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The Commercial Roof Inspection Checklist for Property Management

Commercial real estate properties come in all shapes and sizes, but there’s one common challenge faced by every property manager in the business: roof maintenance. 

Roofs are a conundrum. They’re hard to reach, critical to maintain, and expensive to repair if problems are left to escalate.

For those reasons, it’s important to keep a close eye on a roof’s condition. Property managers need to monitor any issues as they develop, and move quickly to diagnose and resolve minor problems before they turn into expensive critical failures. 

We’ve put together the following checklist to help property managers stay on top of their roof maintenance.

The Commercial Roof Inspection Checklist

There are several elements of a roof inspection. An important thing to remember is that the only way you can fix a problem is to discover it’s there in the first place. 

That’s why regular maintenance inspections will focus on the following high-risk areas:

    • Decking (checking for rot, stains, or debris)
    • Surface membranes
    • Roof vents and HVAC units
    • Flashing (to ensure water is directed away from critical areas of the roof)
    • Gutters
    • Drainage pipes

Regular inspections will help you stay consistently informed about all of these areas and spot problems before they become serious. It’s also key to adapt your inspection schedule to the time of year. Minor problems in the summer can develop into serious ones during the winter, as cracks expand, gutters become clogged, and the weather takes a turn. 

Here’s a checklist of things to look out for when inspecting the roof of your commercial property…

Check for Debris

All manner of things seem to end up on commercial roofs. From branches and leaves to trash and plastic bags, seemingly insignificant debris can easily lead to more serious problems. An obstacle in the wrong place can lead to drainage issues.

Inspect for Ponding Water

An ever present threat to the integrity of your commercial roof is ponding water.  Slow-draining areas and blockages can be spotted even when water is not present. Color changes or stains around drainage points may indicate if standing water has been present.

Inspect Flashing

Flashing around stacks, walls, and curbs should be regularly checked to make sure  vulnerable cracks and crevices are repaired before wet winter weather approaches.  

Check for Cracks and Tears

Cuts and tears in a roof’s membrane, often caused by inclement weather or debris, can lead to significant structural damage if left untreated. It’s important to check the edge materials of your commercial roof on a regular basis. These areas are vulnerable to the elements and need to be properly secured.

Inspect Roof Surfaces

During bad weather, equipment on the roof can be damaged or blown loose. Spotting these issues as quickly as possible, especially after strong storms, can help you prevent long term problems from developing. 

Gutters, Drains, and Downspouts

If blocked or damaged, gutters and drains can cause water ponding and serious moisture issues. If downspouts are damaged, blockages can be passed along to your roof and cause further issues to develop.

Smarter Commercial Roof Inspections

Accessing a roof in order to take a look at its many elements can be time-consuming, costly, and dangerous. More often than not, using a drone to carry out part or all of an inspection will drastically reduce your risk when diagnosing issues. 

At DroneBase, we’ve developed an end-to-end inspection solution that provides you with the right pilot and equipment for the job, alongside detailed reports with insights and recommendations on the steps required to secure your roof’s integrity. Our Insights Roof Reports give your team a comprehensive overview of a roof’s condition, with details of any debris, rust, ponding, encroaching vegetation, and other issues. 

These reports are compiled by our in-house team of experts to bring you objectivity and dependable advice when it’s needed most.

Find out more about using drones to enhance your commercial roof inspections by visiting our Property Management page.

Tags: Aerial Inspection Drone Technology Inspection Property Management
Malek Murison
Malek Murison

Malek Murison is a technology journalist based in London who covers drone industry news and product reviews for DroneLife. He's written features for the Financial Times and works with some of the drone world's most exciting startups.


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