Sample Roof Inspection Checklist

No roof lasts forever, but much of its longevity is up to you. Modern roofing systems are designed to resist daily wear and tear, harsh Toronto weather, animal damage, building movement, freeze-and-thaw cycles, and other types of damage. At the same time, all roofs deteriorate over time. The typical life cycle is 10 to 40 years, which is quite a wide variation, leading one to ask what makes the difference in how long your roof will last and remain functional?

You may think that a roof’s longevity primarily depends on materials and installation. You may be surprised to learn that perhaps the biggest factor is how you take care of your roof. Building owners and property managers can maximize the roof’s life with regular maintenance, scheduled inspections, and swift repair when damage is spotted. Those who fail to act quickly to remedy potential or existing damage are likely to suffer negative, even severe consequences.

 

What Happens Without a Thorough Building Inspection?

The point is that damage tends to worsen over time as problems such as leaks, cracks, and mould can spread throughout the roof, the building interior, or the overall structure. Commercial building owners can risk losing their inventory and equipment, or damage may interrupt operations and the ability to deliver products and services to customers. At this point, repairs will be extensive, and the level of damage may require replacing the entire roof. The most critical risk is endangering employees, customers, or others in or near your building.

How can you prevent the worst from happening? Regular inspection of building roof systems will help you detect roof issues before they become disasters, protecting your investment and your business. Most importantly, inspections are a key to protecting the safety of employees, customers, and anyone who enters your building.   

 

What are the objectives and basic steps of a roof inspection?

 

The objectives of a roof inspection are clear-cut:

  • Determining if the roof system is performing according to its intended function
  •  Identifying signs of weakness, deterioration, or hazard
  •  Identifying needed or recommended repairs

 

The general approach consists of four critical steps:

  • Inspect exterior for continuity and condition of the roof covering; deterioration of membrane in the field area and at upturns around projections and parapet walls
  • Inspect the performance of metal copings and wall counterflashings, vents, roof drains and scuppers
  • Inspect ceilings, walls, and other internal elements for signs of water penetration, frost buildup, and structural distress
  • Record and report inspection findings to provide details on what level of service might be required; the report should also include any unsafe working conditions or potential system failures; a detailed report can also guide budget planning, maintenance and repair scheduling, and coordinating other building elements and capital repairs
  • Initiate maintenance and repair projects, creating a cost-effective action plan that meets the building owner’s needs

 

What is a Roofing Company’s Inspection Process?

Each roofing company has its own process, with many elements in common. In general, the first step is to perform annual visual roof inspections when roofs are free of snow and materials. More informal inspections should occur after severe wind, rain, fire or snow events. If the inspector suspects any moisture infiltration, they can include a non-destructive, infrared thermography test.

infrared thermal scan with anomalies

Before performing inspections, reviewing previous inspection reports and note details about past roof repair, maintenance, and replacement activities can be helpful. The roofer can then verify any changes in condition so that the roofer has an accurate record for future inspections and an idea of where to focus attention during the on-site inspection.

Once an inspection is completed, the roofing company develops a list of recommended repairs and any other guidance that can help the owner or property manager make the best decisions about scheduling, financing, coordination with planned building projects, and other logistics.

The <inspection checklist> includes detailed items to inspect within each of these larger areas:

  • General Roof Conditions
  • Flat/Membrane Roof
  • Sloped Roof
  • Roof Features
  • Ceiling Conditions
  • Exterior Wall Surfaces
  •  Interior Wall Surfaces

 

Extend the Life of Your Roof with an Inspection

One of the best ways to extend the life of your roof is with an annual inspection, along with periodic inspections after storms. Work with the trusted professionals at Elite Roofing in Toronto to find potential problems before they become expensive headaches. Protect your roof and reduce capital costs by scheduling an inspection with us today.