Regular commercial flat roof inspections can save you from a problem later, as inspections are designed to catch costly damage before they become too bad. There are 5 key inspection points that should be examined.
A decking inspection looks for signs of decay, moisture incursion, or other types of damage. Ideally, the roof decking can be viewed from inside your building's attic space so that it can be examined thoroughly. Surface inspections can uncover some decking issues, such as rot that has caused sagging, but they aren't as complete. Your inspector may also take a small core sample, which will be patched after, of the roof to determine the general condition and contents of the decking.
Membrane systems vary depending on the building. EPDM and rubber roof membranes are common, as are BUR (built-up roofing) systems. Rubber membranes and similar must be inspected for punctures, seam damage, and sun degradation. BUR systems are inspected for damage to the built-up asphalt surface, such as cracks or divots similar to potholes.
Flat roofs use external gutters, perimeter drains, or internal drains to route away the water that would otherwise collect on the surface. Your roof inspector will check all drain and gutter troughs to make sure they aren't leaking or blocked. Another part of a drainage inspection is to make sure ponding isn't a problem. Ponding is when water collects at a low spot on the roof, which can lead to leaks if the area isn't either regraded or installed with a drain.
Rooftop vents can be passive, but some commercial buildings may also feature powered vents that actively move air out of the building. Poorly working vents lead to condensation problems when hot air gets trapped in your building's attic or top floors. Your roof inspector not only verifies that the vents are working, but they will also make sure they are not blocked and that any covers or screens are in place.
Flashing around rooftop penetrations, vents, and appliances may not last as long as the main roof system. It's not uncommon for wind and hail, as well as normal aging, to cause flashing seals to warp or degrade over time. Your inspector will check all the flashing to see if any is in need of replacement. If damage is found, the area will be inspected to determine if water damage is present.
For more information, contact a company like Dana Logsdon Roofing.