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As a business owner, you have a lot on your plate. From paying your employees to streamlining daily operations, the list goes on. At Roofing Solutions, we know that ensuring the safety of your business is always at the top of that list. That’s why we’ve put together a quick guide on commercial roof maintenance so you can rest easy knowing your employees and customers are safe.  

While a team of professionals should handle any roof repairs, you can perform regular inspections of your company’s roof. In this article, we’ll provide a free roof inspection template, explain how to spot signs of damage, and discuss when it’s time to call in a professional. 

Commercial roof maintenance performed by a roofing specialist

The Importance of Commercial Roof Maintenance

No matter what type of commercial roof you have, regular inspections and maintenance are crucial for preserving a building's structure, avoiding costly repairs, and ensuring safety for employees and customers. Regular upkeep detects and addresses issues early, preventing minor problems from developing into costly roof replacements

Keeping up with roof maintenance can also enhance energy efficiency and reduce utility costs. Not to mention, maintaining compliance with building codes and regulations promotes safety and mitigates legal liabilities, which are another driver of high costs. By investing in less-costly inspections, repairs, and proper maintenance, building managers can safeguard their assets, optimize operations, and ensure long-term financial stability.

Commercial Roof Maintenance Checklist: A Quick Overview

Proper commercial roofing maintenance requires careful planning, and an inspection is the first step in maintaining your roofing. Business checklists for inspections include a few key issues to look out for. 

Commercial Roof Maintenance Checklist Icon

We’ll delve deeper into each step in the next section, but here’s a quick summary of how to perform your own roof inspection: 

  • Start by examining the roof's overall condition, looking for signs of damage, such as missing or damaged shingles, cracks, or sagging areas. 
  • Look for any evidence of water stains or discoloration on the ceiling inside the building. 
  • Pay attention to the gutters, ensuring they are clear and securely attached.
  • Check for any debris, such as leaves or branches, that may accumulate and obstruct drainage. 
  • Inspect flashings, vents, and chimney seals for signs of deterioration or leaks.
  • Document any findings and consult with a professional roofer for a more detailed assessment and necessary repairs. 

Commercial Roof Inspection Checklist: Six-Step Guide  

Before starting your inspection, familiarize yourself with potential hazards and roof safety protocols. While performing your visual inspection, there are a few minor tasks you can do on your own, such as removing light debris. However, in most cases, it’s best to call in a team of professional commercial roofers

Ready to inspect your roof? Let’s look at these steps in more detail.

1. Identify and Remove Roof Debris

Looking for debris during a commercial roof maintenance inspection

During a visual inspection, make sure to clear away any light debris like leaves and sticks, as even seemingly insignificant items can harm your roof. Pay attention to any rips or tears that could have a long-lasting impact. Take the opportunity to thoroughly check for additional damage in areas where debris is present.

If you notice significant amounts of debris, identify the source and take necessary action. This might involve hiring someone to trim nearby trees or address pest activity to relocate nests that could cause further damage.

2. Look for Leaks and Ponding Water

Analyzing ponded water during a commercial roof inspection

A vital component of any commercial roof inspection checklist is assessing water damage. Water has the potential to deteriorate your roof, shortening its lifespan and leading to safety issues. Leaks and stagnant water can even harm your building's structure, leading to decay, mold growth, and pest infestations.

After heavy rainfall, conduct a thorough examination to identify areas with ponding water. This standing water can gradually harm roof membranes and indicates drainage issues. It’s important to note that you shouldn’t limit your inspection to just the roof. Preventative maintenance checklists should also include an interior inspection to detect signs of internal leaks.

3. Identify Damage to the Roof Perimeter

Roofing specialist inspecting during a commercial roof maintenance

Inspecting the roof perimeter is a crucial aspect of commercial roof maintenance. Elements such as flashing, seams, coping, and termination bars are susceptible to damage from high winds and other factors. When these components are damaged or missing, they can permit water entry into the structure of your facility.

To ensure a thorough assessment, examine the roof perimeter from both the rooftop and the ground. Look for any cracks, signs of damage, or displacement. This examination is particularly important after a storm, especially if you suspect you may have hail damage. Inspection checklists are a must-have after large storms or severe weather events, as they can significantly impact the roof perimeter and cause serious damage to your business. 

4. Inspect Gutters, Downspouts, and Drains

Clearing gutters as cautionary commercial roof maintenance

Proper drainage is crucial for all roofing types, particularly in the case of commercial roofs that commonly utilize flat roofing systems. Regularly inspecting gutters, downspouts, and drains is vital to prevent water pooling issues. Look for things like cracks, blockages, and obvious signs of damage. 

Routine cleaning of gutters and drains is essential to prevent blockages caused by leaves, debris, and pests. This maintenance measure safeguards your roof by eliminating pooling water and preventing the growth of mold, moss, and other unwanted substances. While downspouts are less prone to blockages, periodic inspections should be conducted to identify any breaks or leaks.

5. Check Membranes, Seals, and Fasteners

Checking fasteners during a commercial roof inspection

This element of commercial roof maintenance will vary depending on the specific roofing system you have in place. Membrane flat roofing systems like SBS-modified bitumen and TPO are commonly used in commercial buildings, offering excellent water protection. However, these systems need regular inspection for rips and tears.

For businesses with metal roofing, there are a few additional steps you’ll need to add to your metal roof inspection checklist. It is crucial to examine seals and fasteners to prevent possible leaks. After severe storms, it is also important to check for signs of loose or warped panels. If you spot signs of damage, don’t try to DIY it — call in commercial metal roofing experts.   

6. Inspect for Damage Around Roof Appliances

Checking appliances as customary roof maintenance

Chances are your business has various appliances and fixtures, such as HVAC systems, skylights, and access hatches. While they’re great additions to your business, these components can serve as potential entry points for both moisture and pests. When it comes to proper commercial roof maintenance, systems like HVACs and other appliances also need to be inspected. 

Carefully examine the seams surrounding these appliances, as they often serve as primary entry points for water. Additionally, it’s important to ensure there is no standing water around these fixtures, as water can find its way inside over time. Vigilant inspection and maintenance of these elements will help prevent moisture-related issues and pest infiltration.

Expert Commercial Roof Maintenance from Roofing Solutions

In need of commercial roofing services? At Roofing Solutions, we provide professional commercial roofing in Baton Rouge and Mobile, Alabama. Our team of highly-experienced team is trained to handle a variety of commercial roofing needs, including leak repair, roof repair, roof replacement, new roof construction, and more.   

Let the pros handle all your commercial roofing maintenance needs. Contact us today to learn more! 

Roofing Solutions Tupac de la Cruz COO

Tupac de la Cruz

COO , Roofing Solutions

Tupac has over 19 years of experience in the roofing industry. He sits on the executive board of the National Roofing Contractors Association.

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