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commercial roof inspection

Commercial Roof Inspection (What to Expect)

Posted By: Jake Hofer

In the bustling world of commercial real estate, one often-overlooked aspect is the roof. Yet, it stands as the unsung hero, protecting your investment from the elements. Neglecting its maintenance can lead to costly repercussions down the line.

Understanding the nuances of commercial roof inspection is paramount for property owners and managers alike. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into:

  • What makes commercial roof inspection unique
  • Signs indicating the need for an inspection
  • The inspection process
  • Detecting roof damage
  • Maintenance frequency
  • Repair versus replacement considerations
  • The financial aspects involved

What Makes Commercial Roof Inspection Different?

inspectors looking at a metal commercial roof

Commercial roofs differ from their residential counterparts in several key aspects. Firstly, they typically cover larger surface areas, often encompassing complex structures such as HVAC units, ventilation systems, and skylights. Additionally, commercial roofs are often flat or low-sloped, which presents distinct challenges in terms of drainage and maintenance.

Moreover, commercial buildings often house critical assets and operations, making uninterrupted functionality imperative. A compromised roof could disrupt business operations, leading to financial losses and tarnished reputations. Consequently, the stakes are higher with commercial roof inspections, necessitating thoroughness and precision.

Signs That You Need a Commercial Roof Inspection

Knowing when to schedule a commercial roof inspection can save you from potential headaches and financial strain. Look out for the following signs:

  • Visible Damage: Cracks, blistering, or pooling water on the roof’s surface are visible indicators of potential issues.
  • Interior Water Stains: Water stains on ceilings or walls inside the building could signify roof leaks.
  • Increased Energy Bills: Poor insulation or compromised roofing materials can lead to heightened energy consumption.
  • Aging Roof: As roofs age, they become more susceptible to damage and degradation. Regular inspections become crucial as the roof matures.
  • Extreme Weather Events: After severe weather conditions such as storms or hail, it’s prudent to assess the roof for any damage.

What the Inspector Will Look For: 5 Things

During a commercial roof inspection, a qualified professional will conduct a systematic evaluation of various components, including:

1) Roof Membrane:

Assessing the integrity of the membrane is crucial, as it forms the primary barrier against water intrusion.

2) Flashing and Sealants:

Ensuring that flashings around penetrations and sealants are intact and properly sealed to prevent leaks.

3) Drainage Systems:

Checking for blockages or damage in gutters, downspouts, and internal drainage systems to maintain proper water flow.

4) Roofing Accessories:

Inspecting vents, skylights, HVAC units, and other accessories for signs of wear or damage.

5) Insulation and Decking:

Evaluating the condition of insulation materials and the roof deck to ensure structural integrity and energy efficiency.

Common Signs of Roof Damage

Identifying signs of roof damage early can mitigate potential issues and extend the lifespan of your roof. Common indicators of roof damage include:

  • Leaks: Water stains or dripping water inside the building.
  • Ponding Water: Accumulation of water on the roof surface due to inadequate drainage.
  • Blistering or Bubbling: Formation of bubbles or blisters on the roof membrane, indicating moisture intrusion.
  • Cracks or Splits: Visible cracks or splits in the roofing material, which can worsen over time.
  • Sagging or Ponding: Deformation or depressions in the roof structure, potentially indicating structural damage.

How Often Should You Have a Roof Inspection?

The frequency of commercial roof inspections depends on various factors, including the roof’s age, location, and prevailing weather conditions. However, as a general rule of thumb, it’s recommended to schedule inspections at least twice a year, ideally in the spring and fall. Additionally, after significant weather events or if you notice any signs of damage, prompt inspection is warranted.

When to Repair Your Roof and When to Replace It

Determining whether to repair or replace a commercial roof hinges on the extent of damage, the roof’s age, and your budgetary considerations.


  • Minor Damage: Small punctures, localized leaks, or isolated membrane damage can often be repaired without necessitating a full roof replacement.
  • Timely Intervention: Addressing issues promptly through repairs can prevent further deterioration and extend the roof’s lifespan.
  • Cost-Effective: Repairs are generally more budget-friendly than complete replacements, especially for newer roofs with minimal damage.


  • Advanced Age: If the roof is nearing the end of its expected lifespan, replacement may be more cost-effective in the long run than frequent repairs.
  • Extensive Damage: Severe damage, widespread leaks, or structural issues may warrant a complete roof replacement to ensure long-term reliability.
  • Energy Efficiency: Upgrading to modern roofing materials with enhanced insulation properties can improve energy efficiency and reduce long-term operating costs.

How Much Does a Commercial Roof Inspection Cost?

The cost of a commercial roof inspection can vary depending on factors such as the size of the roof, its accessibility, and the level of detail required. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $1,000 or more for a thorough inspection conducted by a certified roofing professional. While this initial investment may seem significant, it pales in comparison to the potential costs associated with undetected roof damage or premature failure.

Make A Commercial Roof Inspection Plan With Us!

commercial roof aerial view

Prioritizing regular commercial roof inspections is paramount for safeguarding your property investment and ensuring the continued functionality of your business operations. By staying vigilant, addressing issues promptly, and enlisting the expertise of qualified professionals, you can prolong the lifespan of your roof and mitigate costly repairs or replacements down the line. Remember, when it comes to commercial roofing, proactive maintenance is the key to long-term success.

Contact Built Right Roofing today for a roofing contractor who knows commercial roofing inside and out!

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