Free Roof Inspection with drone

Maintaining the integrity and functionality of a commercial building’s roof is vital for the safety and longevity of the structure. A well-maintained roof protects against weather elements, prevents leaks, and ensures the overall efficiency of the building. Many reputable roofing companies offer free roof inspections to assist property owners and managers in their roof maintenance efforts. This blog post will delve into the significance of these inspections and discuss what to look out for on various roof substrates commonly found in commercial buildings. We will also discuss additional aspects that would be useful to consider during free roof inspections for commercial buildings.

Attention!  If you want to schedule a free roof inspection, contact an American WeatherStar Approved Contractor today.

Key Factors to Consider When Inspecting Different Roof Substrates

1. Asphalt Shingle Roofs

Asphalt shingle roofs are widely used in commercial buildings due to their cost-effectiveness and durability. During a roof inspection, pay attention to the condition of the shingles. Look for signs of cracking, curling, or missing shingles. Please pay close attention to areas around chimneys, vents, and skylights, as they are prone to leaks. Additionally, inspect the flashing and ensure it is properly sealed.

2. Metal Roofs

Metal roofs are known for their longevity and strength. However, they require regular free roof inspections to identify any signs of damage or deterioration. Look for rust or corrosion on the metal panels, loose or missing fasteners, and damaged or dislodged flashing. Ensure the roof seams and joints are properly sealed to prevent water infiltration.

3. Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

Built-Up Roofing, or tar and gravel roofing, consists of multiple layers of asphalt and felt. During an inspection, examine the roof for blisters, cracks, or areas where the top layer has worn away. Check for signs of moisture trapped between layers, which can lead to leaks. Inspect the flashing around vents, pipes, and edges to ensure they are intact and properly sealed.

4. Single-Ply Membrane Roofs

Single-ply membrane roofs, such as TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin) or EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer), offer excellent durability and energy efficiency. During a free roof inspection, examine the membrane for punctures, tears, or areas of membrane shrinkage. Check the seams and edges for proper adhesion and look for signs of deteriorating or cracked caulking around penetrations.

5. Modified Bitumen Roofs

Modified bitumen roofs are made of asphalt-based sheets reinforced with polymers. Look for signs of blistering, cracks, or areas where the top layer has become loose or dislodged. Inspect the flashing and ensure it is securely fastened and properly sealed. Pay attention to the seams and edges for signs of deterioration or separation.

6. Roof Coatings

Roof coatings are protective layers applied to existing roofs to enhance their durability, waterproofing capabilities, and energy efficiency. Here’s a brief overview of what to look out for when inspecting roofs with coatings:

  • Coating Integrity: Examine the overall condition of the roof coating. Look for signs of peeling, cracking, or blistering, as these indicate potential areas of vulnerability. Please inspect for any sections where the coating may have worn away or become thin, as this could compromise its effectiveness.
  • Adhesion and Coverage: Assess the adhesion of the coating to the underlying roof substrate. Ensure it adheres uniformly and covers the surface without gaps or voids. Please pay attention to seams and edges to verify they are properly sealed.
  • Reflectivity and Energy Efficiency: Roof coatings often provide enhanced reflectivity, which helps reduce heat absorption and can contribute to improved energy efficiency. Evaluate the reflectivity of the coating and check for any discoloration or loss of reflectivity due to aging or weathering.
  • Ponding and Water Resistance: Inspect the roof for ponding areas where water accumulates and remains for an extended period. Ponding can lead to roof deterioration and leaks. Ensure that the coating effectively sheds water and provides adequate protection against moisture infiltration.
  • Maintenance and Recoating: Consider the maintenance requirements of the roof coating. Evaluate whether it needs periodic free roof inspections or maintenance treatments to preserve its integrity. Additionally, determine the recommended recoating schedule and assess whether it's time for a fresh application to maintain optimal performance.

What to Check with Free Roof Inspections

1. Roof Drainage Systems

Inspecting the roof’s drainage system is essential for preventing water accumulation and potential structural damage. Check for clogged or damaged gutters, downspouts, and drains. Ensure that water is flowing freely and away from the building’s foundation. Look for signs of ponding or standing water on the roof, as this can indicate poor drainage.

2. Roof Penetrations

Commercial roofs often have various penetrations, such as vents, pipes, HVAC units, skylights, or solar panels. Sift through these penetrations for signs of damage or deterioration around their bases. Check for cracks, gaps, or compromised seals. Ensure that any flashing or caulking around these penetrations is intact, effectively preventing water infiltration.

3. Insulation and Energy Efficiency

During a free roof inspection, it’s essential to assess the condition and effectiveness of the insulation. Insulation plays a crucial role in maintaining energy efficiency within the building. Look for damaged or missing insulation, particularly in areas that may have been disturbed or displaced. Ensure no gaps or air leaks can lead to heat loss or increased energy consumption.

4. Roof Access and Safety

When conducting a roof inspection, prioritize safety measures. Ensure proper safety equipment and protocols are followed and only authorized personnel can access the roof. Inspect roof access points like ladders or hatches for stability and proper functioning. Consider the condition of guardrails and fall protection systems to ensure compliance with safety regulations.

Recommended Reading: Take Precautions to Ensure Roof Safety

5. Documentation and Maintenance Recommendations

After completing the free roof inspection, it’s important to document your findings. Take detailed notes, including photographs, to support your assessment. Create a comprehensive report that outlines the roof’s condition, identifies any issues or areas of concern, and provides recommendations for maintenance or repairs. This report will be a valuable reference for ongoing roof maintenance and future inspections.

Navigating the Ins and Outs of Commercial Roofing Warranties

Understanding and adhering to the terms and conditions of roofing warranties is crucial, especially when it comes to free roof inspections. Here’s why it’s important to have a clear understanding of warranty requirements during these inspections:

  • Maintaining Warranty Coverage: Most roofing warranties have specific maintenance requirements that must be followed to keep the warranty valid. These requirements may include regular inspections, documented maintenance records, and timely repairs of identified issues. By adhering to these terms, property owners can ensure that they maintain warranty coverage and protect themselves from potential claims denial.
  • Identifying Potential Warranty Concerns: During a free roof inspection, it's important to be aware of any potential warranty concerns. Some warranties may specify particular issues that must be addressed promptly to prevent further damage. By understanding the warranty terms, property owners can communicate these concerns to the roofing professionals conducting the inspection, allowing them to focus on areas of potential warranty claims and provide recommendations accordingly.
  • Proper Documentation for Warranty Claims: If a warranty claim needs to be made, it's essential to have appropriate documentation from the free roof inspections. Following the warranty's guidelines for inspections and maintenance allows property owners to gather the necessary evidence to support their claims, such as inspection reports, photographs, and maintenance records. This documentation strengthens the validity of warranty claims and increases the likelihood of a successful resolution.
  • Preventing Warranty Voidance: Neglecting to adhere to the terms and conditions of the warranty, including required inspections, maintenance, or repairs, can void the warranty coverage. Property owners may be responsible for the full cost of any necessary repairs or replacements if a warranty is voided. By understanding and fulfilling the warranty's requirements, property owners can avoid the risk of warranty voidance and ensure the financial protection warranties provide.

By understanding and adhering to the terms and conditions of roofing warranties during free roof inspections, property owners can protect their investments and ensure the longevity and performance of their roofs. These inspections provide an opportunity to address any issues or concerns in alignment with the warranty requirements, maximizing the benefits the warranty coverage offers.

The Power of Professional Roofing Services

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Engaging professional roofing services for free roof inspections, repairs, and maintenance offers numerous benefits for commercial building owners and managers. Here are some key advantages to highlight:

  • Expertise and Knowledge: Professional roofing services bring extensive expertise and knowledge. Roofing professionals deeply understand different roof substrates, including their unique characteristics and potential issues. They can accurately assess the roof's condition, identify problems, and provide expert recommendations for repairs or maintenance. Their experience allows them to spot subtle signs of damage that may go unnoticed by untrained eyes.
  • Specialized Tools and Equipment: Professional roofers can access specialized tools and equipment designed for efficient and accurate inspections, repairs, and maintenance. They have advanced technology and tools to detect leaks, assess moisture levels, perform detailed roof measurements, and precisely execute repairs. Utilizing these specialized resources ensures that the work is carried out effectively and efficiently.
  • Safety Measures: Roofing involves inherent risks, particularly when working at heights. Professional roofing services prioritize safety and have the necessary training and equipment to mitigate risks. They follow strict safety protocols and adhere to industry standards to protect their workers, building occupants, and property. Engaging professionals reduces the likelihood of accidents and ensures compliance with safety regulations.
  • Comprehensive Services: Professional roofing companies offer many services beyond free roof inspections, including repairs, maintenance, and roof replacement. By engaging these services, commercial building owners can benefit from a one-stop solution for roofing needs. Professionals can address identified issues promptly and provide ongoing maintenance plans to ensure the roof's longevity and optimal performance.
  • Long-Term Cost Savings: While upfront costs may be associated with hiring professional roofing services, long-term cost savings can be significant. Professionals can detect and address minor issues before they escalate into major problems, potentially saving property owners from costly repairs or premature roof replacements. Regular maintenance by professionals also helps extend the roof's lifespan, maximizing the return on investment.
  • Warranty Compliance: If the commercial building's roof is under warranty, engaging professional roofing services ensures compliance with warranty requirements. Professionals know warranty terms and can conduct free roof inspections and repairs accordingly. This helps maintain warranty coverage and provides peace of mind to property owners.


In conclusion, maintaining the integrity and functionality of a commercial building’s roof is vital for its safety and longevity. Reputable roofing companies offering free roof inspections provide a valuable opportunity to assess the roof’s condition and identify potential issues early on. By thoroughly inspecting various roof substrates commonly found in commercial buildings, such as asphalt shingles, metal roofs, built-up roofing, single-ply membranes, modified bitumen, and even roof coatings, property owners and managers can make informed maintenance decisions and address any concerns promptly.

Additionally, it’s crucial to consider other aspects during these inspections. These include evaluating the roof’s drainage systems, inspecting roof penetrations for signs of damage, assessing insulation and energy efficiency, ensuring proper roof access and safety measures, and documenting the free roof inspection findings for future reference. By incorporating these additional elements into the inspection process, property owners and managers can further enhance the effectiveness of free roof inspections and take proactive steps toward maintaining the roof’s performance, protecting the building, and maximizing its lifespan.

In essence, free roof inspections for commercial buildings offer a comprehensive evaluation of the roof’s condition and serve as a proactive measure to identify and address potential issues. By leveraging the expertise of roofing professionals and considering various roof substrates and other critical aspects, property owners and managers can ensure the ongoing functionality, safety, and efficiency of their commercial building’s roof, ultimately protecting their investment for years to come.

If you’re interested in scheduling a free roof inspection, contact an American WeatherStar Approved Contractor today.