A healthcare worker’s only concern should be administering quality care for their patients, not worrying about a leak in the patient’s room. A properly functioning roof enables medical professionals to put people first, remain absorbed in their duties, and provide a safe environment for healing.
Yet, a roof like that only endures as long as it receives regular maintenance. Because hospitals pose unique challenges, however, it’s crucial to keep the following factors in mind when pursuing a hospital roof repair project or other maintenance endeavors.
The best thing you can do for any roof’s health and longevity is to schedule regular inspections. Much like a medical professional, an expert roofing contractor has a trained eye for indications of damage and can prescribe a treatment plan before it gets any worse.
Ignoring the symptoms of damage could result in an emergency situation, harming thousands of dollars worth of equipment or even requiring a full-scale evacuation of the building. Rather than suffering such a logistical and financial headache, schedule biannual inspections that will address each of these areas of your healthcare facility’s roof:
- Debris, dirt or granules blocking the drainage system
- Unwanted mold or plant growth on the roofing membrane
- Missing shingles
- Seams and penetration points around flashing or rooftop equipment
- Punctures or cracks in the roofing membrane
- Loose or damaged flashing
- Water stains on the membrane, walls or ceilings
2. Noise & Disturbances
Once your inspection is complete, it’s normal to expect to do some repairs. Noise, debris, odors, chemicals, and other disturbances are often a reality of roofing construction work. Yet, hospitals don’t have the luxury of closing for repairs when people’s lives and well-being are at stake. Thankfully, there are some things hospitals can do to minimize the impact of construction disturbances, especially since such things can threaten patients’ recovery.
The first thing to do is to determine whether you can close off any areas of the building or parking lot. Roofing workers will need the freedom to park their vehicles and equipment in a protected area and to move freely through the parts of the building they need to access.
This may require moving patients to other areas of the building to most effectively protect them from disturbance. If relocating patients is logistically impossible, an alternative is to limit construction hours to the least busy times of day, week or season. It may then be easier to section off areas of the building during those less active times.
Consider also the duration of the roofing project. It may be worthwhile to discuss the proposed timeline with your roofing contractor and work together to find solutions that will minimize the amount of time they will need to spend working on your roof. For example, your repair strategy should focus as much as possible on incorporating systems and materials that are compatible with your existing structures.
3. Health Concerns
Your patients are already under a great deal of duress and suffering from painful conditions. They don’t need water leaking from their ceiling or mold growing in their walls on top of everything else. Signs of roofing damage like these can pose serious health risks, especially for immunocompromised individuals or those ailing from allergies or respiratory issues.
Such exposure could quickly turn into a legal liability for the hospital. Regular inspections and repair work can help prevent these risks from appearing in the first place. Additionally, using low-VOC and low-odor materials could help keep harmful gases to a minimum.
A good roof is a roof that goes unnoticed. Only when problems like water leakage and mold growth arise do you become aware of the roof over your head.
While inspections can locate any potential or existing sources of damage, a highly qualified roofing contractor can then minimize disruptions and risks during repairs. In this way, your conscious effort in maintaining your hospital roof directly benefits your business, service quality, patients, and staff.