Weather and time take a toll on your commercial building’s roof. If you don’t properly tend to roof damage when it occurs, it can quickly grow worse, leading to costly leaks that frustrate tenants or employees and lessen your property’s value, the safety of those who use the building and your business productivity—all of which affect your bottom line profit.
While you might be tempted to DIY your roof care, there’s a lot more involved than a visual check. You’ll need to examine everything in detail, and it’s not always easy to recognize issues or know how to fix them. Savvy property owners make the process easier by investing in roof maintenance plans to get thorough, certified inspections and preventative care performed by professionals like the pros at Christian Brothers Roofing on a regular schedule.
However you choose to do it, checking your commercial roof regularly for signs of damage is essential. Here’s what a comprehensive roof inspection involves.
Steps to Fully Inspect and Protect a Commercial Roof
Conduct a Detailed Visual Review
A professional inspection helps you accurately and efficiently locate trouble areas before they become major problems that require roof replacement. Professional roofing companies will notice potential issues like weather-related cracks and clogged gutters that, if addressed early, will prevent costly repairs while extending the lifetime of your commercial roof.
Check Roof Structures
All the structures on your roof—including chimneys, pipes, skylights, and vents—should be examined thoroughly during a proper roof inspection. Anything that sags, appears bent or damaged, or has missing parts should be repaired or replaced.
Clear Away Debris
Branches, leaves, mud, and trash will tend to build up around vents, and in the roof’s nooks and crannies. If debris isn’t removed routinely, water can’t easily drain from your rooftop. This can lead to expensive leaks and related damage, including caved-in ceilings, mold and mildew, and more.
Notice Ponding Water
Another roof problem to look for is standing water and its results. Stains and discoloration around drainage areas can indicate that rain and melted snow are sitting there too long, leading to slow roof leaks and storm damage. While you may spot these problematic situations with a DIY check, it takes a professional roofer to fix the issue or determine if you need roof replacement.
Address the Gutters
Gutters and drains should be checked periodically to ensure they are free of clogs and working properly. If water pools on a roof because it has nowhere to go due to a clogged drainage system, it can lead to external and internal damage to your building, including structural issues, ruined computers, lost warehouse products, and more.
Look at the Flashing
Have an expert inspect flashing details like curbs, stacks, and walls for cracks. Not catching the small details makes things worse and more difficult to repair, but it’s hard to spot those issues if you’re not a pro roofer.
Inspect Parapet Walls
The parapet wall around the edge of your roof should be checked—giving special attention to the areas where the parapet intersects with a taller part of the building. These areas are susceptible to cracking and splitting. If left unattended, cracks can get larger. Ice can accumulate in these spots, and lead to moisture leaks when the ice melts.
Check Edge Details
It’s essential to inspect the edge of the roof. This is especially important near the windward edges because these areas are the most likely to lift in a storm. Any wood or metal materials on or around the roof edge should be secured down tightly and inspected for rust or rot.
Look at Your Downspouts
A reliable inspector will also thoroughly inspect your building’s downspouts and downspout terminations on ground level. Again, if issues like this are addressed right away, things like clogs can be avoided, as well as even more troublesome issues down the line—leading to a need for more significant roof repair.
Assess Stairs and Railings
Crossovers, platforms, railings, and stairs on or near the roof should not be overlooked. Issues like loose or missing parts, surface rust, or damaged materials can grow worse over time and potentially contribute to serious accidents.
Attend to Signage Safety
Any required safety signs on or near the roof, including access points, should also be checked. Are they properly posted everywhere they need to be? Are they clean and easy to read? Wipe them of any debris, such as mold or water damage, and replace them if they can’t be read or are outdated. One significant lawsuit arising from any negligence in this area can destroy the future of a business.
Check for Interior Signs of Damage
If your roof has issues to address, there will be signs inside the building, such as mold, mildew, leaks, dripping water, stains, and spots where paint is peeling. Also, visible trusses and beams can show signs of structural stress (such as cracking or rotting and rust spots) if heavy snow has settled on your building’s roof.
The Advantages of a Roof Maintenance Plan
A roof maintenance plan is a consistent routine set up in advance with a professional roofing company to allow for regular checkups and repairs. The goal is to catch small problems quickly and make fixes fast, before they can become more serious. These check ups not only save your business from costly repairs, but protect your warranty (possibly extending your warranty in some cases) and maximize your roof’s lifetime.
Inspections are performed thoroughly at scheduled intervals. Your roofing inspector will follow a detailed checklist like the one described above to ensure every aspect of your roof is in tip-top shape. You can even get professional advice on the best type of commercial roof when you need replacement, such as whether TPO roofing vs. EPDM roofing is better for your building.
Get Commercial Roof Inspection Services that Provide Peace of Mind
Your roof is vital to the safety, performance, and value of your commercial property. Save yourself valuable time, headaches, and money in the long run by investing in professional inspections.
As a GAF Certified Maintenance Professional roofing company, we provide comprehensive inspections and proactive maintenance to protect your property from business interruptions and costly damage. Contact us to learn more about our certified roof inspection and maintenance program, and get peace of mind that your property investment is being safeguarded.