Whether we’re talking about residential or commercial roofs, these structures are integral to protecting your home or business. Regular inspections are necessary to ensure the quality of that roof and ultimately the protection it provides. These inspections will identify minor problems before they become major issues. Ideally, these inspections should be conducted by a qualified roofing contractor, but as a building owner it helps to have a sense of what this inspection should entail. Not only will this article discuss some of the basic inspection tools, but we’ll also present a roof inspection checklist.
The Tool Kit
When your roofing contractor comes out to conduct the roof inspection, make sure s/he’s prepared for the job. Obviously, they should have a ladder (even if there is roof access via stairway), but there are some other basic tools they’ll need for the job:
- Camera for photos or videos
- Tape measure and/or measuring wheel
- Plans or aerial photos of your roof
- A flashlight to inspect dark areas
- Pen or pencil to make notes
Sometimes your contractor will also use a golf ball or some other trick for identify the route of water as well as a roof core cutter and repair kit for patching a core cut. Nowadays, roofers often carry an infrared moisture scanner to make it easy to find leaks.
The roof inspection is an opportunity for your contractor to thoroughly assess the quality of your roof and any potential problems. S/he should be careful to collect a variety of information, so your inspection checklist needs to include a number of details.
- Building location
- Access points for equipment, waste removal, loading, and unloading
- Safety requirements such as fall protection, debris control, and hazmat abatement
- Substrate type
- Roofing system
- Roof deck and parapet height
- Condition of roofing materials
- General condition of the existing membrane
- Drainage routes and condition of drainage systems
- Photographs of all penetrations
- Details about the type of penetration (i.e. electrical, gas, or plumbing)
- Specific notes on roofing plans about areas of concern
- A thorough inspection of previous repairs
Ultimately, roofing inspections need to take place on an annual or bi-annual basis to ensure the integrity of your roof. Even the smallest overlooked detail can culminate in a major roofing catastrophe. For this reason, it is always advisable to have inspections completed by highly trained and qualified professionals. Maintaining your property requires the knowledge and expertise of a wide variety of contractors, and as a building owner you should not overestimate your own abilities.
By working with an experienced roofer, you will likely save yourself money in the long run. After all, experienced roofers will have a keen eye for spotting even the most obscure roofing problems.