05 Apr What Is Included In A Roof Inspection?
If you have flown in a plane or seen aerial views of our cities, you will see a dominant building feature: roofs. And if you haven’t noticed that, it’s probably because we’re roof nerds. But for most of us, a change in view can change our point of view about something. As indicated by the vast number of roofs in any given metropolitan area, roofs are an important building system. However, most of, if not all, of us do not realize we have issues with our roofs until it starts leaking. Thus, a paradigm shift is needed with our roofing systems: we need to view them as assets to be invested in and taken care of with a roof inspection and not something we replace every 20 years.
Why and How Do We Change Our Thinking?
For many of us, maintaining a roof is a foreign concept. But, like anything important in life, the more we maintain them, the better they perform. For example, if you own a car, you periodically take it in for routine maintenance: oil change, tire rotations, new fluids, etc. If you don’t do this, then your car engine will suffer and break down a lot sooner than it should. If you’re a commercial property owner, then investing in an annual roofing inspection for your commercial roofing system is how you should maintain your roof. The goal is to conduct preventive health measures versus having major surgery and trust us, major surgery on a roof can get very expensive.
So, what is included in a roof inspection?
An independent roof inspection from a roofing consultant can include a variety of services. The main goal of a roof inspection is to develop a baseline for the roofing system and determine what is best for the roof, the building owner, and their budget. Here is how we can do that:
A visual survey is used to determine the overall condition of the roofing system and potential history. Many roofing systems have no history of maintenance or leaks, so establishing it is key in determining next steps for the owner. During a roof inspection, you can expect a roof consultant to:
- Identify the roof membrane, insulation, and decking material
- Establish what condition these elements are in: is the membrane cracked and deteriorated? Is the insulation wet? Is the roof deck deteriorated? Etc.
- Inspect the flashings around penetrations, field seams, curbs, and skylights to determine if they are deteriorated or delaminating.
- Address any potential installation issues: improper repairs, improper materials, improper details, etc.
- Search for hail or wind damage, weight of ice and snow damage, or ice dams.
Another potential component of a roof inspection is a roofing leak analysis. This service is especially important if no roof maintenance has been performed on the roofing system. During a leak analysis, you can expect the roof consultant to:
- Establish a leak history and identify any current leaks
- Identify the potential cause of the leaks
- Identify issues that could exacerbate leaks: water-ponding, clogged drains and gutters, inadequate drainage etc.
- Conduct either a thermal or moisture survey to determine the extent of water intrusion in the roofing system.
If a more thorough analysis is required, a roof consultant can do a more in-depth survey to help the owner manage the roofing systems and to identify problems that can be easily located and repaired by the contractor. This is achieved through a Roof CAD drawing and here is what that includes:
- Drone or UAV device to map the roof and do an overhead survey
- Map about the penetrations, appurtenances, drainage, and other roof features
- Identify problems with the roofing system to be repaired by a contractor
- Use gathered information to establish estimates for repairs and/or replacement
Communication and Trust:
Many things can be included in a roof inspection by a roof consultant. But the two most important things that need to occur are communication with the owner and forming trust with the owner.
Communication needs to be first in a roof inspection. The roofing consultant needs to not only communicate the logistics of the inspection but also explain to the owner, in terms they understand, what is going on with their roofing system. We are not here to show off what we know, but rather inform the owner so they can feel confident in their roofing decisions.
Trust should be paramount in the owner/consultant relationship because a roof consultant is brought in to tell the owner what they need to hear versus what they want to hear. This is what distinguishes a roof consultant from a roofing contractor; a roof consultant is looking out for the best interests of the owner versus the contractor who is trying to sell a roofing system.
Are you looking for a partner to help perform a roof inspection for your building(s)? Alliance Consulting and Testing delivers expert, independent roof inspections. Because we do not sell or install any roofing materials, we’re able to provide unbiased opinions about your roof. Ready to get started with your inspection? Contact us today to set up an appointment!