Basics of a Commercial Roofing Inspection

October 20, 2021

Basics of a Commercial Roofing Inspection

Commercial roofing inspections are essential to maintaining the condition of warehouses, offices, retail outlets, other businesses, and roofing warranties. A careful evaluation from a professional roofing contractor can identify damage before it becomes worse and let a business owner know what their best options are.

While individual inspections will vary based on the roofing system, building size, and other factors, they will generally follow a standard commercial roofing inspection checklist. By assessing a roof in all of these areas, a contractor can provide the most comprehensive overview of the roof’s condition.

Is it Time for a Commercial Roofing Inspection?

Many businesses don’t have roof inspections done as often as they should, which leads to higher repair and replacement costs in the long run. When it comes to determining if it’s time to start searching the internet for “commercial roofing inspection near me,” there are a few main points to consider.

Inspection Schedules for Different Roofing Systems

The first thing to consider is the type of roofing system. Every kind of roof will have different recommended inspections. For the most part, a thorough examination is recommended at least once a year. This schedule should be sufficient for:

  • Modified bitumen roofing
  • EPDM roofing
  • PVC roofing
  • TPO roofing

While additional inspections could be warranted by damage from storms or other sources, annual inspections should be enough.

For roofs that require annual inspections, spring is typically the best time to handle them. Winter is the season where the most damage will occur, and you’ll start to notice any leaks as the spring rains begin.

For metal roofing, inspections should be more frequent. The proclivity to rust means that your roofing could deteriorate substantially over a year. Instead, you should implement biannual inspections for buildings with metal roofing.

BUR roofing systems should also have biannual inspections as they are also potentially prone to wear. BUR roofing can last upwards of 25 years if you keep on top of regular maintenance, but regular inspections are vital.

Inspections for Suspected Damage

Of course, if you think there’s something wrong with your commercial roof, you shouldn’t wait until your scheduled annual inspection. Instead, you should reach out for professional commercial roofing inspection services when you notice potential damage.

You might be able to identify some visible damage yourself. This possibility is particularly true for damage due to moisture issues that can cause warping in some roofing materials. Other issues like rust on metal roofing or physical tears in various materials are also easy to spot.

Less clear signs can also include rising utility bills. Roof damage can lead to drafts and insulation damage, meaning your organization will be spending more on heating and cooling. An unexplained jump could indicate an issue with your roofing.

Finally, you can look for signs of water infiltration inside the building. These signs could be marks or stains on walls or ceilings. For warehouses and other open structures, you may notice leaks dripping to the floor and pooling.

Water damage is a serious issue, so it’s best to get a professional to go through their commercial roofing safety checklist and determine what needs to be fixed. This recommendation goes for any potential roofing damage, as the situation will only get worse over time.

Buying, Selling, or New Construction

Roof inspections are also a common part of the buying and selling process. As part of an overall inspection, a roof inspection lets both the buyer and seller know the condition of the roof and the potential costs of any necessary repairs.

Inspections are also carried out for new construction, ensuring that the roofing system has been installed properly. Contractors will go over a thorough new roof inspection checklist to evaluate every aspect of the new roof.

What Happens During Your Commercial Roofing Inspection

You want to make sure that you’re getting your money’s worth from your commercial roofing inspection cost. A thorough roofing inspection is well worth it, assessing the condition of all of the major parts of your roofing system.

Generally, a roofing inspection will begin with an assessment inside the facility. From there, the contractor will be able to identify sure signs of water damage and leaks. 

The positioning of any signs of water damage will let the contractor know what to look for once they get on top of the roof, with leaks often forming around HVAC equipment or other installations.

The interior inspection will also include the roof’s supporting structure. Signs of rust and other corrosion or damage could indicate structural problems that pose a significant safety concern and need to be repaired.

The inspector will then inspect the building envelope, looking for more signs of something wrong with the roof. Cracks or warping in panels can indicate structural problems related to issues with the roofing system.

Inspecting the Roof

The next step of the inspection is to inspect the roof deck itself. The contractor will go up on the roof and visually inspect for many different signs of damage and wear. These could include:

  • Holes, cracks, and tears in the membrane or other roofing materials
  • Rust on metal roofing and metal components
  • Leak sources
  • Damaged and cracked sealant
  • Mold and other growth
  • Blistering in the roofing material

These are just the most common issues that commercial roofing systems are likely to develop. A thorough inspection will identify any other potential problems as well.

A roofing inspection can also require a core sample, a small circular sample cut from the roof. This sample will indicate any signs of internal moisture penetration and damage. Samples from several points could be required depending on the size and slope of the roof.

Roof Accessories

Commercial roofing is likely to support a variety of auxiliary systems, including vents, grease collection systems, and other HVAC components. The points at which these are attached to the roofing are among the most likely to develop leaks, corrosion, and further damage. 

As such, the inspector carefully evaluates the condition of the roofing in these areas.

A thorough commercial roofing inspection will also include a full evaluation of the gutters, drainage, flashing, and the termination on the parapet walls. Sealant around all of these key points is essential, so the inspector will carefully assess its condition.

The Risks of Avoiding Commercial Roofing Inspections

You might be concerned with the question “how much does a commercial roof inspection cost” but the cost of not getting one can be much higher. For one thing, roofing inspections reduce your overall roofing costs.

With regular inspections, any damage will be identified earlier, leading to more affordable repairs. In addition to requiring fewer repairs, regular inspections will also help your organization get the greatest lifespan from your current roofing.

The dangers of putting off a roofing inspection can also include damaging other parts of your building. Leaks can cause water damage to spread throughout walls and other parts of the structure, potentially leading to far more serious issues than simple roof repairs

Given the expense of commercial roofing replacement and the potential other hazards, there’s simply no good reason to avoid regular commercial roofing inspections.

Fours Seasons Kanga Roof Commercial Roofing Inspections

Four Seasons Kanga Roof is here to provide for any of your commercial roofing inspection needs in Southeast Michigan. Our expert team will ensure that your inspection is thorough and complete, identifying any damage, wear, or other issues with your commercial roofing. Contact Four Seasons Kanga Roof today to schedule your next commercial roofing inspection. We’re ready to assist you. 



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