Building Management Hawaii
Hurricane Preparedness Issue, 2019

Being Prepared – In and Out of Hurricane Season

Guy Akasaki, President & CEO
As the first line of defense against the elements, your roof takes the brunt of the daily impact from sun, wind and rain here in Hawaii.  Because of the exposure to the elements, along with variables based on location (trees, birds, etc.) and access to the roof by others, the roof deck typically does not “remain the same” as many assume.  Regular preventative maintenance will help keep your roof in check, addressing little issues before they become costly repairs.   This is our #1 advice on maximizing your rooftop investment and preventing premature roof failures. Inspections performed at the end of summer or winter are ideal, after your roof has gone through the greatest amount of stress. Preparing for hurricane season should include addressing key areas that often get minimal attention during the year to “get by.”  Repair, repair, repair – can only get you so far until the next catastrophe hits.  Hurricane straps are often installed (in some cases it maybe required) to help make the structure more resistant to high winds.   8 Things to keep in mind as you prepare your buildings:
  1. Clear rooftop drainage and scuppers. All too often, emergency calls of leaks during heavy rains, are due to clogged rooftop drains that have vegetation growing into the drains.

A roof drain growing wildlife won’t be too effective when needed

  1. Clear downspouts, headers, boxes & gutters. Water exit points need to be clean and clear to handle the volume of water that unexpected rains bring.
  1. Check for crumpled downspouts at the exit point. Downspouts can often be crushed at the bottom by cars or people, leading to overflowing gutters or backed up roof drains.
  1. Check & clear internal gutters (warehouses). If these gutters overflow they can overflow into the warehouse and walls, its best to ensure they are cleared.
  1. Secure rooftop equipment, remove all loose debris. In high winds, any unsecured items can become dangerous projectiles.
  1. Weep holes cleared (skylights, window frames). These should not be caulked or covered.
  1. Check that PV penetrations are watertight. Always a good idea to check the penetrations with the expansion and contraction of the roof daily.
  1. Replace/secure missing or loose roofing/flashing. Secure weak/loose areas of the roof system as soon as possible to prevent high winds from causing greater damage.
  Right Materials for the Right Application Going for the best solution can be a little more costly upfront, but can save you more in the long term than going for the cheapest solution, especially when disaster hits. Utilize proven products (tested and proven locally) with longevity, reliability and strong manufacturer warranties. Partner with Roofing Contractors Ahead of Time.  The last thing you want to be doing when you’ve got water leaking into your tenant’s space is searching google for a roofer to call.  Do your research ahead of time, look for a qualified roofing contractor that you can build a long-term partnership with.  Circumstances can change in an instant, but having a good roofing partner can help you weather any storm.

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