Commercial Roof Inspection Checklist

commercial flat roof



The weather in the midwest is anything but predictable, and over the course of the year your roof will experience every bit of snow, rain, heat, and bitter cold the Chicagoland region has to offer. Living through these conditions season after season in Schaumburg or Joliet can produce wear and tear on your roof, so it’s important to get regular commercial roof inspections to ensure everything is up to code and to catch minor issues before they become expensive problems.

To help you determine when it’s time to get commercial roof repair in Chicago or Rockford, NIR has created a roof assessment checklist for you to use. This comprehensive list will help you check every part of your roof for damage and prepare it for an inspection by an experienced commercial roofing specialist. Read our inspection list below, then contact our team to schedule a commercial roof inspection.

Commercial Roof Inspection Checklist

As the temperature shifts each season in Crystal Lake, your commercial roof will expand and contract, creating tiny fractures that will grow into cracks as water makes its way inside and freezes and unfreezes. Roofing materials will also begin to decay and peel as time goes on.

These changes can have devastating effects on your roof if they are left untreated. However, you can mitigate damage and catch potential issues when you use our roof assessment checklist. If you suspect you need roof repair in Chicago or the Chicagoland area, you can get a quote from our team!

1. Perform A Detailed Inspection

A general roof inspection will help identify damaged areas on your commercial rooftop. Check the following areas for cracks, split seams, buckling, loose parts, staining, mold, or rot when you do a walk around on your roof:

  • Surface membranes
  • Roof vents
  • Flashing
  • Field Tears
  • Gutters
  • Drainage Pipes

While you are more than welcome to use our list to check your commercial roof by yourself, we highly recommend you use a certified roof inspector who knows what to look for to check for underlying damage you may be unable to see.

2. Clean Debris

Among other things, your commercial roof is designed to catch and drain water from your rooftop and away from the foundation of your building. Debris like fallen branches, leaves, and garbage can prevent water from draining, leading to ponds of water on your rooftop. Have your roof cleaned regularly to ensure that water can flow freely to the drains and away from your building.

3. Ponding Water

Check for ponding water or evidence of ponding water on your rooftop from a clogged drain or slow-draining lines. Typically water will change the color of the roof around it if it has sat for a long time. A professional inspector will be able to see if there is any underlying damage to your roof caused by ponding water.

4. Check The Flashing

Roof flashing is a thin material that is used to direct water away from certain areas on your roof. Usually, flashing is used wherever the roof plane meets a vertical surface like a chimney, wall, or dormer. Check your flashing to see if there are any cracks or crevices that would allow water in and have them repaired before winter.

5. Check The Roof Field For Cracks Or Tears

The roof field refers to the main roofing area on your building. After clearing debris, check for any obvious signs of cracks or tears on the roof. If you cannot find any damage but suspect there is a leak, look for professional roof repair in Chicago that can perform a flood test.

6. Check The Parapet Walls Termination Bar

Parapet walls are a barrier that serves as an extension of the walls at the edge of your roof. The termination bar is used to secure and seal single-ply membranes at the parapet wall. Check the termination bars to ensure they’re properly sealed and that there are no signs of failure or cracking before the winter weather or heavy rains set in. This will prevent significant damages from occurring in the years to come. Since these can be difficult to locate and check, we recommend scheduling a roof inspection with our professional team.

7. Check The Edge Details

Ensuring that the edge materials are secure and terminated will prevent the elements from finding their way inside. If you find edge materials that aren’t properly secured, a professional roofer should be called to check for damage and secure the edging.

8. Inspect The Roof Edge

A general inspection of the edge of your roof will reveal if anything was knocked loose or damaged by high winds or violent storms. Any damaged or loose parts will need to be repaired to preserve the health of your roof and ensure your safety and the safety of your team/customers/or tenants.

9. Check The Gutters

Damaged or clogged gutters can lead to water ponding on your roof. Ensure that your gutters are not damaged and are attached properly to your roof. Make sure they are clear of debris so water can flow freely.

10. Inspect Your Downspouts

Much like your gutters, downspouts help move water away from your roof and the foundation of your building. Ensure that your downspouts are not damaged and attached properly to your gutters. It will also be important to make sure they’re clear of debris and that their termination bars are still sealing properly.

Get Roof Repair In Chicagoland

Now that you’ve read our commercial roof assessment checklist, read about the other ways you can prolong the life of your roof in our roof care 101 blog. If you want to make protecting your roof your top priority and are looking to schedule a commercial roof inspection at the touch of a button, get our NIR Mobile® app (available for current NIR customers in the App Store and Google Play) so you can manage your current properties with ease!