Why You Should Get Your Commercial or Industrial Roof Inspected This Spring

Why You Should Get Your Commercial or Industrial Roof Inspected This Spring

Regular commercial roof maintenance and repair are critical to the health of any building.

This is especially true for commercial roof inspections. A roof is the first defense against many structural hazards, including weather, leaks, and energy inefficiencies. While commercial roofs last as long as 15 years, scheduling regular inspections will help you understand your roof’s current conditions, prevent major issues, and save money. 

But suppose you don’t properly care for your roof during the winter-to-spring transition. In that case, there can be severe consequences, including external damage, leaks, and the need for a complete and total commercial roof replacement. To avoid such issues, here are four reasons why you should get your commercial roof inspected this spring (plus a checklist for when the snow melts).

What are the Dangers of Winter on Commercial Roofs?

metal roof with gutter tearing away with icicles hanging from room

The winter brings cold temperatures, snow, and ice, which can wreak havoc on your commercial roof.

Before anything else, we must remind you never to step foot on your roof in the winter. If you think something is wrong with your roof, contact a roofing professional immediately. They have the tools and expertise to prevent serious injuries from a roofing accident.

While the snow might be beautiful to look at, heavy snow places an enormous amount of stress on a roof, leading to structural failure.

You should never attempt to remove the snow from the roof yourself with shovels or ice picks, as this can damage your roof, and standing on a roof already under stress can put you at risk.

There is also the possibility of ice dams forming on your commercial roof.

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. Ice dams can rip off gutters or cause water leakage through the ceiling if not taken care of in time.

Whether you realize it or not, winter can be disastrous to a commercial roof.

4 Reasons Why You Need Your Commercial Roof Inspected this Spring

Over the winter months, snow, ice, and freezing temperatures cause significant damage to commercial roofs, including cracks, leaks, and other issues that can compromise the structural integrity of the building. 

As temperatures begin to rise, here are four reasons you need to schedule a spring-time commercial roof inspection, saving you time and money over your roof’s life.

1. You’ll be able to fix winter damage.

When roofs have extended exposure to severe weather conditions, they are at risk for extreme structural stress. For those with harsh winters – especially those in the midwest – things like thermal shock, ice dams, and piles of snow are all very real threats. 

Once warm weather melts the snow and ice, roof inspectors can find any damage left behind by the snow and ice, repairs for which are often time-sensitive. Often, these involve leaks, wind damage, and condensation issues.

Finding these problems early in the year will allow you to make the repairs immediately and avoid bigger, costlier repairs down the road.

2. You can be sure your roof is prepared for summer weather.

Much like winter weather, summer weather can cause strain on a roof. For a roof without shade, exposure to UV rays can cause age and decay, and heat can cause a breakdown in the material used to build the roof. In addition, the wind and hail that come along with summer storms are a genuine threat to roofs.

With a springtime inspection, you can spot potential problem areas and prepare them for the forthcoming weather change.

3. Repairs are easier to schedule in the spring.

Warm weather and better conditions allow contractors to conduct safer, faster commercial roof inspections. When an inspection is done quickly, repairs can be scheduled almost immediately before the summer heat is upon us. 

Don’t forget, summer is the busiest time of year, so getting an inspection or repair promptly can often be tricky. By scheduling an inspection early in the year, you beat the crowds and ensure your inspection and repairs will be done before it’s too late.

4. Simplified insurance claims.

Experienced professionals will file a detailed report on the condition of your roof, even if there’s nothing to repair. Each inspection report provides information about a roof’s current state.

This is good news for you: Should your roof need repair, having this report helps simplify filing a claim. Further, your claim is more likely to be successful since the report came from a credible source.

Spring Cleaning Commercial Roof Checklist

This checklist guides you through some necessary steps to inspect your commercial roof before spring arrives. 

When you schedule your inspection, let the roofing experts at Ridgeworth Roofing know of any potential issues with your commercial roof after the winter weather. Our team can then identify potential problems you might have missed or overlooked.

Look around the inside of your building for any signs of water damage.

man looking at large hole in ceiling caused by water damage from leaking roof

There are a couple of tell-tale signs of a leak in your commercial roof which you can identify just by looking around the inside of your building.

The first thing to look for is any discoloration on your ceiling. Any yellow, cream, brown, black, or grey marks indicate water has begun seeping past your roof.

A more obvious example is a swollen ceiling. The moisture from water trapped between the roof and your ceiling creates bubbles on the ceiling and is a clear sign that something is wrong.

Check corners for mold.

Even if the ceiling looks perfectly fine, you still want to check the corners to see any evidence of mold growth.

The mold is typically dark green, brown, or black and smells like mildew.

If mold is growing on your ceiling or in the corners of your room, you will want to get that taken care of immediately. 

Unchecked mold leads to asthma, trouble breathing, and headaches. It’s hazardous.

Check your gutters for damage.

Damaged gutters cannot move water from your roof effectively, and standing water adds weight that the roof might not be equipped to handle.

You’ll want to clear any debris, especially leaves, branches, and trash that can clog gutters and downspouts before heavy spring rains.

If your gutters are too clogged, then it’s best to call a roofing professional. They’ll have the knowledge and expertise to clean the gutters and protect your roof from further damage.

When it’s safe to do so, walk around on your roof.

*Note: If snow or ice is on your roof, do not step on it. Call a roofing professional to avoid serious injuries.

Extreme temperature fluctuations like those experienced by many areas of the U.S. this winter can cause your roof to expand and contract, leading to a thermal split condition. 

A professional must address this crack in your roof, as it prevents your roof from protecting your building from the elements.

While on your commercial roof, look for general wear and tear and damage caused by ice, freeze/thaw cycles, and ice damming.

Notice any cracks or tears, broken or clogged downspouts, or damage to scuppers, scupper boxes, perimeter metal flashings, or lead-edge metal. If something doesn’t look right, take note.

Reach Out to Ridgeworth Roofing for a Spring Roof Inspection

Even after going through this spring cleaning commercial roof checklist, you will want to contact a roofing professional to check out anything you might have missed.

For example, if you find a leak, a professional roofing contractor can evaluate the source and cause of the leak. It could result from thermal shock or ice damming, which occurs when the heat from inside the building melts ice on the roof from the underside, allowing water to enter under the roof covering and into the building. 

The leak could also be unrelated to the roof itself. An unsecured mechanical door, for example, could be one explanation for water entering the building. 

Before you panic, call a professional. Call Ridgeworth Roofing to schedule a commercial roof inspection with one of our commercial roofing experts today.