A roof inspection is a process of assessing the condition of a roof. A trained professional can identify potential problems and recommend solution(s) to extend the life of your roofing system, saving you time and money.
The last thing you want is an emergency that results in unplanned high costs for repairs or replacements. That’s why it makes sense to have regular inspections performed on your commercial or industrial rooftop before disaster strikes.
But when inspecting a roof, what exactly should one look at? How detailed should the inspection be? What are some common issues found in ceilings in different regions of the country? Answers to these pressing questions follow below. If you would like more information on maintaining your roofs, ask a reputable roofing contractor like us.
What to Look for During a Roof Inspection
One primary objective of a roof inspection is to determine any leaks or signs of moisture damage. The roof’s location, prevailing weather conditions, and the amount of traffic it receives help determine how frequently inspections need to be performed. Analyzing your home’s drainage system is another critical factor in diagnosing leakage problems. Roofs should drain water at least 3 feet away from structures.
A common sign of roof leaks is stains on ceilings below. Professionals can use ultraviolet (UV) lights during an inspection to detect leaks by the moisture they emit. Areas where mold growth occurs indicate roof leaks that have gone undetected for extended periods, allowing mold spores ample time to become airborne.
The age of your roof also affects how often it should be inspected. Generally speaking, the longer a roof has been around without inspections or maintenance, the more likely it needs attention.
At least one type of joint problem found during rooftop inspections is insufficient insulation. The materials used for roof insulation will affect its effective R-value (a measure of thermal resistance). For example, fiberglass typically provides greater R-values than other materials like cellulose. In addition, a crumb rubber roof coating can act as an insulator. Therefore, you should check your attic to determine whether you have sufficient insulation levels in place.
Examining Your Roof’s Structure
Another element of a comprehensive inspection is checking how well your rooftop supports weight. Piles of snow and ice accumulation can cause problems for roofs of all types.
A roofer can use a hammer to test your roof’s integrity by checking its structural components like the plywood, rafters, and joists. They might use sound-level meters to assess if any repairs are necessary accurately. For instance, nail pops (or missing nails) require immediate attention because they may indicate that your roof is at risk of failing due to a lack of fastening strength.
A commercial or industrial roofing contractor can examine metal flashing closely to ensure it is still flexible enough to move with the materials underneath without cracking or breaking. Problems like curling shingles can be indicators metal flashing has become brittle and needs replacement.
The inspector should also check on deterioration in concrete, asphalt, and clay roofing tiles. Cracks in these materials could be a sign that your roof’s exterior needs to be repaired or replaced soon.