Periodic professional flat roof inspections are a good idea as they help increase your roof’s life span. As the owner of a residential or commercial property, they allow you to discover and promptly address potential issues so they don’t get worse.
However, if you’re going to conduct your own, here are some tips to follow to identify potential issues.
Things to Do (and Avoid) When Conducting Your Flat Roof Inspection
Discover the dos and don’ts of flat roof self-inspection to identify damage and address it promptly.
1. Be Safe
Before you start, take all safety precautions, although these depend on your roof. Do you have a residential, commercial, or industrial flat roof? While it might not be difficult to walk across your flat roof or access it, be mindful of any rotted areas or skylights. Also, wear work boots or sneakers for better grip and a safety helmet.
2. Check for Signs of Minor Damage
Some things to pay attention to are the rubber seals around the plumbing pipes, exhaust fan, generator, air vents, and flashing. Sometimes damages to these can lead to a roofing system collapse. Also, check whether the gutters and downspouts are working properly, as an inefficient one can lead to pooling water and further to leaks within your building.
3. Look for Piles of Leaves, Moss, and Algae
Keep an eye out for piling leaves, moss, lichen, algae and other types of growth and debris. These can trap moisture which can cause significant damage that may be difficult and costly to fix.
Moss is especially dangerous as it soaks up rainwater like a sponge and transfers it to the layers beneath it which causes decay or mould. Over time, this will compromise the structural integrity of your roof so must be cleared out immediately. Use a commercial moss killer or simply brush or sweep it away.
4. Watch Out for Interior Staining
Search for stains on your interior walls and ceilings. Can you see yellowish or brown water spots? Is the paint starting to bulge and become discoloured? All are signs of a leak somewhere on the roof that is allowing water to seep into the different layers and cause interior damage.
Your best bet in such instances is to immediately hire a flat roofing expert to discuss the issue. They will have the appropriate knowledge, skills, and tools to deal with this. They will also take the necessary steps to ensure the problem is solved and doesn’t get any worse.
5. Hire a Licensed Contractor
While you can certainly conduct your flat roof inspections, it’s better to hire a licensed contractor. What may seem like a small issue to you may have major consequences. With their help, you will have proper guidance on what should or shouldn’t be done.
Aim to have a flat roof contractor visit your property once in spring and once in winter. Remember, small issues won’t stay that way for long. So, it’s best to catch problems while they are still in the early stages.
1. Ignore Damages
If you do come across damages, no matter how minor they may be, don’t wait to fix them. They can turn into major annoyances that will be a lot more expensive and time-consuming to fix.
2. Try to Do Repairs Yourself
When you notice any damage to your roofing system, don’t try to make repairs or replacements on your own. As mentioned earlier, it’s best to hire a licensed contractor with the experience and training to do the job. Moreover, be careful of hiring unlicensed professionals as they can cause further damage.
3. Put Off Maintenance
Just because you can’t see an issue doesn’t mean everything is fine. Chances are that by the time you start noticing issues, it may be too late. Also, the longer you put off regular maintenance, the more dangerous your roof may become. Your property’s flat roofing system is its first line of defence against the elements so it should top your priority list.
A flat roof inspection allows you to detect issues on time. When caught early, it can protect you against unnecessary hassle and expenses. With a reliable and trusted roofing partner, you can rest assured knowing a professional is taking the necessary steps to prolong your roof’s life.