What To Expect From A Commercial Roof Inspection

Commercial Roof Inspection

Is it time to have your flat commercial roof inspected? Whether you think it may be time for a roof repair, roof replacement, or perhaps you just want an inspection for peace of mind, here is what you can expect from a professional Denver CO commercial roof inspection.

You’ll want to start by calling a Denver commercial roofing company to request the inspection. Most Denver flat roof contractors will do this for free, including the commercial roofing team at Sol Vista Roofing. If a contractor is asking for a fee for the inspection, keep looking for another company.

Interior Inspection

Your commercial roof inspection will begin inside the building, especially in cases where a leak may be present. If your roof needs leak repair, we will need to see where the water is entering the interior. The leak may have started directly above that point, or the water may be traveling from another area on the roof. But knowing where the leak enters the building is a critical first step in the Denver CO leak repair process.

Walking the Roof

The roof inspection requires accessing the roof to walk the majority of the square footage and performing visual assessments. The key items we are looking for are:

  • Ponding water
  • Condition of the seams
  • Condition of the perimeter material
  • Flashing and penetrations (HVAC, skylights, etc)
  • Holes or tears in the material
  • Cracks and blisters
  • Wind uplift at seams or perimeter

An experienced commercial roofing inspector will begin at the perimeter and work towards the “field” or middle open-roof area. More time is spent at the perimeter because that is where there is more risk of roof failure and leaking. Many low-points are located near the perimeter where ponding can happen, and wind uplift also tends to start near the roof’s perimeter.

Flat Roof Core Samples

Most professional commercial roof inspections will include taking multiple core samples. A core sample is a method of removing a small section of roof that can be examined to learn about how the existing roof was constructed. By taking a core sample, your Denver CO commercial roofer will be able to tell:

  • What materials the roof is built from
  • How many roofing layers there are
  • What type and thickness of insulation were used
  • Approximate age of the roof
  • If water and moisture are under the surface, and how much
Denver flat roof core sample
Flat Roof Core Sample

The number of core samples taken will depend on the roof’s size, slope, presence of water, sun exposure, and clues from the inspection. An average number of core samples is one or two per 10,000 square feet of roof surface. After the core is taken and examined, the contractor will patch the area the core was taken from using a small piece of membrane (EPDM, TPO, Bitumen), or by using a silicone patch kit.

Commercial Roof Assessment Report

After the interior and rooftop visual inspections, and the core samples, a good Denver flat roof contractor will provide you with a detailed report. The report will highlight any leak causes, potential roof weak points, photos of the roof, and what the recommended actions are.

The recommended action to take may include repairing the roof, restoring all (or part) of the roof, or replacing the roof. Your contractor should work hard to identify the recommendation that solves all existing problems in the most budget-friendly way. Full commercial roof replacements are the costliest option and should only be recommended when it is the only way to secure the roof.

  • Repair – If your inspection reveals that the majority of the roof is not saturated with water and there is only a few weak points, minor repairs will be recommended. At Sol Vista Roofing we will always try first to prolong the life of your existing roof by performing roof repairs.
  • Restore – A roof restoration will be a good option if less than 25% of the roof is saturated and the remainder of the roof is nearing the end of its life. Roof restorations, such as a silicone coating, can extend your existing roof’s life by 10+ years and cost a fraction of a complete tear off.
  • Replace – Your roof may need to be replaced if the inspection reveals more than 25% of the roof is saturated and there are multiple weakness points on the roof’s surface. Attempts to repair roofs that are deteriorated this far can be expensive, and they are unlikely to prevent leaks for more than another 1-2 years. At this stage it is more cost-effective to remove and replace the entire roof.
Denver commercial roof replacement
Commercial Roof Replacement

Your Denver CO commercial roof replacement report should include a quoted price and timeline for the recommended action as well.

How Long Does A Commercial Roof Inspection Take?

The amount of time your contractor will be on-site performing their inspection depends on a few factors. But generally for a 15,000-25,000 square foot building, a Denver CO flat roof inspection can be done in an hour or less. Your inspection may be shorter or longer depending on:

  • The size of the roof
  • How many sections of roof there are
  • Amount of penetrations
  • Layers on the roof and/or different material types present

Even though your inspection may only take an hour, your contractor will spend several more hours analyzing the photos and notes taken during the inspection. They will use this and spend more time completing a thorough report to deliver to you, usually 4-5 days following the inspection.

After the Commercial Roof Inspection

After your inspection has been completed and your report has been received, it’s time to review your options and make a decision. If you received multiple quotes from different contractors, which one made the best recommendations, was the most professional, and had your best interests in mind? At Sol Vista Roofing, we aim to educate our commercial roofing clients about the process in an easy-to-understand way. If there is any help we can provide in understanding the commercial roofing process, out team can help.

Are you ready to schedule your commercial roof inspection? Contact our team today.