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10-Point Roof Inspection Checklist for Commercial Buildings

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10-Point Roof Inspection Checklist for Commercial Buildings

From ice dams around drains to a roof leak, there are many problems to watch out for during commercial building inspections.

Through reliable and consistent winter roofing maintenance and inspection, these costly damages and roof repairs can potentially be avoided by ensuring you have an expert inspector that knows to follow these ten key steps.

1. Conduct a Detailed Roof Inspection

If you want to ensure your commercial roof is in good condition, your roofing contractor will need to do a complete inspection.

The only way you can fix a lurking problem is by knowing it is there. A professional inspection will help you look at some of the following problem areas:

  • Decking (any rot or staining spotted)
  • Surface membranes
  • Roof vents
  • Flashing
  • Field tears
  • Gutters
  • Drainage pipes

A regular commercial roof inspection gives you the chance to spot problems before they become a major issue. Summertime winds can cause tiny cracks, which can expand during wintertime.

In an inspection, problems like these wind-related cracks as well as clogged gutters can be discovered before the potential issue turns into costly damages that need repairing.

Be sure to contact a trusted commercial roofing specialist that can discover any areas that may be of concern. As you have your inspector go through the commercial roofing checklist, ensure that they look for any clogs or other obstructions.

They will also be looking for any defective flashing, buckles, and split seams before winter sets in.

2. Clean Debris

In this step, your inspector will check for any debris that needs to be removed from your roof. Debris like branches, leaves, and other trash from drains and roof corners will need to be removed so water can easily drain from your rooftop.

3. Inspect for Ponding Water

Your inspector will also check for evidence of ponding by looking for slow-draining lines and areas that are blocked. There may be color changes or stains on the roof around drains if water has sat for any length of time.

This professional evaluation will be able to discover if any underlying damage has been caused due to standing water.

4. Look at the Flashing

Next, have an expert take a look at flashing details like stacks, walls, and curbs. Their goal is to find any cracks or crevices, so they can be repaired before winter comes around.

Cracks and other failures are more common around transition points. This is particularly frequent in areas where the flashing goes from flat to vertical because there is more stress on these sections of the building. If any flashing issues are found, get it repaired prior to the weather cooling down.

5. Check the Field for Any Cracks or Tears

A thorough commercial inspection of the roof field will need to be done as well. Due to any debris found, any signs of cuts or tears in your roofing system will need to be found before structural damages are incurred.

If the inspector believes there is an existing leak in the field but is unable to find it, a “flood test” can be done, to track down any damages.

6. Inspect Terminations in Parapet Walls

Then, it’s time to look at the terminations on your parapet walls. These terminations should be properly sealed.

Your expert inspector will look at the base of the wall to see if there are any signs of failure or cracking. Ensure these issues are addressed to prevent much larger damages down the line.

7. Check the Edge Detail

Your roofing inspection will include taking a look at the edge details. All of these edge materials should be secured down tightly and terminated. If they aren’t, a professional will need to properly secure anything coming loose to close gaps that allow elements inside.

8. Inspect Roof Surfaces

A professional will also inspect the edge of your roof. This is especially important near the windward edges because these areas are the most likely to lift or shift in a storm.

They should check to see if anything has blown loose or lifted because of wind damage.

9. Check the Gutters

Gutters and drains can also play a role in ponding water and will need to be checked.

If your gutters are clogged, water will be more likely to pool on your roof. Though ponding water on some single-ply membranes will not void your warranty and is less likely for damages to incur, it is still not recommended.

On other roof types, especially those that are asphalt-based, this ponding can quickly lead to roof failure, especially during the winter.

To prevent this from happening, remove any debris that has built up in your gutters.

10. Look at Your Downspouts

Finally, the inspector will check out your downspouts and downspout terminations at ground level.

Sometimes, these sections become damaged or crushed from things like lawn maintenance to passing vehicles. If they are damaged, they will need to be replaced to prevent further problems from developing.

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