Are Commercial Roof Inspections Necessary?

A commercial building’s roof inspection aims to keep your roof system well-maintained and in compliance with any warranties you may have. Your entire business could be at risk if your roof isn’t structurally sound. What should you expect from a roof inspection, and how often should you have it?

Roof inspections are dangerous to ignore

When you neglect routine roof inspections, a lot can go wrong. There could be danger accumulating above your commercial business, even if you think everything is fine.

Ponding water is one of the risks. Flat roofs naturally sag in some places due to their structure. Water collects in those dips, and even a small puddle can cause problems over time.

Standing water breeds mosquitoes and other insects, attracts wildlife, and leads to vegetation, as well as becoming a point of water infiltration. Water constantly present on the roof can cause blistering. Until there is a problem, like a roof leak, much of this damage may not be apparent. As the problem worsens, you’ll run the risk of severe water damage (which could lead to the need for major roof repairs, commercial roof replacement or even a possible roof collapse).

You should also keep in mind that severe weather can also cause roof damage. Commercial roofs can suffer damage from hail storms and high winds, so it’s extremely important to have them inspected after any major storm passes through. It is possible to reduce energy costs and moisture buildup by installing a commercial roof ventilation system. When you undergo a commercial roof inspection, you can find out if your ventilation needs to be upgraded or if you should install one in the near future.

Get your roof inspected twice a year, in spring and fall. If the weather patterns change, you can prepare for leaks and damage to your building.

Keeping records of commercial roofing inspections is important

Your roof inspection records prove that your roof has been inspected by a professional and is in good condition. A Realtor typically advises clients to provide this certification as proof of the building’s condition, and some cities require owners to repair their roofs before resale. An investor’s interest in a commercial building may be affected by its certification status. As a result of these records, the roof system’s warranty remains intact, should the roofing product fail and need to be replaced.

It is common for comprehensive roofing inspections to consider supporting structures, roof drains, ventilation, as well as areas of roof penetration. The detailed report will include photographs, sketches, and a plan of action.

Checklist for Commercial Roof Inspections

Performing a roof inspection can (and will) help you learn more about your building, what problems need to be addressed, and what changes are recommended. Roofs are not all the same, nor should they be treated that way. An inspection checklist for roofs should include the following items.\n

1. Conditions of a Roofing System

It is important to take into account a variety of factors when hiring a qualified commercial roofing contractor. They will examine the roof for debris that could cause damage, drainage issues (or lack thereof), and structural deformations. Additionally, an inspector will look for signs of structural corrosion or potential points of failure on the roof, such as cracks or blisters.

2. Commercial Building Ceiling Conditions

A ceiling will reveal if there are any unseen problems even if the roof appears fine. Water stains or leaks indicate that moisture is getting into the roof. An issue could also be indicated by cracks.

3. Identify potential failure points

Typical roof features include gutters and drains, skylights, chimneys, drains, and control zone access. It is especially important to have gutters and drains on your roof to prevent water from collecting there. Blockages prevent them from doing their jobs efficiently. Roof failure can result from any amount of excess moisture, depending on the type of roof. Water and pests can enter your building through skylights. If there are any cracks or holes in them, the inspector will check that they are well sealed.

Inspection, repair, and replacement experts in the roofing industry

Regular roof inspections are just one part of taking care of your commercial building’s roof. Furthermore, you should take proactive steps to prevent repairs and maintain any warranties that you may have. A reliable roofing company like Absolute Roofing Solutions can provide you with a reliable commercial roof inspection. With our experience, full range of services, and long-term support, we can help you navigate every aspect of your roofing needs. Please contact us today to schedule your inspection.

What To Do and How to Avoid Problems With a Commerial Roof Self Inspection

What To Do and How to Avoid Problems With a Commercial Roof Self Inspection

We know the importance of roof inspections, but we all like to save money whenever and wherever we can. Many owners and managers are versed in building exterior maintenance, so it may beg the question. “Can I do the roof inspections myself?” If you want to quickly look at the roof and remove any obvious debris, you may do so. When you do, there are essential things to keep in mind.


Introducing safety hazards.

There can be a variety of potential dangers that come along with in accessing the roof. Be careful of proximity to skylights, compromised decking, and getting too close to the edge. Always follow roof safety best practices.

Missing minor problems before they get bigger.

Remove debris, unclog drains and look for clear damage after a weather event. Rely on a trained professional to find smaller problem areas and discuss them before they cause significant issues.

Voiding warranties.

Performing a minor fixe on a roof yourself might void a warranty. The warranty may specify who may do repairs and what materials we can use.

Violating OSHA regulations.

Once you perform any work on the roof it will trigger OSHA safety rules and regulations to be followed. You not only need to be aware of these but also comply with them.

Maintenance may be called for but let you roofing professional discuss with you if it needs a minor repair or needs to be filed with insurance or warranty. This preventative maintenance will save you money in the long run by preventing minor issues from becoming enormous problems and by extending your roof’s useful life.

How Long Does A Commercial Roof Last?

Your commercial roofing system is, like everything else, a business asset. It won’t last forever, though. Do you know how long the roofing system is designed to last? One of the most common questions we get from our customers is how long a roof is likely to last, so let’s take a look at the top commercial roof systems and their lifespans.


Typical thermoplastic olefin (TPO) roofs usually last between 10 and 20 years. TPO roofing, usually used on flat roofs, can be warranted for upwards of 25 years. The warranties on TPO roofing are available from 25 to 35 years and usually where using TPO on soft and manmade climate conditions.


The EPDM roof system has a lifespan of up to 30 years if properly maintained, with a 20- to 30-year lifespan being average for these durable membrane products. The resiliency and resistance to thermal shock and hail of these EPDM roofing systems is key to their longevity.

Industrial grade, synthetic rubber shows signs only slowly of degradation under normal conditions. Like TPO roofs, EPDM roofs are basically flat, commercial roofs installed on large buildings.


PVC (polyvinyl chloride) commercial roofs last up to 35 years. The systems were first developed in the 1960’s as a single-ply system. While susceptible to shrinkage and prone to incompatibility with asphalt, the PVC film is highly durable, flexible, and excellent at resisting rooftop chemicals, oils, greases, fungi, fire, and industrial byproducts.


They are expensive compared to traditional tile or asphalt siding materials and also tend to expand and contract more in the sun. They are also known to have shorter lifespans than shingle roofs.


Professionally installed asphalt roofs can be expected to last between 10 and 25 years, though steep-slope shingle roofs might last even longer. The lifespan is determined by the roofing system design, the quality of the shingles, and how well it is taken care of. Typically used on low-slope structures, asphalt roofs consist of several layers — a weather-proofing layer, one or more reinforcement layers, and a protective surface layer.

Slate and Tile

Slate and tile commercial roofs last the longest — life expectancy is up to 150 years for natural slate and 100 years for natural tile. You can expect about half that lifespan from synthetic slate and tile products. These roofing systems have been around for more than 4,500 years and come with warranties of 50, 75, or 100 years for natural products and labor warranties for up to 20 years. Most synthetic slate roofs and concrete tile roofs have 50-year warranties.

It May Be Time to Reroof Your Multifamily Apartment Complex

Should you replace your roof at a specific time, or when you start having problems?

The roofs that cover buildings in multifamily residential condominiums, apartments, or townhouses do an important job in shielding all inside from weather, contaminants and items falling from the sky. When to replace the roofs or just patch them can be an effective strategy, affecting your budget dramatically.

Here’s when your roof may need replacing:

Your roofs are old

The most obvious reason to consider replacing your roof is that it’s old. However, if you’ve maintained the roof through the years through regular maintenance and responded to any problem areas immediately, the roof may last past its expected lifetime. Don’t assume you need to replace your roof because the warranty has expired.

That being said, if some or all the roofs in your complex haven’t been well-maintained or are experiencing any of the problems below, they won’t last as long as they’re supposed to.

The contractors may have made mistakes or cut corners without your knowledge. If they left out any materials or didn’t follow installation specs, including the manufacturer’s recommendations, your roofs could come apart prematurely. The only way to know for sure is to have them inspected by a qualified contractor.

You’re spending thousands annually on repairs

Removing your old shingles and installing the new ones takes less time than repairing those shingles every year.

Collect the required information from your records and prepare a budget with expenses you’ve had over the past several years. You will need to determine the cost of repairing anything inside the units that was overwhelmingly damaged by the water — ceilings, walls, cabinets, and any household items you had to repair or replace.

Then compare what you would spend renovating roofs over several years to buying a better kind of roof that doesn’t need much maintenance. If, for example, you spend $15-25K every year repairing roofs, money that can go toward a much better roofing system that won’t leak.

If you’re in a situation where you’re having to spend a lot of money on roof repairs and maintenance, it might be a good idea to have them inspected by a qualified third party.

You see signs of deterioration

Roof problems should be anticipated and repaired before too much damage is done. This is especially true for residential properties, because it’s not as easy as many people think to keep up with even basic maintenance on a home.

Bald spots usually occur with lower-tier asphalt shingles — sometimes the manufacturing process won’t embed the granules well enough. Cupped or curling shingles are usually caused by too much moisture or an improperly vented attic. And if pieces of shingles have blown off, it’s likely the adhesive is failing.

If roofs are in different states of failure, consider doing them in phases. Replace the roofs showing failure next, with the remaining roofs the following year. While it is economically beneficial to reroof all offices at the same time, a phased approach may work more efficiently for your budgetary needs. You want to update the appearance of your facility.

Improve Curb Appeal

It can be remarkable the difference new roofs can make in the appearance of a complex. This is especially true if your current roofs are lower-tier, fading, or in a color that’s mismatched or detracts from the rest of the property. With 3-tab shingles, changes to roof appearance can happen pretty quickly after installation. If your roofs have started to experience telegraphing over time, which gives them a wavy or rolling look and can be common with 3-tab shingles, they’ll be perceived as old and shabby and can devalue the property even though the roofs may still be performing adequately.

If your condo or townhome owners want to increase curb appeal and market value or compete with other properties that look refreshed and more upscale, upgrading the roofs can be an important step in that direction. The huge number of asphalt shingles options available now give you an opportunity to transform your buildings visually while getting a better roofing system that won’t need much maintenance for many years. The transformation of properties built in the 1960s and 1970s is often the most extreme.

Re-roof Your Multi-family Complex

When you’re planning to make improvements to the property — such as painting the buildings, repaving the parking lots and driveways, adding canopies, or upgrading the landscaping, lighting or signage — it’s a good time think about the roofs. Replacing the roofs in conjunction with your other improvements can have a multiplier effect.

If you’re planning to make additions to the buildings themselves or adding new buildings to the community, you’ll need to choose coordinating roofing materials so your property looks good holistically. Sometimes you can match the existing roofs exactly but other times it’s best to choose the same type of shingle in another color (this will keep from calling attention to fading roof color).

Other times re-roofing the existing buildings so all the roofs match may make the most sense. Each situation is different but since you will have to replace the existing roofs at some point, you’ll get economies of scale if the next time you have to re-roof you can do everything at once. Remember, it’s more efficient for your roofing contractor to do all of the roofs at one time.


Roof penetrations in commercial roofing are a necessity for the variety of equipment utilized in a commercial facility. Penetration areas not alone are the most vulnerable to roof leaks, but they can also make it hard to ensure a positive drainage after a rain or snow event. If water flow is impeded by penetrations, you will have ponding water. In the long term, if left untreated, it might lead to premature breakdown of your roof membrane, mold growth, insect infestation, and many more issues. In these vulnerable ponding areas that cannot be addressed by simply diverting the water flow, facility managers may work with roofing providers to use reinforced materials to attack the problem.


A membrane’s thickness and select ponding water areas are important because the polymer will diminish over time when exposed to elements and deteriorate even more quickly with ponding water. A thicker membrane in these areas will be able to lengthen the roof’s expected life.


If possible, adding a layer of polyester reinforcement to the membrane can strengthen the membrane in the presence of standing water. This also lessens the potential for water to penetrate the membrane.


The denser the material the better it sheds water. Ponding water areas may often benefit from the densest products. It is quite common to see more expensive options being too expensive for the entire roof, but may make sense for ponding water areas.


In warmer climates or areas with low water, consider a darker colored roof like gray for better retention. A white roof helps with cooler climates in more ways than one. It reduces the amount of heat retained on the roof deck, but more importantly, it reflects the heat from the sun back into the atmosphere better.


When ponds of water sit above seams or around penetrations, the deteriorating action makes it more likely that water will penetrate these weakest areas in a roofing system. Look for materials that are seamless or reinforce areas where sheets of material overlap.


When you can replace the roof during a restoration or re-roofing project, that’s an ideal time to deal with ponding areas. When you’re done with the roof, you can check ponding areas where you can’t move water and fix them right then and there.


Absolute Roofing Solutions, LLC