Now’s the time to inspect your roof

October 6, 2016


This summer was one of the hottest on record, and thanks to heat that baked the southwest and storms that ravaged the east many facility roofs in this country took a beating. Now that temperatures are cooling down, this is a great time to inspect the materials and integrity of your facility’s roof before winter arrives.

Most commercial roofs have a lifetime of 10 to 20 years, but if exposed to extremely harsh conditions, even properly installed roofs— if not correctly maintained—can degrade sooner. And if your roof was not installed correctly, or if previous repairs were done poorly, the life of your roof could be shorter. Even if your roof came with a 20-year warranty, you should still inspect it twice a year (spring and fall) to make sure you get the full life out of it and fix any minor problems before they become costly headaches.

What you’ll need for your inspection:
• Camera
• Flashlight
• A way to take notes
• A drone can reach parts of your roof that may be inaccessible
• A folder to keep all your records and documentation, including photographs


What to inspect:

  1. Examine the roof system, flashings, sheet-metal flashings, drains, and gutters
  2. Evaluate conditions that might affect the long-term performance of the roof, including fading, stretching or thinning of the roofing membrane
  3. Examine the integrity of caulking throughout the roof but especially around masonry and HVAC equipment
  4. Remove trash, debris, or plants that can damage roofing materials and/or clog drains and scuppers
  5. Document areas where water has pooled or collected during occasional rain or hail

Be sure to write up a detailed report of your inspection. This report should offer enough information to allow contractors to easily find and perform any necessary repairs. Google Earth is a great tool for capturing your entire roof in a single image, which you can then use to mark any areas of concern and give to your contractor.

Roof and tower

Winter can be a punishing season for facility roofs. Now is the time to make sure the integrity of your roof is sound and that it’s ready to handle whatever conditions this winter will bring. For help in inspecting your roof, and for formulating a long-term comprehensive roofing plan to maximize the investment you’ve made in your roof, contact the experts at Vanguard Resources.