commercial roof inspection-two roof techs crouching on a roof assessing the roof plan
WRITTEN BY The Embry's Team 6 minutes READ

What does a commercial roof inspection involve, and how often should it be done? This vital procedure goes beyond a mere checkup; it detects minor issues before they escalate. Whether you’re a seasoned building owner or new to facility management, understanding commercial roof inspections is key to avoiding unexpected mishaps and extending your roof’s lifespan.

Inside this blog:

  • The Importance of Commercial Roof Inspections
  • Timeline and Frequency of Roof Inspections
  • What Does a Commercial Roof Inspection Entail?

The Importance of Commercial Roof Inspections

Regular commercial roof inspections are not just a check in the box, but a vital measure for maintaining the integrity and longevity of a building’s roofing system. They act as a protective shield, safeguarding your assets, mitigating risks, and steering clear of costly repairs and potential liability.

Some benefits of regular commercial roof inspections include:

  • Identifying and addressing minor issues before they become major problems
  • Extending the lifespan of your roof
  • Ensuring the safety of your building and its occupants
  • Maintaining the energy efficiency of your building
  • Complying with insurance requirements and warranties

Benefits for Building Owners

As a building owner, you already have numerous responsibilities, and worrying about your roof should not be one of them. That’s where commercial roof inspections come into play. Scheduling industrial roof inspections can lead to significant cost savings for you. Timely inspections can prevent unnecessary costs and liabilities, adding to your financial benefits.

However, benefits extend beyond monetary aspects; safety is a key concern too. Preventive maintenance through roof inspections plays a crucial role in improving building safety and protecting your assets from unexpected damages. Plus, performing routine roof inspections is essential in extending the life of the roof and the overall building structure.

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is like the holy grail of commercial roof care. Consistent maintenance and inspections are fundamental to lengthening a commercial roof’s lifespan and securing improved financial returns in the long run. It’s about addressing roof irregularities promptly. These typically develop around 15 years after installation, but catching them early helps avoid more significant, costly repairs and maintains roofing integrity.

Timeline and Frequency of Roof Inspections

Having established the significance of commercial roof inspections, we must now address the frequency of these inspections. Commercial roofs should be inspected a few times a year to ensure their integrity and longevity. Ideally, roof inspections should be conducted in the spring to evaluate potential winter damage and in the fall to prepare for winter weather.

However, the inspection frequency cannot be standardized for all situations. It varies based on the local climate. In regions with mild climates, twice-yearly inspections are typically sufficient, while areas with extreme weather may necessitate up to four inspections per year. The type of roof also plays a part.

Spring and Fall Inspections

While every season brings its own set of challenges for your roof, the transition between winter and summer can be particularly harsh. Winter conditions can bring about considerable strain and damage to roofing materials, warranting a thorough inspection during spring. The potential accumulation of snow and ice can exacerbate existing roofing issues, making spring inspections crucial for commercial roofs.

Conversely, summer presents its own set of challenges, including high temperatures and UV radiation, which can age roofing materials prematurely, thus warranting inspections in the fall. Drying and cracking of the roof surface due to heat and sun exposure are common issues identified during fall inspections.

Post-Severe Weather Inspections

The unpredictability of Mother Nature can result in severe weather conditions, such as storms, heavy rains, and extreme winds, wreaking havoc on your commercial roof. That’s why scheduling post-severe weather inspections is critical to uncover potential hidden damages that might not be readily apparent from ground level, thereby preventing further deterioration of the roof system.

Storm-induced roof damage can appear in the form of:

  • Compromised shingles or tiles
  • Leaks
  • Damaged flashing
  • Missing gutters

If neglected, these issues can escalate into more severe problems over time.

What Does a Commercial Roof Inspection Entail?

commercial roof inspection-two roof techs on a roof looking at a clipboard

A commercial roof inspection entails much more than a superficial scan of the roof; it’s a meticulous process that examines several key components. The main things being evaluated during a commercial roof inspection include:

  • Whether the installation was done according to the manufacturer’s directions and the designer’s plans
  • Checking elements are in the right place, are securely attached, and don’t have excess moisture
  • Using specialized tools and expertise, professional roofing inspectors can identify damages that may elude the untrained eye, such as hidden structural issues.

Inspectors check problem areas for the presence of cracks or structural defects. During a thorough commercial roof inspection, the following areas must be checked as part of a comprehensive commercial roof inspection checklist:

  • Field for any cracks or tears
  • Shingles
  • Flashing
  • Gutter systems
  • Roof structure
  • Vent systems
  • Chimneys

In some cases, a flood test may be conducted if an inspector suspects a leak in the field but cannot locate it.

Interior Inspection

A thorough commercial roof inspection initiates from the building’s interior. Professional roofing contractors start with an internal inspection to track the source of water and spot potential leaks. Identifying leaks in the building’s interior is vital to understanding how water is getting in.

During the interior inspection, the inspector examines:

  • Signs of water damage on the ceiling
  • Ponding water
  • Holes in the substrate
  • Cracks
  • Blisters

Exterior Inspection

The exterior inspection centers on the roof’s external elements. Inspectors check for:

  • Proper roof drainage and ensure there are no blockages; pooling water can lead to leaks and structural damage.
  • The condition of the roof membrane is assessed for integrity, with specific attention to identifying any tears or cuts that can lead to leaks and structural issues.
  • Flashings and roof penetrations are examined for any signs of failure, such as cracks or buckles, which could become starting points for leaks.

Let Us Perform Your Commercial Roof Inspection

Regular commercial roof inspections are not just a good practice, they’re essential for the longevity and integrity of your building’s roofing system. By taking proactive steps and making educated decisions, you can ensure your roof remains in top condition. So, don’t wait for a problem to arise. Schedule a roof inspection with Embry’s Roofing, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your roof is in good hands!

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