you see it, sort it. Any issues or potential issues should be flagged with a trusted Christchurch roofer at your first opportunity. Keep in mind that autumn is a busy time of year, so the sooner you can book a consultation, the better. 

Winter Roof Maintenance

If you’ve followed the maintenance advice for spring and autumn, you can rest fairly easy over the winter months - after all, it’s the worst time of year to be climbing around on a roof! But if you’ve been a bit slack on maintenance throughout the year, you might be in for a nasty surprise. While snowfall in Christchurch isn’t usually an issue, all it takes is one cold snap, and your greatest asset could be in trouble. 

Actions for Winter:

  • Check for leaks and water damage - Winter is prime time for discovering leaks you might have missed during the rest of the year. Pay special attention to any signs of water damage on the interior of your building, such as water stains, mould, or mildew, as these can indicate a compromised roof.
  • Monitor snow levels - In the rare event of heavy snowfall, the weight of the snow can pose a risk to the structural integrity of your roof. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and have a plan in place to safely remove excess snow if necessary.
  • Gutter/outlet protection for hail and snow build-up - When hail or snow builds up in an internal gutter it can block your outlets or downpipes as it freezes. Any subsequent rain will flood the gutter system and cause a catastrophic mess inside. Switchboards are often fixed to an external wall below internal gutters and these do not appreciate a soaking! Protect your internal gutters with the appropriate sized plastic field drainage pipe ie “Novaflo”, “Drainaway”. Lay this and secure in the gutter and cover/protect it at the outlet to prevent problems with hail or snow. 

Know When To Call The Commercial Roofing Experts

Let’s face it: sometimes, there’s not enough time in the day to get the basics done, let alone take care of a commercial roof. If you want to delegate the job to professionals, the team at FHS Roofing is here to help. Keeping Canterbury businesses dry since 1927, we make light work of all your roofing needs, including commercial roof maintenance, leak investigation and gutter and spouting repairs.

Contact us today to book a regular roof maintenance service

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