Your building's roof is one of its most important aspects and a critical safety feature for the rest of your investment. Roofing failures can quickly expand if you don't address them early, leading to more costly repairs in the future. Even worse, a roofing failure can lead to interior water damage, potentially threatening equipment and inventory stored in your building.
While no roof will last forever, routine inspections and repairs are crucial to make your roof last for as long as possible. Understanding how to check your roof for damage is necessary to locate and address problems before they become severe issues. These three tips will help you inspect your roof so that sudden leaks or other significant failures don't blindside you.
1. Focus on Seams
Most flat roofing systems use membrane sheets that installers lay flat over the roofing deck. These strips come in various lengths and widths, but seams will always exist. The method used to seal seams will depend on the material used to cover your roof, but these locations are always vulnerable to damage and leakage. In many cases, water intrusion problems will start near seams.
When you're inspecting your roof, pay special attention to these areas. Seams should be tight with no apparent signs of peeling or leakage. Make a similar inspection of sealed areas, such as near air conditioning equipment, windows, etc. If you notice seams beginning to separate or other significant issues, it's time to call a professional commercial roofing service to conduct a more thorough inspection.
2. Look for Drainage Issues
Ponding is a condition where water pools in one water of your building's roof due to negative drainage conditions. In other words, there are sections of your roof that do not adequately drain water to the channels or drain pipes along the side of the roof. Small amounts of ponding aren't uncommon, but large pools of water, stains, or heavy mold growth indicate a more severe problem.
You should also inspect the areas near the edge of your roof where water drains away. Loose water channels are one issue to monitor. Another sign of potential trouble is mud or water pooling along the edge of your roof. These can indicate that water cannot effectively drain away after a storm.
3. Hire a Professional
While it's a good idea to inspect your roof as often as possible, you should consider hiring a professional to conduct a more thorough inspection at least once per year. A professional inspection can highlight issues you may have missed, allowing you to conduct repairs before leaks develop and damage your building's structure or interior.
Ultimately, the best way to repair damage before it becomes severe is to know that it's there in the first place. Instead of waiting for leaks to flood your building, spend a little time and effort conducting inspections so you can catch roofing problems when they first appear.