If you have a commercial building, then roof inspections are a mandatory part of the maintenance check for the building. The inspections should be done by a certified, licensed, and experienced roofing inspections company. But even then, you also need to be aware of what the company will be looking for, hence the need to have a commercial roof inspection checklist.
For every building, a roof is as important as the foundation or the wall. The roof will endure as much adversity as would the walls, floors, doors, and windows. That means it is subject to wear and tear, perhaps more than the other features of any building mostly because the roof shelters them. Routine inspections, cleaning, maintenance, and repairs help to prolong the roof’s life while also dramatically reduces the chances of costly emergency roofing repairs.
Commercial buildings are expected to have the roofs checked at least twice, annually, and this number can be higher for structures erected in a region with extreme weather conditions such as hail storms, hurricanes or tornadoes. The commercial roofing inspection can be categorized into three parts:
- Interior Inspection:
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The checks often start from the inside of the commercial building moving outside.
- The inspectors will assess the walls and ceilings for signs such of mold, dark spots, rot, or peeling paint; all these things signify possible leaks in the roof.
- Damp spots in or around the vents or the fireplace is also a sign of poor ventilation.
- The inspector will also check the state of the attic, checking for proper ventilation, cracks on the rafters and sheathing, sagging decking, and if there is any light peering through.
- Exterior Inspection:
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After the interior inspection, the exterior will also be assessed with a keen focus on the roof checking the edges and slope.
- The process will involve a comprehensive assessment of the roofing material to identify any cracks, loose nails, buckling or missing shingles, cracks in the flashing, gapping skylights, damaged chimney caps or cracks in the vent pipes.
- The inspector will also check for signs of leakage, rot, and the present of moss and algae.
- For a flat roof, the inspector will look for any ponding (water stagnating on the roof’s surface), possible blisters or punctures. The coating of the surface will also be assessed, which is a common thing for metal roofs.
- Gutter Inspection:
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The gutters are the last to be inspected where they are examined to see if there are any shingle granules in the gutter which means the shingles are corroded or deteriorating.
- The inspection will also include an assessment of the state of the gutter to see if they are warped, installed correctly, and can support the weight of rainwater and allow it to flow properly to the downspouts and down to the drains.
- The inspector will check for holes as well as any missing sealants.
Now that you have an overview of what a commercial roofing inspection entails, below is a checklist of some of the things the roofing inspection will focus on:
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The inspector will look for leaks because roof can develop such problems given their placement on the building. Flat roofs are the most susceptible to leakage given their design; they are prone to ponding. While the water may evaporate over time, the ponds of water weaken the integrity of the roofing material, especially for roofs made from traditional and synthetic materials. Metal roofs have the highest risk of water damage, which is mostly corrosion and that is why metal is a rare choice of roofing material for flat roofs.
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A comprehensive ventilation system in any commercial building will include vent installed in the walls and the roof. Uneven or high temperatures inside the building will at time signify problems with the ventilation system, and blockage is often the cause. If the obstruction is not addressed, then it can lower the durability of the roofing membrane. The blocked vents soon get damaged and can lead to structural damage that extends from the roof to the walls.
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With the roofs exposed to the weather elements, they endure the beating of violent weather and changing temperatures. For a commercial building with accessible flat roofs, then foot traffic is another issue that adds to the rate of degradation. Over time, the roofing materials will start to develop blisters and punctures due to granular loss and things get worse if you take into account things such as water, strong winds, and dirt that lead to corrosion, rot, and growth of mold and algae. As such, the roofing inspector will check for any sign of surface degradation which is characterized by the aforementioned things.
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Special roofing cement, sealants, and waterproofing membranes are design to ensure that building as watertight and airtight seals that prevent the penetration of water and air. The sealants are often used in areas of the roof where there are coping joints, vents, corners, and plumbing collars or any other structural openings. The sealants can be affected by the changes in the weather and temperatures that cause them to deteriorate, crack and chip. The inspection will include a comprehensive assessment of all seals to ensure they are in good condition. Signs of leaks will at times signify the need to have the roof seals removed, and new sealants applied.
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Ponding is one of the sure signs of drainage problems with the roof, especially for a flat roof. Accumulation of dirt, leaves, and debris can also lead to ponding. Such things can even be washed down to the gutters, blocking it, thus worsening things. The roof inspector will check the downspouts with a snake camera for any possible debris while examining the gradient and cleanliness of the roof’s surface and gutters.
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Primarily the commercial roof inspection, as is the case with any roofing inspection, will focus on identifying any structural damages to the roof. Issues such as leaks, blocked vents, surface degradation, missing, chipped, or warped shingle among other problems can be summed up as structural damages. If any of these are very pronounced, the finding of the inspection will suggest the replacement of the entire roofing structure.
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Lastly, when examining the roof, the inspector will take into account the age of the roof while also factoring in the roofing material. The different types of materials used for roofing have different lifespans, and this can play a part in how roof will stand up against the elements of the weather.