Commercial buildings face many dangers that can put the integrity of the roofing system at risk. A roof inspection can help you spot any trouble areas and ensure the structure is in good condition. However, you need to know how to do this properly in order to avoid potentially costly mistakes. Let’s take a look at how to conduct a thorough inspection.
Timing Is Everything
When you first begin thinking about how to inspect your roof, it’s important to set a schedule. Ideally, the roof will be inspected twice a year, although once may be sufficient. If you do plan two inspections, one should be before winter to make sure the roof will hold up under cold weather conditions. The second flat roof inspection should be after winter to check for any damage that may have occurred. Early detection is key to spotting a problem before they become worse.
If you live in an area where you face heavy storms, you may want to schedule an inspection just after the storm has passed. This helps to check for damage left by the storm and ensures the roof held up well enough to face another one.
Check the Interior First
If it’s a roof inspection, why should you check the interior of the building? Many signs of water and roof damage are visible from inside the building. This includes:
- Water stains
- Drips or leaks
- Peeling paint
If you spot these signs, your outdoor inspection should be extra thorough, and you should make sure to find the source of any leaking water before it becomes worse.
Do a Visual Check of the Roof
Your flat roof inspection should also include checking for any visible signs of damage. Often, a visible sign means there may be further damage underneath, so this may be the first warning sign and can include:
These will usually be found on the membrane of the roof and should be easily seen with the naked eye. If you do see these trouble spots, it may be an indication of more extensive damage.
Examine the Drainage System
Some problems can arise because the drainage system isn’t working properly. When dirt or debris accumulate in the pipes or gutters, it can lead to water backup and standing water that isn’t allowed to flow off the roof.
You should also check the functionality of the drains, including the seal. If the seal is broken or cracked, water can flow around it instead of through it, which means more damage.
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Inspect the Structure of the Roof
Next up, the actual structure and equipment of the roof must be checked. If you have flashing on your roof, you’ll want to check it and make sure it is structurally sound. The presence of a gap or crack means water can flow between it and the roof rather than where it should be moving: away from the structure. Expansion joints can also be damaged and have more movement to them than they should, so it is necessary to check for any cracks or tears.
Look at Additional Equipment
Most roofs have pipes and vents on them, which can be damaged from exposure to the elements. Part of a roof inspection is to check for any sort of structural damage or blockages to this equipment, such as rust, chipped paint, leaves or moss.
Assess the Safety of the Roof
Your roof should be secure, and that includes any stairs, railings, platforms, and crossovers. These should all be secured to the roof without wobbling or any loose parts. You should also have the appropriate signage for safety purposes so that employees are aware of potential injuries. If anything poses a threat, either from a lack of signage or wear and tear, it is something to fix immediately.
Schedule Your Roof Inspection
Your roof is an integral part of your business, even if you don’t think about it every day. To keep it in good shape and protect everything inside your building, you should conduct a roof inspection regularly. If you haven’t already done so, schedule your inspection so you can ensure the soundness of your roof, arrange for maintenance or make repairs as soon as possible to avoid further damage.