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9 Step Commercial Roof Inspection Guide (What to Expect)

Written by

Leroy Whitt

Your commercial property’s roof is a critical component of your business’s infrastructure. It protects your assets, employees, and customers from the elements.

A regular commercial roof inspection is essential to ensure its longevity and effectiveness. In this blog post, we’ve created a guide that will explain:

  • The signs that indicate your roof might need an inspection
  • What the inspection process entails
  • How much it costs
  • How often you should schedule these inspections

Ready to schedule a commercial roof inspection?

a roof inspector looks at a metal commercial roof

Signs Your Commercial Roof Might Need an Inspection

Do you suspect it’s time to get your commercial roof inspected? Here are some of the more obvious signs:

  • Age: The age of your commercial roof is a significant factor in determining when it needs inspection. Most commercial roofs have a lifespan of 15 to 30 years, depending on the type of material used. If your roof is approaching the end of its expected lifespan, it’s time to consider an inspection.
  • Leaks and Water Damage: Visible water stains on your interior ceiling or walls are telltale signs of roof leaks. Water damage can be caused by various factors, including damaged flashing, cracked or missing shingles, or deteriorated roofing materials. An inspection can identify the source of the problem and prevent further damage.
  • Loose or Damaged Roofing Materials: Inspect the roof’s surface for loose, damaged, or missing roofing materials such as shingles, tiles, or membrane. These issues can compromise the roof’s integrity and lead to leaks.
  • Ponding Water: Water pooling on your roof after rainfall, commonly known as ponding, can indicate problems with the roof’s drainage system. Ponding water can accelerate the deterioration of roofing materials and lead to structural damage if left unaddressed.
  • Visible Cracks or Blisters: Cracks, blisters, or bubbles on the roof’s surface can be signs of underlying problems. These issues can compromise the roof’s waterproofing capabilities and require immediate attention.
  • Vegetation Growth: The presence of moss, algae, or vegetation on your roof can be a sign of poor drainage or inadequate maintenance. These organisms can trap moisture and accelerate roof deterioration.
  • Interior Temperature Fluctuations: If you notice inconsistent temperature levels within your commercial space, it might indicate poor insulation or ventilation, both of which can be related to roof issues. An inspection can help identify these problems and improve energy efficiency.

The Commercial Roof Inspection Process: 9 Steps

A thorough commercial roof inspection involves a series of steps to assess the condition of your roof and identify any potential issues. Here’s an overview of what to expect during a professional roof inspection:

1) Initial Assessment:

The inspection begins with a visual assessment of the roof’s overall condition, including signs of damage, deterioration, or potential problem areas.

2) Roof Surface Examination:

The inspector will carefully inspect the roof’s surface, looking for loose or damaged roofing materials, cracks, blisters, and areas of ponding water.

3) Flashing Inspection:

Flashing, the metal strips that seal joints and seams on the roof, is a common source of leaks. The inspector will examine flashing to ensure it is secure and watertight.

4) Drainage Evaluation:

Proper drainage is essential to prevent water buildup on the roof. Inspectors will check gutters, downspouts, and drainage systems to ensure they are functioning correctly.

5) Roof Membrane Assessment:

If your commercial roof uses a membrane system (such as EPDM or TPO), the inspector will examine the seams and condition of the membrane to detect any weaknesses or damage.

6) Penetrations and Rooftop Equipment:

Any roof penetrations, such as vents, HVAC units, or skylights, are potential areas for leaks. These will be carefully inspected, and any necessary repairs or maintenance will be recommended.

7) Roof Deck Inspection:

If accessible, the inspector will examine the roof deck for signs of rot, water damage, or other structural issues that can compromise the roof’s integrity.

8) Thermal Imaging (optional):

Some inspections may include thermal imaging technology to identify hidden moisture or insulation issues within the roof structure.

9) Report and Recommendations:

Following the inspection, the roofing professional will provide a detailed report of their findings, along with recommendations for repairs or maintenance.

Cost of Commercial Roof Inspections

a metal roof in the city is inspected

The cost of a commercial roof inspection can vary depending on several factors, including the size and complexity of your roof, your location, and the inspection provider’s expertise. On average, you can expect to pay between $200 and $800 for a comprehensive commercial roof inspection. While this cost may seem like an expense, it is a valuable investment in the long-term health of your roof and can potentially save you thousands in repair or replacement costs by addressing issues early.

How Often Should You Have Your Roof Inspected?

The frequency of commercial roof inspections can vary based on several factors, including the age of the roof, local climate conditions, and the type of roofing material used. However, here are some general guidelines to help you determine how often you should schedule roof inspections:

  • Routine Inspections: For newer roofs or roofs in excellent condition, an annual inspection is usually sufficient to catch minor issues before they become major problems.
  • Semi-Annual Inspections: If your commercial roof is over a decade old or is exposed to extreme weather conditions, consider scheduling inspections twice a year to monitor its condition closely.
  • Post-Storm Inspections: After severe weather events, such as hailstorms or hurricanes, it’s crucial to have your roof inspected to assess potential damage.
  • Post-Installation Inspection: If you’ve recently had a new roof installed, it’s a good practice to schedule an inspection within the first year to ensure the installation was done correctly.
  • Seasonal Inspections: In regions with harsh winters, spring and fall inspections can help identify any damage or wear that occurred during the winter months or as a result of falling leaves and debris.

Schedule Your Roof Inspection With a Professional Roofing Contractor

Regular commercial roof inspections are a proactive approach to maintaining your roof’s integrity and preventing costly repairs or premature replacements. By keeping an eye out for signs that your roof may need an inspection, understanding the inspection process, budgeting for the cost, and following a regular inspection schedule, you can extend the lifespan of your roof and enjoy peace of mind knowing that your investment is well-protected.

At Whitt’s Quality Roofing, our trained roof inspector will spot signs of damage before they spread, saving you money and time. Schedule your roof inspection today!

Leroy Whitt

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