Understanding the Importance of an Annual Commercial Roof Inspection

You might be surprised to learn that John F. Kennedy gave some great advice about commercial roof maintenance. He is attributed with saying that the best time to repair your roof is “when the sun is shining“. Making a change before something terrible happens isn’t just good advice for roof maintenance. A roof has an expected useful life. Perhaps your roof has no leaks and is not at the end of its expected useful life. Read on to learn why an annual commercial roof inspection is still so important.What’s on a Roof Inspection Checklist? A regular roof inspection will deliver many benefits but only if the inspection is thorough and competently done. It’s important to check that the contents of the roof inspection checklist are fit for purpose. A check for your roof is like a medical health check. It should cover all the main risks to your roof. A roof health check isn’t just a superficial visual assessment that there is nothing currently wrong with your roof. It should also establish whether it is likely to continue in good health. The inspection should include a check to see if there are any leaks. It should assess whether there is any debris build-up anywhere on the roof and remove it. Dirt and debris can cause damage to your roof over time. The roof should be tested to see if there is any ponding of rainwater. It should also check drains, membranes, coping, and flashing around pipes and vents. Parapet walls, curbs, and skylights should also be assessed. If there are solar panels, they should be checked to make sure that there is no associated problem with the roof. Similarly, site screen supports should be reviewed. Heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning units can also be the site of roof problems so they should be inspected too.

Benefits of a Regular Roof Inspection?

Having a thorough roof inspection will pay dividends. The benefits are operational, commercial, and human too — which is all good business sense.

Extend Your Roof’s Life

A regular roof inspection will enhance the lifespan of your roof. Whatever the expected lifespan of a roof, regular inspection will help achieve this and exceed it. A roof has to suffer all kinds of weather. It may be designed well and be made of durable materials. These will degrade over time and need a little help to prevent failure and major damage to the roof and structure of the building. Reactive roof maintenance, that is fixing leeks as and when they occur results in an average roof life of 13 years. A regular roof inspection is part of a proactive roof maintenance strategy. This results in average roof lifespans of 21 years.

Employee Safety

A regularly inspected roof is a safer roof. An inspection can identify risks such as loose roofing materials, wear, and potential leaks. These problems can quickly develop from being a roof maintenance issue into an employee safety crisis. Falling debris is a risk to life and limb. A roof that doesn’t protect the building below it can cause structural damage and endanger your employees. Leaks can cause slip hazards, mold, and mildew. Timely inspection and repair of a roof is one way of looking after your employees’ health and safety. It also protects against claims of negligence and damaging litigation.

Save Money

Early identification of a problem with your roof could mean that you can make an easy and inexpensive repair. Failure to identify a problem could mean that the damage develops into a major repair or even roof replacement project. Spend a little money on regular inspections.

Energy Efficiency

A roof helps regulate the temperature in the building below it. In warm weather, it protects the building from direct sunlight and heat. In cold weather it insulates the building helping to reduce the escape of heat from the building. Running air-conditioning and heating costs money. A sound roof helps reduce the energy wasted.

Business Continuity

Should your roof become damaged or deteriorate so that it needs a serious repair or replacement it may not be possible to use the building below the roof until after repairs or replacement has been completed. This becomes a business continuity problem. This is especially challenging if the repair or replacement is not planned for but as a result of an unexpected roof problem. Roof inspections can help identify a problem early so as not to put business continuity at risk. Also, should a roof be reaching the end of its life repairs and replacement can be anticipated and planned for? This makes having alternative accommodation easier to arrange so that business activities can continue uninterrupted.

Plan Costs

A major roof repair or replacement can be a significant cost. It’s a cost that any accountant would want to plan for rather than try to finance out of contingency funds. An inspection helps identify when a major repair or replacement is needed so the financial impact can be planned for.

Preventive Maintenance

Inspection is part of a preventative maintenance regime. It is based on an approach that doesn’t rely on spotting a damaged roof in order to repair it. It aims to identify opportunities for preserving the roof for example by applying coatings to mitigate the need for repairs.

Meet Insurance Obligations

Insurance for buildings including your roof requires that you take reasonable steps to maintain it. Ignoring best practices might expose you to the risk of lower than expected insurance payouts if the loss adjuster determines that you have contributed to the failure of the roof by not inspecting it.

While the Sun Shines

Annual or even more frequent roof inspection, while the sun shines, is the wise thing to do. Care for your roof. It will give you good service. To talk about commercial roof inspection, contact us today!