When it comes to owning a commercial building, regular roof maintenance, both inside and out, will keep it safe and attractive for years to come. However, there are some things that need to be prioritized more than others in order to save time and money.
Even though most roofs are built to last for decades, regular inspections are proven to boost longevity. Why? Simply put, catching problems early allows you to take care of issues that would have gotten worse with neglect.
Read on to discover some of the main objectives to a reliable commercial roofing company’s roof inspection!
Hire a Trusted Commercial Roofing Contractor
The first step in the roof maintenance process is to hire a trusted commercial roofing company. Even if you’re familiar with what to look for with your own roof, a professional can provide an unbiased inspection and discuss potential concerns.
Professional contractors are also familiar with areas that are most likely to present with problems, like roof vents, gutters, flashing, and more. And often, businesses choose to schedule regular inspections throughout the year to prepare for seasonal changes and be proactive with their roofing system.
Clean Up Flat Roof Debris
A commercial roofing contractor’s first step to roof repair is often to remove any debris that has gathered on the roof. Not only does debris make it hard to inspect your roof thoroughly, but it can also block gutters and contribute to ponding water.
Branches, twigs, leaves and other debris need to be cleaned off regularly. If you have a large commercial roof, this isn’t often feasible (or safe) to do on your own, and is an essential piece to the puzzle of preventative roof maintenance.
Check for Areas of Ponding Water
Once the roof is cleaned, a commercial roof inspection will then note any ponding water present on the flat roof surface (this is often caused by poor drainage).
If standing water is found, the commercial roofing company will check for discoloration of the roofing material to determine how long the water has been there and then check for any resulting water damage or infiltration.
A reputable commercial roofing company will inspect the flashing, with the roof inspector focusing on areas like walls and curbs (where damage and cracks are common).
It’s important that any cracks that are found are repaired quickly so that damage doesn’t worsen and cost you more money (from water leaking inside the building).
Free Flowing Gutters and Drains
In addition to checking for overall damage, a roofing company will also inspect the drainage system, checking for clogged gutters, drip edges or drains. While standing water isn’t as much of an issue if it’s short term, if it reoccurs over a matter of months or years, your building is likely to experience significant water damage.
While some roofs, like a PVC roof membrane, hold up better to standing water as compared to asphalt or other roof systems, it’s always best to keep your gutters clear and working properly.
Downspouts are just as important as the gutters and drains. As water gathers in the gutters, the downspouts need to be able to direct the collected water away from the building. Downspouts that are damaged or directed toward the building can contribute to the accumulation of water near the foundation.
Over time, water near the building’s foundation can do as much damage as standing water does on the roof. It can also attract mosquitoes and other insects that can lead to infestation.
Checking Roof-Mounted Equipment
Commercial buildings often have HVAC units and other equipment mounted to the roof. Although roofing contractors don’t repair equipment, they can make sure everything is secured properly to the roof. They’ll inspect flashing and look for any rusting, making sure that the roof is in good condition around the equipment.
Contractors will also check to see if lighting rods and cables are secure, as well as solar panels, hatches, and skylights.
Integrity of Interior and Exterior Walls
It’s important to remember that roofing contractors may also check your interior and exterior walls. This is especially true if they notice standing water on your roof and expect that the building may have water damage. Contractors can usually tell when there is water damage if discoloration on your walls or ceiling is present.
Checking for Overall Structural Damage
At this point of the roofing inspection, your roofing contractor will check the roof for any cracks or faults (this includes any damage to the parapet walls, as well as the edges of the roof). It’s important that the edges of the roof are secure, especially in cases of high winds where they can lift and strip the roof.
The roof inspection will also likely include a check for previous signs of damage to the roof surface, which is important to monitor as the years go by so that you are aware of areas that may require eventual roof replacement down the road.
Commercial Roof Maintenance for Peace of Mind
Hopefully this commercial roof inspection checklist gives you an idea of what goes on behind the scenes when working with a commercial roofing company.
As a building owner, it’s important that you have regular commercial roof inspections conducted so you don’t find yourself paying thousands of dollars in order to fix extensive damage to your roof. A trustworthy commercial roofing company can save you time and money by thoroughly checking your roofing asset and pointing out issues before they lead to major problems.
At TEMA Roofing Services, we pay close attention to every aspect of your commercial roof. We provide a 40-point roof evaluation that starts with the interior of your building, and we pride ourselves on creating long-lasting relationships with our business partners. For free, no-obligation consultation about our roof inspection services, get in contact today!