Commercial Roof Inspection:

Guide to Protecting Your Investment

As a building owner or facility manager, your roof is a critical asset that requires regular monitoring and maintenance to ensure its longevity and performance. But what’s the best way to protect your valuable roofing systems?

Regular inspections are essential for maintaining and safeguarding your commercial roofing investment. More than just a preventative measure, they are a strategic investment in the durability and value of your commercial property.

Beyond identifying and addressing potential issues before they escalate, these inspections serve as a proactive strategy to extend the lifespan of your commercial roof. By detecting and resolving issues promptly, you not only prevent costly repairs but also ensure the structural integrity of your property.

At Bigham Taylor Roofing, our team collectively boasts hundreds of years of roofing and waterproofing experience. A trusted roofing contractor, our crews are commercial roof experts who excel at investigating potential threats to your roof’s integrity and maintaining its condition.

In this guide, we offer valuable insights, best practices, and step-by-step instructions for conducting thorough roof inspections so you can proactively identify potential issues, address them promptly, and extend the lifespan of your commercial roofs.

Why Commercial Roof Inspections Matter

Did you know that a routine commercial roof inspection program plays a crucial role in maintaining the overall health and longevity of a building? The roof is the first line of defense against the elements, making its structural integrity critical to the overall protection of your property.

Neglecting commercial roof inspections can have severe consequences, potentially leading to water leaks, mold growth, and compromised insulation. As well as posing a health and safety risk, these issues threaten the comfort of the building’s occupants and can cause expensive interior damage.

Regular roof inspections can detect and mitigate these risks before they escalate into significant, costly repairs.

When to Schedule Commercial Roof Inspections

When it comes to safeguarding your roofing, prevention is paramount, and it all starts with a robust commercial roof inspection plan.

Whether you want to do it yourself or have it done by a professional roofing contractor, a proactive approach to commercial roof inspections is essential for preserving the integrity of your investment.

While individual circumstances may vary, a general recommendation is to conduct routine inspections on an annual or semi-annual basis, depending on the possibility of debris accumulation or roof damage from work on the roof, while paying close attention to areas prone to extreme weather conditions.

However, certain events or signs require an immediate commercial roof inspection. For example, severe weather events such as storms or heavy rainfall, visible roof surface damage, or potential drainage problems may signal underlying issues. Inspections following these events can help identify and resolve potential problems and ensure your commercial roof’s longevity and functionality.

You can maintain the health and resilience of your commercial roof and, by extension, the entire building by conducting regular, scheduled inspections and responding quickly to triggering events.

Preparing for the Roof Inspection

Once you’ve scheduled a roof inspection for your commercial building, there are certain things you need to do to prepare for it.

Preparing for a commercial roof inspection involves a strategic and systematic approach to ensure a thorough assessment. Here are the steps we take:

  1. Gather relevant documentation, including the roof’s history, maintenance records, and inspection reports. 
  2. Clear the roof of any debris or equipment that may obstruct the inspection process, allowing for a comprehensive evaluation of the entire surface. 
  3. Ensure access points are easily reachable for the roofing professionals, and be ready to provide information about any recent changes or issues experienced with the roof.

It’s also beneficial to communicate any specific concerns or areas of focus.

Steps Involved in a Commercial Roof Inspection

Several systematic steps are involved in a thorough roof inspection. We are experts in roof inspections, but here are the steps and what’s required at each step if you want to do the inspection yourself (or want to know more about what’s involved):

Your Commercial Roof Inspection Checklist:


Initial Assessment:

Begin the initial assessment, or the initial roof survey, by visually inspecting the roof’s exterior and surfaces. Look for signs of damage, such as cracks, blisters, punctures, or loose or missing materials. Check the roof’s general condition, including drainage systems, gutters, and downspouts.


Interior Inspection:

Inspect the interior of the building for any signs of roof leaks or water damage. Look for stains, damp spots, or peeling paint on ceilings and interior walls, which may indicate roof issues.


Roof Membrane Inspection:

Examine the roof membrane’s condition. Pay attention to seam integrity, punctures, and any signs of deterioration. Ensure flashings around roof penetrations (vents, HVAC units, etc.) are properly sealed and secure.


Flashing and Sealant Inspection:

Check all flashings, sealants, and pitch pans for signs of deterioration or damage. Damaged flashings can lead to leaks, so they require immediate attention.


Drainage Assessment:

Inspect drainage systems, including drains, scuppers, drainage pipes, and downspouts, to ensure they are clear of debris and functioning properly. Poor drainage can lead to ponding water, weakening the roof structure.


HVAC and Rooftop Equipment:

Check the condition of any rooftop equipment, such as HVAC units or solar panels. Ensure that equipment is secured correctly and its installation has not compromised the roof’s integrity.


Roof Penetrations:

Inspect roof penetrations, such as pipes, vents, and skylights, to ensure they are properly sealed and not causing leaks.


Debris Removal:

Remove debris, leaves, or organic material from the roof surface, as these can retain moisture and accelerate roof deterioration.


Roof Core Sampling (if needed):

In some cases, it may be necessary to take core samples of the roofing system to assess the underlying layers and insulation condition. You’ll generally need the help of an experienced roofing contractor for this step. The Bigham Taylor roofing team will be more than happy to help you with core sampling should your building require it.


Safety Precautions:

During any inspection, especially when working at heights, it’s important to ensure safety by following proper protocols, such as using safety harnesses, fall protection, and appropriate footwear when walking on the roof.


Reporting and Recommendations

During the inspection, it’s essential to document all findings, including photographs, notes, and sketches. This documentation serves as a baseline for future inspections and helps track changes over time.

If you get the inspection done by a trained roof inspector, like the team at Bigham Taylor Roofing, you’ll receive a detailed report and recommendations following the review. The report typically includes:

  • A detailed analysis of the roof’s current condition
  • Any visible damage, wear and tear
  • Potential issues such as leaks or material degradation

The inspection report features photographic evidence, visually representing the observed conditions. In addition to noting existing problems, the report includes maintenance and repair recommendations, estimated costs, and a timeline.

Clear and prioritized suggestions empower property owners and facility managers to make informed choices regarding the necessary steps for maintaining optimal roof health.

Implementing Maintenance and Repairs

A vital aspect of maintaining the longevity and performance of your roofing system is to address any issues identified during your roof inspections.

A proactive approach to maintenance is key, especially as issues appear on an inspection report. A proactive maintenance plan includes repairing leaks, replacing damaged roofing materials, or reinforcing vulnerable areas. Swift action helps prevent minor problems from escalating into major, costly repairs.

Inspections and regular maintenance ensure that the roofing system remains resilient and can withstand the challenges posed by weather and wear. By staying ahead of potential issues, you can extend the lifespan of your commercial roof and avoid the inconvenience and expense of unexpected repairs.

Benefits of Regular Commercial Roof Inspections

Regular commercial roof inspections offer a wide range of benefits that go far beyond just simple maintenance. 

At the top of the list, regular inspections are a proactive strategy to identify and address potential issues before they escalate, preventing minor problems from evolving into major, costly repairs. By conducting routine inspections, building owners and facility managers can extend the lifespan of their roofing system, optimizing its performance and durability. These inspections also contribute to the overall cost-effectiveness of a commercial property by minimizing the risk of unexpected repairs and preserving the property’s value. 

Regular roof inspections also ensure the safety and well-being of building occupants by addressing potential hazards as soon as they arise.

Commercial Roof Inspection Experts

Regular commercial roof inspections are paramount to the health and longevity of your roofing system. Think of them as preventative check-ups for your property.

Commercial building owners, property managers, and facility managers rely on the expertise, integrity, and experience of the Bigham Taylor Roofing team to help determine an effective, efficient, and economical plan for their building’s roof.  

As trusted experts in roof inspections, our senior team of project managers and superintendents examine a roof system’s condition, performance, and potential issues to determine a smart game plan. We check structural integrity, system materials, drainage systems, insulation, and overall functionality. 

Often, we perform a series of diagnostic tests to determine a work plan and how (or if) we can extend the life of a roof.

We can accurately help plan and budget repairs or restorations as needed based on our investigations. 

We work with building owners and managers while developing a scope of work and estimate, which includes contingencies for roof system specifications, labor costs, permits, and disposal fees.

Schedule a commercial roof inspection today, or contact us to learn more about our roofing services.

The first thing we
build is relationships

The longevity, growth, and success of Bigham Taylor Roofing over the past 45-plus years are thanks to our relationships with property owners and managers, roofing consultants, and general contractors. We deliver transparency and honesty to foster solid and long-lasting relationships.