Commercial roofs are the unsung heroes of our buildings. They protect us from the elements, provide insulation, and keep our businesses safe. However, they often go unnoticed until a problem arises. Regular commercial roof inspections can help you avoid costly repairs and extend the lifespan of your roof. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into when you should schedule a commercial roof inspection, what your roof inspector will look for, and common roofing issues to watch out for.
When to Schedule a Commercial Roof Inspection
- Routine Inspections: Regular roof inspections are essential for preventive maintenance. It’s advisable to schedule these inspections at least twice a year – typically in the spring and fall. This ensures that you catch potential problems early, saving you money in the long run.
- After Severe Weather: Extreme weather events, such as heavy storms, hail, or hurricanes, can cause significant damage to your commercial roof. After any severe weather event, it’s crucial to have your roof inspected to identify and address any damage promptly.
- Before and After Roofing Projects: If you’re planning any rooftop construction or renovations, it’s wise to have a roof inspection before and after the project. The initial inspection ensures that your roof is in good condition before work begins, while the post-project inspection helps confirm that the work was completed correctly and didn’t cause any unexpected damage.
- Aging Roofs: Older commercial roofs are more susceptible to wear and tear. If your roof is approaching or has surpassed its expected lifespan, more frequent inspections may be necessary. Consult with a roofing professional to determine the appropriate inspection schedule for an aging roof.
What Your Roof Inspector Will Look For
A qualified roof inspector will conduct a thorough examination of your commercial roof, assessing various elements for signs of wear, damage, or potential issues. Here’s what they will inspect:
- Roofing Material Condition: Your inspector will examine the condition of the roofing material itself, whether it’s built-up roofing, single-ply membrane, metal, or another type. They will check for cracks, blisters, punctures, and areas of deterioration.
- Roof Membrane Integrity: For roofs with membranes (such as EPDM, TPO, or PVC), the inspector will look for signs of loose seams, punctures, or areas where the membrane may have pulled away from the substrate.
- Flashings and Penetrations: Inspectors will examine roof flashings around vents, HVAC units, chimneys, and other penetrations for signs of damage or deterioration. Properly sealed flashings are crucial for preventing leaks.
- Drainage Systems: The roof’s drainage system is essential to prevent water from accumulating. Inspectors will ensure that gutters, downspouts, and drains are clear of debris and functioning correctly.
- Roof Deck: The condition of the roof deck is vital to the overall integrity of the roof. Any signs of rot, water damage, or structural issues will be noted.
- Roof Insulation: Proper insulation helps with energy efficiency and climate control within your building. Inspectors will check for damaged or improperly installed insulation.
- Roof Penetrations: Rooftop equipment and penetrations should be inspected for proper sealing and secure attachment. Any openings or gaps can lead to leaks.
Common Commercial Roofing Issues to Watch Out For
During a commercial roof inspection, your inspector will be on the lookout for various roofing issues that may need attention. Here are some common problems to be aware of:
- Leaks: Water infiltration is a primary concern. Leaks can lead to damage to the interior of your building, including ceilings, walls, and equipment. Inspectors will check for signs of moisture, such as water stains or mold growth.
- Ponding Water: Standing water on the roof can weaken the structure over time and lead to leaks. Proper drainage is essential to prevent ponding water.
- Roof Blisters: Blisters can form on the roof’s surface, often due to moisture trapped within the roofing material. These blisters can lead to damage and should be addressed promptly.
- Cracks and Punctures: Cracks and punctures can occur over time, especially in areas with heavy foot traffic or where rooftop equipment is located. These openings provide avenues for water to enter.
- Hail and Storm Damage: Hailstorms and severe weather events can cause significant damage to commercial roofs. Look for signs of dented or punctured roofing materials.
- Loose or Missing Flashings: Flashings around roof penetrations should be securely attached and sealed to prevent leaks. Loose or missing flashings are common culprits of roof leaks.
- Vegetation Growth: Over time, vegetation can take root on the roof, causing damage and compromising the integrity of the roofing material.
Expert Commercial Roofers
Regular commercial roof inspections are an essential part of maintaining the longevity and performance of your building’s roof. By scheduling routine inspections, addressing issues promptly, and staying vigilant for common roofing problems, you can protect your investment and ensure the safety and functionality of your commercial space. Don’t wait for a leak or severe damage to occur – be proactive in caring for your commercial roof, and it will serve you well for years to come. Contact G and Bros Roofing today to get started!
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