Why You Need an Annual Roof Inspection & When to Schedule It

January 9, 2018

D. C. Taylor Co. invited Rick Primmer, Service Project Supervisor, to share his first-hand knowledge about the value of roof inspections. His answers to some of the most frequently asked questions follow.

Why should people get an annual inspection of their roofing system?
Roof inspections will detect any damage or deficiencies that can lead to more expensive repairs, like finding punctures to the membrane that will eventually filter water into the roof system and result in a leak inside. Inspections also include examining interior walls and ceilings for signs of water infiltration like the staining of ceiling tiles. On the roof, an inspection may also uncover penetrations like pipes and curbs that aren’t flashed per roof system manufacturer instructions (these will start leaking if not corrected) and debris (e.g. leaves, dirt, etc.) that’s preventing proper drainage. Inspections catch membrane deterioration at an early stage as well.

What time of year is best for the annual inspection?
Inspect roofs twice a year, first in spring after the tree seeds fall and again in late fall after leaves have fallen. At these times the roof can be cleaned during the inspection and you get more bang for your buck.

If roof inspections are required by your roof system manufacturer warranty, how should you document the inspections as proof of compliance?
Most contractors, including D. C. Taylor Co., provide documentation. We send the customer an inspection checklist of what was found on the roof while performing the inspection. This includes a photo report of our findings and repairs that were made to minor deficiencies like punctures and debris. Additional deficiencies are identified during the inspection and the owner will also get recommendations to make these repairs as well, possibly during another visit.

What is the inspection likely to find?
The number one thing roof inspections find is roof leaks. Additionally, damage to the membrane; projections penetrating the roof like pipes, curbs, etc.; and deterioration to the membrane found at an early stage are common. Depending on what’s discovered, expect some recommendations for improved safety and enhanced durability. If there’s a lot of foot traffic in certain areas, consider walkway pad. And if air-conditioning units are close to the roof’s edge or near skylights, a mobile guard rail or other means of fall protection is suggested to protect rooftop workers.

What can happen when you don’t get regular roof inspections?
Some warranties are not fully fulfilled without these inspections. Roof penetrations will sometimes void the warranty as well, if they’re not flashed per roof system manufacturer specifications. Deterioration also gets out of hand. The roof damage will cause leaks eventually, possibly resulting in a shutdown of the facility.

Contact D. C. Taylor Co. today to schedule your next roof inspection!