DON’T WALK AIMLESSLY DURING YOUR ROOF INSPECTIONS; HAVE A CHECKLIST!
It’s vitally important to write a plan for your roof inspections, and it’s also important to stick that plan and carry out regular inspections. There is another step that is equally important: knowing what you are inspecting and looking for during your inspection. Many people expect to get on their roof, and immediately see everything wrong with their roof when they get up there.
While many issues with your roof will be very easy to see and will quickly stand out, many other issues won’t be easily seen and you will need to get closer to the problem to actually see it. For this reason, you need to write out a plan that includes what you will look at and what you will look for when you get on the roof. Let’s see the three main features of your roof that you should plan on at looking closely to complete your inspection.
This is an obvious feature of your roof that you need to look at closely during your inspection. The roof field is just the flat surface of the roof that spans the length and width of the building. As you walk along your roof, be sure that you inspect the field of your roof as you go. Don’t just look out across the roof from the top of your ladder and climb back down to the ground if everything looks good. You have to actually walk the field of the roof and inspect it up close if you want to detect the problems with it.
There are several aspects of the flashing on your roof that you need to inspect, including the seal of the flashing to the roof and the performance of the item receiving flashing. Ensure that the flashing isn’t cracked or blocked. A good question to ask yourself while inspecting flashing is “if it were raining right now, what would be happening to this flashing?” Make sure that there are no cracks or improperly exposed roof surface and you will be good to go.
Any penetrations in your roof should also be inspected very closely. If you have drainage pipes, AC units, vents, skylights, expansion joints, or any other penetration in your roofing system, you have a feature that requires special attention during your inspection.
As you inspect these items, you need to double check that they hold a watertight seal and that the penetrations are still serving the purpose they were installed for. It is also always a good idea to make sure that rooftop equipment (such as AC units) is performing properly while you are up there.