How to Inspect Your Commercial Roof

The roof is a valuable part of your building. It does more than just protect you from the elements; it also adds value to your home. A poorly installed or maintained roof can damage the overall value to your building as well as damage the property. Your roofing system is an investment, so it is important to maintain it regularly and schedule inspections and repairs as necessary. The number of repairs or upkeep you need to perform will depend on the quality of the initial installation, the quality of the materials, and the weather the roof is exposed to. It is important to understand the different materials available for roofing. Depending on the material of your roof, you can have a better idea of what potential problems may occur. When you know what to look out for, you can take better care of your roof.

Roofing Materials

  • Asphalt: This is the most common material used because they have a long lifespan and are easy to install.
  • Metal roofing: Now offered in recycled version, metal roofing is becoming more popular. Copper, aluminum, and steel are most commonly used and all are lightweight and durable. Metal roofs are resistant to harsh weather changes. Check often for dents and scratches to identify damage.
  • Clay or concrete: Tiles made from clay or concrete offer long lifespans are energy efficient and very durable. The extra weight of the tiles can be a burden on roofing structures, so proper installation is necessary.
  • Wood shakes: These are classic and beautiful in appearance but also high maintenance. Wood can crack easily so be sure to check often for signs of cracking and rotting in the event moisture does seep through any cracks.
  • Thermoplastic membranes (TPO): – TPO involves the use of a roofing membrane that expands and contracts as the weather changes. These types of roofs do not have any negative impact on the environment, and do not degrade under UV radiation. These membranes are available in a variety of colors. White roofing material is highly recommended in areas with high temperatures because it reduces the heat island effect and solar heat gain in the building.
  • Thermoplastic membranes (PVC): – PVC sheets contain plasticizers and stabilizers, as well as other additives to impart flexibility and achieve other desired physical properties. Some membranes are available with nonwoven fleece backing adhered to the underside of a sheet.

How To Check The Roof?

If you think it may be time for a roofing inspection, then you should first conduct your own before bringing in a professional. On average, inspections are recommended twice a year because the weather can change and cause damages. Ideally, you want to look over your roof before and after the typical wet season for your area. Check for obvious signs of wear after cold spells such as curling around the roof edges. Shingles that have become brittle from cold weather will have surface cracks and bubbles that can indicate ventilation issues.

Make sure you walk around the entire building and check the top, sides and insides sections of the roof. Look inside the attic space for any leaks or interference to the ventilation system. When your attic has ventilation issues, you reduce the overall lifespan of your roofing system. You also need to check all gutters and downspouts because if these are clogged, you risk water buildup on the roof surface and increased the chance of leakage. Checking the gutters after heavy rainfall is advised in the event any clogs developed.

During your inspection, should you notice any issues with dampness or moisture, you are better off hiring a professional to take a look. It is not advised to take your roof apart to identify the problem. You could cause more damage if you are not trained to identify the source. Professional roofers use three techniques to identify moisture in your roofing system:

  • Infrared scans: the scans are used to detect if any heat is being lost and how much. In doing, so they can identify areas of moisture and leakage.
  • Nuclear isotopic meters: This scanner identifies hydrogen atoms, and as hydrogen is the main component of water, the more that is found, the more chance of a leak you have.
  • Electrical resistance: Since water is highly conductive if your roof is acting like a good conductor, it likely has a leak and water buildup.


Professional roofing contractors are better trained and equipped to identify a number of potential problems. We can then offer the best maintenance solutions for you or a new installation plan that will solve problems and extend the life of your roof and house.

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