If you ask any roofing professional about roof inspections, you’ll probably hear the twice-each-year recommendation. Believe it or not, this is not about the commercial roofing company’s bottom line. They know that with regular roofing maintenance and inspection, your roof will actually last longer. If your roof has a warranty, an inspection twice a year might even be necessary if the warranty is to remain valid.
You can conduct your own roofing inspection, or you can call the roofing company to come and inspect it for you. Doing it yourself will save you some money, and it will also be a good educational experience that might help you make good decisions down the road.
Regardless of who does your roof inspection, it helps to know more about it.
The Best Time of Year for Roof Inspections
Because weather can have an impact on your roof, it’s a good idea to inspect your roof before and after severe weather seasons. Our severe weather can happen during the spring and summer because of heavy snow or hail, as well as the cold of winter. So keep that in mind when planning your roof inspection.
Your Roof Maintenance Checklist
If you decide to do your own roofing inspection, make sure you have a checklist. Without one, you are likely to overlook some of the elements that should be part of your inspection. A written and completed checklist should be part of your permanent business records. They will be helpful if you ever need to file an insurance or warranty claim.
Use a system to prioritize issues the come up as a result of your inspection. Items that are in good shape can be noted as such. Fair items might still be satisfactory, but they may need fixing next time. Anything you mark as poor needs to be attended to immediately. Decide whether repairs will be handled in-house or if you will call a professional. Keep in mind that although it might be cost-effective to do the repairs yourself, a compromised roof can mean a big problem for your business.
Exactly what to include on your particular checklist will depend on the type of roof you have. We recommend starting with the items listed below, adding or deleting to your own checklist as appropriate. (This article has more advice on commercial roof inspections.)
Recommended items to include on your commercial roof inspection checklist:
Inside your building. Before you head outside, take a look at the inside of your roof. Keep an eye out for any sign of water damage, such as mold or mildew. If you see any water stains or peeling paint, this could be a sign of a leak. If you note anything, you’ll want to be careful about checking for water damage on the outside of the roof as well. Because we can get heavy snow here, you’ll also want to take a look at trusses and beams to note any signs of stress, including cracks or rust.
Cleanliness. Once you’ve completed your indoor inspection, head up to the outside of the roof and take a look for dirt and debris that might have collected. These can cause drains to clog and can contribute to rot or decay on the roof. If you see any fallen branches on the roof, it’s a good idea to schedule tree maintenance for surrounding trees.
Flashing. If you have skylights on the roof and flashing was required, keep an eye on these areas to make sure there are no gaps. If you see that they are pulling away from the roof, you might have some serious damage.
Drains. Look for signs of clogged drains, such as water that has backed up, moss that has formed, or other signs like watermarks and damaged flashings and seals.
Exterior structures. Each chimney, vent, pipe, skylight, and other equipment on your roof should have its own line on your checklist to look at separately. Look for signs of cleanliness and aging. Check for structural damage such as bent elements or missing parts.
Expansion joints. If you have any expansion joints on your roof, look at them closely, noting any cuts, gaps, or tears you might see.
Pipe and equipment supports. Make sure these elements are not sagging, cracked, or digging into the roof membrane. If you see any signs of failure, you will have to repair or replace these soon.
Safety signs. If you have safety signage, such as for electrical, harmful chemicals, or hot pipes or equipment, make sure these are intact and visible. If they have worn out or become ruined, be sure to replace them. Without proper signage, repairmen or others who have a reason to go on the roof could get hurt.
Stairs and railings. Check for structural soundness and damage, including loose parts and surface deterioration. This is another area where something that is overlooked can mean bodily harm to someone who needs to be out on your roof.
Past repairs. Check the soundness of items that have been repaired in the past to make sure the fix is still holding and working properly. Note the repairs on your inspection list separately.
Roof surface. This is where you’ll want to watch for signs of weathering and damage. For instance, if you have a flat roof, a low spot that has standing water can be a red flag. Check the roof membrane for blistering, abrasions, tears, and scratches. If your roof has gravel, make sure the gravel is uniform and that there are no bare spots. Metal roofs should be checked for loose or damaged panels. Check for loose or missing pieces on your shingle or tile roof.
For more information on commercial roofing, talk to our team of experts. Rhino Roofing is the premier commercial roofing company in the greater area. We work with each client to customize the roofing process so we do not bother your customers or affect your ability to conduct business. To learn more about our roofing services, contact Rhino Roofing today.