Predictive Analytics to optimise Roof Maintenance

Posted by Harish Pesala on

The roof of a building is exposed daily to extremes of climate; wind, rain, heat, snow and ice. Not only do Roofs provide waterproofing, they are now also an intrinsic part of a building’s energy efficiency profile. Roofs require a formalised approach to maintenance, with programmed inspections and timely repairs. Roof failures, particularly in the retail sector receive wide press coverage.

UK Media Coverage of Roof Leak Incidents
Image 1: UK Media Coverage of Roof Leak Incidents


To maximise the efficiency of roof maintenance, there are notable opportunities to create and then exploit relevant data sources. The key foundation data source has to be Roof Documentation, which includes:

  • Building plans and specifications.
  • Roofing contracts.
  • Warranties.
  • Roof repair records and reports.
  • Inspection records.


It is common for roofing contractors to issue two to ten year warranties against defects in workmanship and materials of the components covered in the construction contract. Roofing materials are likely to have specific warranties for material provided by the manufacturer. However, from our experience, Facilities Managers often struggle to have this information, comprehensively collated and incidents do occur of roof repairs been paid for, when they could have been covered under warranty.

High Wind Damage
Image 2: High Wind Damage


The next stage is to integrate all this documentation into a digitised application, with maximum ease of user interactivity. This achieves the following;

  • Collaborative, corporate information management.
  • Rapid access of organised, accurate information.
  • Objective and consistent condition evaluation of roofs.
  • Systematic and auditable process of establishing roof requirements and priorities.
  • Identification and sharing of best practices for roof maintenance.
  • Data analytics and identification of pre-emptive maintenance.
  • Data led roof replacement programme.
  • Integration of mobile workforce applications.
  • Identification of budgetary requirements for roof maintenance and roof replacement.


The growth of the use and technological maturity of mobile devices, along with accompanying hardware creates opportunities for mobile workforce applications to become a seamless part of a digitised solution to roof maintenance. One of the quickest and most effective ways to identify the location and scope of a roof leak is through the use of thermal imagery, in the form of hand held or mounted cameras. Unfortunately, current Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) legislation limits opportunities for the use of drones.

Thermal Imagery used as part of Roof Maintenance
Image 3: Thermal Imagery used as part of Roof Maintenance


Processing of weather data also affords opportunities for improved roof maintenance. Through working with a UK Retailer with 364 Properties across the UK, we analysed rainfall times and volumes and their roof leak incidents. The charts of Roof Leak Incidents and Monthly Rainfall for Winter 2014 / 2015 and Winter 2015 / 2016 show a notable correlation. Important points identified were:

  • Poorly installed roofs could be identified by the high number of leaks during intensive rainfall.
  • Sustained period of rain revealed roofs with significant issues.
  • Three to five day weather forecasts could be used to predict likely demand for roof maintenance teams and accompanying sub-contracting requirements


Monthly Roof Leak Incidents and Rainfall Volume for a UK Retailer Winter 2014/2015 and Winter 2015/2016
Image 4: Monthly Roof Leak Incidents and Rainfall Volume for a UK Retailer Winter 2014 / 2015 and Winter 2015 / 2016


Failure to have a data led roof management programme will result in additional financial costs. Opportunities to increase energy savings will also be lost. Furthermore, a data led roof maintenance programme provides the potential for extending roof lifetime, which consequently can built upon to achieve a data led roof replacement programme.


Data led approach to preventitive roof maintenance
Image 5: Data led approach to preventitive roof maintenance


Stonehaven Technology actively encourages Property Owners and Facilities Management Companies who want to benefit from a data led approach to roof maintenance, to get in touch to discuss technology opportunities.



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