We’ve been looking at the website of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) recently and have come away impressed with their detailed advice. Their mission is to help you prepare for natural disasters such as high winds, snow, hail, and more. Their plans and advice are free for the download and we highly recommend you check out their website.
To give you a taste of their advice, today let’s talk about the roof on commercial buildings. Specifically, the flashing and coping. It may save you much future grief because this is the building’s first defense against wind damage. For a complete discussion with instructive photos, click here to the IBHS webpage on roof flashing and coping.
Here are inspection guidelines that you can use to check whether your roof will hold up during the next major Central New York windstorm.
• If you can pull the bottom edge of the fascia flashing more than 1 ½ inches away from the wall, the flashing is not installed properly and may need to be repaired or replaced.
• Do you find any areas where the bottom edge of the flashing is not tightly crimped over a continuous or intermittent cleat? Or if there is no sign of a cleat, the flashing isn’t well installed and may need to be replaced.
• If the seams between sections of the flashing where it overlaps are not closed or tight, the joints may need to be resealed.
• Look for gaps, bowing, or waviness between the edge flashing (fascia metal) running down the face of the wall and the wall.
• Fascia metal pulling tight against the wall in some places and bowing out in others.
• Gaps of more than 2 feet between the external fasteners that anchor the fascia metal to the wall, which mean the flashing isn’t attached well enough.
The thing is, securing the edge flashing helps keep the roof cover intact during high winds. If the fascia is loose winds can tear it away along with the entire edge flashing system. The other issue with loose flashing is that water can get in and create moisture problems within the roof cover system and inside the building.
When it comes to commercial property insurance, wind is certainly one of the basic covered perils. So we are here for you in case your building is damaged. But even though you have solid insurance, risk management is important for two reasons. One is that a claim free history helps keep your premiums low. And, two, suffering a major wind loss is difficult to deal with even when you have the coverage you need to pay the claim.
You would rather be in business for your customers than deal with hiring roofing contractors to fix your damaged roof. So go to the IBHS website for a wealth of information on intelligently maintaining your building to help prevent losses if natural disasters do occur.
Until next time,
Your SZW Team
SZW Insurance is your New Hartford area independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here.