How to Inspect and Maintain Your Commercial Roof

How to Inspect and Maintain Your Commercial Roof
by John Carlucci - August 28, 2023

While your business operates, your roof bears the brunt of bad weather. Rain, high winds, hail, and UV rays pummel it throughout the year. This is why it’s imperative to inspect and maintain your commercial roof.

With regular roof inspection and maintenance, you can avoid costly damage and roof repairs. Use a reliable commercial roofing company to help keep your commercial roof in prime condition. Here are some tips on how to get started with this task.

Assess the Situation with a Roof Inspection

While you may be able to take a look yourself, you may easily miss signs of trouble for your commercial roof if you’re not a professional roofing contractor. Professionals will look at surface membranes, decking, flashing, roof vents, gutters, and drainage pipes. If they notice any small problems, it will be much easier to make repairs now rather than wait for them to become serious.

Clean Up Debris

You may spot debris on the roof of your commercial property. Branches, leaves, or even trash from drains and roof corners should all be cleaned up. If you have regular roof access at your commercial property, you should check for debris and clean it up every so often to prevent problems. A professional roofing inspector will also clean these areas as they conduct their inspection.

Check for Ponding Water

One big sign of trouble is ponding water, which can be caused by slow-draining lines and blockages. The inspector may notice stains on the roof around the drains, a surefire indication that water has been sitting for some time. They will then check those areas to see if there is damage and make recommendations on repairs.

Inspect the Flashing

The flashing on your commercial rooftop is used to direct water away from the most critical areas. The roofing inspector will take a look to see if any cracks or crevices have developed. These are most common around the transition points because there is more stress on these sections. It’s important to have any issues with flashing repaired as quickly as possible to avoid major damage to your roof.

Search for Cracks or Tears in the Field

With a thorough commercial roof inspection, you’ll need to have the roof field checked out. The goal is to check for signs of cuts or tears to make repairs before they lead to structural damages. Your inspector may suspect there is a leak but often, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. They will conduct a flood test to either find a leak or confirm that everything is in working order. If leaks are found, they’ll prepare to make repairs.

Look for Any Trouble with the Parapet Walls

If your commercial roof inspection finds terminations on your parapet walls, they need to be sealed immediately. They will check the base of the walls and look for cracks or any other breach. It may not seem like a big deal, but by correcting these minor issues now, you’ll save yourself money later by avoiding big issues.

Check the Edge Detail

Edge materials on your roof need to be tight and terminated. If they aren’t, they must be secured. You don’t want your roof coming loose during the next big storm. Closing those gaps will keep the elements from getting inside your business.

Thoroughly Inspect Roof Surfaces

All roof surfaces from the center to the edge will be checked, especially those on the windward side. These areas are more likely to lift or shift in a big storm. Even without a direct hurricane or tropical storm hitting the area, the weather can do untold damage to your commercial property. Checking all portions of the roof with a professional inspector is sure to give you peace of mind.

Check Gutters and Drains

Your gutters and drains play a pivotal role in preventing water from ponding on your commercial rooftop. If you have clogs in your gutters, it will cause water to pool on your roof. It can cause roof failure, meaning that you’ll have to consider a commercial roof replacement sooner rather than later. You can do your part throughout the year by checking the gutters and pulling out any debris that has accumulated.

Look at the Downspouts

Generally, roofing inspectors will check the downspouts and their terminations at ground level at the last point of the inspection. It is common for these areas to incur damage from passing vehicles or lawn maintenance. If your downspouts have damage, you should have them replaced right away.

While you can certainly keep on top of your gutters and pick up debris from the roof of your commercial property, you should hire a professional roofing company for the inspection. Make sure you choose a reputable company with experience in commercial roofing, as they will know all about your property’s roofing system and how to ensure it’s in the best condition.

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