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Guest Post: Tips to Perform a Commercial Roof Inspection

February 29, 2024

Many commercial property owners in California hardly take the time to inspect their roofs, because they see it as an optional activity and a waste of precious time and resources. For them, as long as the roof is not leaking, there is no need to bother with it. While the mantra “If it isn’t broken don’t fix it” holds water in some areas of life, when it comes to your roof, it is not all true.

You need to inspect and maintain your property even when it is in a perceived “perfect state.” By so doing, you will make it aesthetically appealing, and also eliminate the need for infinite roof repairs. As a safe measure, it is prudent to perform a roof inspection at least once a year.

The following are different tips on how to go about it.

8 Things to Know Before Performing a Roof Inspection:

Pick the rights time to do the inspection

For you to get an accurate assessment of your roof, you need to carry out the review on a day when the weather elements are on your side. Besides, it will prove practically impossible to get on the roof during a storm, in winter, or when it is extremely windy. An excellent time for an inspection would be in fall, preferably during a cool, dry day. At such a period the rooftop is likely to be dry, giving you a better opportunity to make factual observations.

Establish a plan of attack

While there is no text-book approach to conducting a roof inspection, it pays to have in place a plan on how you will go about it. Otherwise, you might find yourself ambling to and from the rooftop. Besides, without a clear-cut order, it is very easy for you to overlook some areas, or even rush over some. When crafting your plan, you should focus on features like the utilities, flashings, gutters, surface area, and roof defects.

Determine whether you have the right roof on your commercial property

At times, the only reason your ceilings keep getting damaged and worn out is that you have the wrong type of roof in the first place. For instance bearing in mind that California is prone to wildfires and hot temperatures, wood and asphalt shingle roofs might be inappropriate. In such a case, the class A-rated slate, clay or metal roofs are excellent choices.

Inspect the most stressed out areas

The continuous shift between cold and hot temperatures naturally leads to the contraction and expansion of different parts of your commercial roof. As a result, the sections near the expansion joints, vents and stacks are likely to develop cracks, splits and roof blisters. You, accordingly, need to inspect these areas to verify their state as they can cause further damage to your facility.

Look at the gutters, drains, and scuppers

It is not unusual for leaves, twigs and other debris to find their way into your gutters, drains, and scuppers. You need to inspect these features, therefore, to ensure that they do not have any debris blocking them and affecting the smooth drainage of water. Moreover, you should also ascertain that these features do not have leaks or faulty seals which will allow water to pass around the drain instead of through it.

Assess the rooftop penetration units

If your commercial property has penetration units like vents, skylights, hatches, or HVAC systems, you should examine them to ensure they work efficiently. For example, condensation from your HVAC equipment should move to the drain correctly, the rain caps on the stacks should keep the weather out, and all the rooftop penetrations must be watertight.

Check for general roof defects

You should also inspect the rooftop for any general anomalies such as holes on the surface, missing shingles, broken tiles, and worn out iron sheets. An infra-red scanner can prove to be a useful tool for detecting faults like moisture penetration areas.

Hire a roofing specialist

A proven and highly effective solution to getting the most accurate roof assessment possible is to hire a third party roof inspector. These contractors have the right expertise, tools, and resources to perform a splendid work.


Evidently, roof inspection is something that every California property owner must do. You only need to have in place an effective routine to direct you on when to administer the inspection and what to look for during the exercise. In case you decide to engage a roofing inspector, it is critical that you get a reliable one and follow through on what the findings of the inspection reveal.