Do You Need A Commercial Roofing Inspection?

A commercial roof inspection is a thorough investigation of the roof’s current condition and a report on potential problems and estimates of when those additional issues will occur.  This review is conducted by an independent third party like a building inspector.  It generally happens at the time of a new lease, title transfer, or upon insurance request.  


The inspection will include the entire building and can include other matters beyond the roof, including fire safety, wood rot, insects, and other items.

Commercial Flat RoofsIt will begin indoors to look for water stains from leaks.  If any evidence is found, it is traced back to the origin of the hole.  The exterior of the roof is also inspected generally by walking on it.  The inspector will look for holes, cracks in the membrane, ponding or an accumulation of water, bad seams, loose or missing shingles.  By working from the edges and moving inward to the center, the entire roof is viewed and nothing is missed.


You can expect the inspector to take small samples.  This will indicate how many layers of roofing material are present, the materials used, the moisture levels, and the age of the roof. 


The inspector will return to the office and prepare a detailed, written report.  It will also include photographs of any damaged areas or potential problems.  Most reports will include:

  • Record of any and all water leaks and entry points.
  • Lay explanation of problems.
  • Suggestions for solutions to any issues.


The reason for the inspection is not to generate roofing repair business, but to assist the owner in evaluating any problems and avoiding a more serious issue in the future.  For leaks, if less than 5% of it is leaking, simple repairs will take care of it; at 25% moisture, the roof will be satisfactory for about three years; anything over 25% will call for a complete replacement. 

Periodic inspections will help avoid unexpected roof failures.  It also helps the owner budget for capital expenditures and can affect other business decisions like expansions or new product development.

It will keep the building safe and healthy.  Mold remediation can cause the building to be completely closed off for a period of time.  Water infiltration near the electrical system can cause shorts and fires.  Standing water on the roof in low areas can cause the section, or more, to collapse inward. 

The inspection will also help keep your building and business in compliance with all building codes and regulations.  In turn, it can help keep insurance premiums in check.

Regular inspections also keep your warranties in effect.  Early detection means you can file a claim and have it processed before the warranty expires.

As a business owner or manager, it is only good business sense to schedule regular inspections of your roof, gutters, eaves, and flashings.  This will keep your building in good condition and allow for the efficient operation of your business.  Check your records.  If you haven’t had an inspection in some time, it would be prudent to schedule one as soon as possible.