The Roof Of Your Commercial Building: Whose Responsibility Is It?

by | Mar 1, 2021 | Commercial

The maintenance of your commercial building is a high priority. Everything needs to function correctly to ensure maximum comfort and productivity for all workers. There is a lot to pay attention to here, so one question becomes rather prudent: are you paying enough attention to the roof?

Seldom seen or assumed to be impervious to damage, a commercial building’s roof undergoes significant change over the years. For example, some animals may call it home, or harsh and bitter weather could have a lasting impact on its integrity. The commercial roof is far from being a static or immovable force, and it often takes the brunt of any structural damages that might occur.

Therefore, it needs robust management to be well-maintained over the years. But where do the responsibilities fall here? What do you need to keep in mind? You will find a few suggestions after the jump.

Understand the Landlord’s Responsibilities

It may be music to your ears to learn or remember that you are not alone when the integrity of your commercial building’s roof starts to fail. Fortunately, the landlord shares the burden with you and oversees a large portion of the solutions.

When you understand what is typically expected of a landlord in rooftop maintenance, you can set more realistic expectations for yourself. You will not spend more time and resources than you should on managing matters, and you will mostly be able to defer to their judgment in moments of concern. In most scenarios, the landlord should:

  • Arrange repairs: They may have their contacts for carrying out the work already. If they do not, then you could always recommend Big Bear Roofing to set things right. Still, it is their responsibility to ensure that all matters with the roof are quickly resolved.
  • Orchestrate maintenance: Rooftops are exposed to the elements and will not stay in pristine condition for long. It is down to the landlord to ensure that they are well maintained.
  • Notify you of any known points of concern: Full disclosure should always be afforded to you and your workers. Known unsafe areas on the premises, including the roof, should be highlighted and discussed before your work commences.
  • Shield you from liability: Unless you have been relentlessly throwing bricks up onto the roof to smash all the tiles, chances are, problems with the roof will not be your fault. The landlord should not be suspicious of you nor try to place blame at your feet. Instead, they should look for wear and tear signs and liaison with the appropriate insurance companies for suitable coverage and repairs.

It is to be hoped that the landlord will be a supportive figure with a teamwork spirit. Only then do such matters with a commercial roof get resolved at a reasonable speed. Set a standard on what to expect from them, and if they fail to meet it, it may be time to take move your business elsewhere at the earliest opportunity. These matters should be a mild inconvenience soon remedied and nothing more.

Understand Your Responsibilities

Of course, everything is not strictly down to the landlord here. The users of a space have a responsibility to use the premises respectfully. The eyes of every employee in the building should be peeled too. When everyone is attentive, there is much less room for oversight and error.

If you are a business owner renting the building, then you may have to be attentive toward things like:

  • Reporting areas of concern: It is not enough to identify an issue and make a private mental note to fix it. When you spot faults with the roof, action is needed right away. Report the issue to anyone who needs to know; landlords, workers, or South Carolina-based roof repair professionals. The logistics might change here according to the contracts you have agreed to and signed with the landlord.
  • Isolating the area: Professionals may well do this for you if repairs are ever needed. However, if the issues you have identified seem quite severe and represent an immediate threat, then it is a good idea to get ahead of them on this score. You do not want debris to fall on visitors or workers, so isolate the area to keep everyone safe. Some luminescent tape or a sign will do fine.
  • Checking security footage: If the damage seems to have been caused by something other than time or wear and tear, it might be that a security camera on your premises has a right angle on precisely what happened if the roof is slanted and within view. Evidence of vandalism, damage caused by animals, or bad weather might help in any investigation to do with justice and insurance.
  • Offering a work from home scheme: Depending on the roof’s damage, it might be that the workspace is temporarily no longer viable. Therefore, for worker safety, it might be a good idea to relocate workers to the home for the time being. That is if they are not working there already.
  • Updating employees: Once repairs are underway, it can help fire off emails detailing significant updates, sending them to anyone who needs to know. Keeping people in the loop is always a good idea, and companies of all kinds thrive on communication.

Clearly, there are a few things to look out for here. It might seem overwhelming at first, but depending on the situation and what you have signed, there is no telling which of these points might be the most prudent or relevant at the moment. Still, it is better to be prepared, so keep them all in mind, and you will be able to do your bit.

Big Bear Roofing Can Help You In The Charleston Area

If you live in the Charleston area in South Carolina, Big Bear Roofing might be able to help. Get in touch with one of our expert roofing contractors today to find about how you can look after your roof this year. If you are in doubt, consult the specialists. Everything will fall neatly into place after that, and the problematic commercial roof will be a thing of the past.


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