“Check” Your Roof

August 31, 2022 | By: CRE Insight Journal

With the current state of the real estate market, it’s more crucial than ever to have a thorough roof inspection on your commercial property. A bad roof inspection can lead to expensive repairs or even resulting in a total loss. Before moving on to your next inspection and preventive maintenance task, make sure you have inspected your roof with the right tools and techniques. Here are some tips on how to conduct a commercial real estate roof inspection.

Check For Leaks

The most common roofing mistake people make is not checking for leaks when they are inspecting a roof. As a result, they may miss some large and expensive roofing repairs. You should use a device like a leak detection tape or a high-pressure water hose to see if there are any leaks in your roof. The guides provided in this article can be helpful resources when conducting this inspection.

If there are any signs of leaks, you should order a complete roof inspection to double-check for any other potential issues. This is especially important if you are selling the asset, but it is also vital for tenant comfort, safety and the longevity of the property. The potential loss from a leak in your roof can be huge. Major water damage can lead to costly repairs if a leak in your roof results in the water damage of your interiors. To ensure there are no leaks, have your roof inspected by staff, and if necessary, have a roof inspection company inspect the roof for signs of leaks.

Conduct A Stair Inspection

When you conduct a roof inspection, you should start at the top of the roof and work your way down. The first thing you want to look for is any obvious signs of damage. If your roof has extensive damage, it can affect the condition of the rest of the roof and the condition of your interiors, which are below the roof. Next, you can start looking at the condition of your roofing materials. Most roofing experts recommend that roofs are replaced every 25 to 30 years and the condition of a roof is an important factor when maintaining your asset. If you see that your roof has any major dings, cracks or damage that could affect the structural integrity of the roof, you may want to consider replacing it. Especially if your roof warranty is coming up. You can also use stair inspections as a way to learn about the condition of your roofing materials. Make sure to go up and down the same stairway at each property and if you have a common area such as a common roof or a stairwell, then that is the best area to start your inspection.

Walk The Roof

While you can use a device like a leak detection tape to look for leaks and check the condition of your roofing materials, you should also walk the roof. A roof inspection is the perfect time to check for any loose materials or other signs of damage. The best way to do this is to walk along the perimeter of your roof with a partner. You can use a rope to safely walk along the roof and keep you from falling off. When you walk along the roof, make sure to look for any signs of damage such as holes, missing or loose materials. Another thing you want to look out for are any flashing issues.

Inspect Basic Conditions

While many building operations and maintenance professionals (building engineers) can make a standard inspection, it is generally best to have a roof inspection company do this. This is because a roof inspection company can ensure that all areas of your roof are inspected thoroughly and that no other issues go unnoticed. See the helpful resources at the end of this article when evaluating the best approach for inspecting your roof.

Document Conditions and Needed Repairs

A roof inspection is an important part of any real estate transaction. However, you should also make sure you take photos or make recordings of any problems you find during your inspection. You can do this by using a phone app or using a roof inspection checklist to document your findings and repairs. You can also use these documents to present to your owner when building a case to budget for repairs. Also, having thorough documentation can assist your roofing vendor in making the necessary repairs. Make sure to keep all records of your inspection.

Final Thoughts

The best way to conduct a roof inspection is to walk the roof and inspect it thoroughly. If you are buying a commercial property, make sure you conduct a thorough roof inspection. Commercial real estate professionals can use a checklist like the ones provided in the resource section below to ensure the correct inspection procedures are followed. However, keep in mind that a roof inspection is an important part of any real estate sales and a best practice in your preventive maintenance routine. If you find any problems with your roof, you should repair them as soon as possible and conduct another roof inspection after the repairs have been completed.


CRE Insight Journal and our partners have made additional resources available as you consider your roof and roof inspections. Find these helpful resources below!

CRE Insight Journal Roofing Resources

Check Lists

Visual Guide for Roof Inspection (credit Zurix Roofing Systems)

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