The Dos & Don’ts of Self-Inspecting Your Commercial Flat Roof

a roofer wears orange protective gear and holds a tool as he looks at a white flat roof

Your roof protects your building from the elements—keeping it in exceptional condition through routine maintenance will prevent future structural damage and business downtime. 

Even though flat roofing systems are incredibly strong, they are still susceptible to wear and tear over time, so frequent inspections are important, especially after inclement weather like heavy wind or ice storms.

Generally, professional commercial roof inspections are recommended at least once per year, but there are some signs and symptoms you can look out for without help from a professional.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the best practices you can follow when self-inspecting your commercial roof and what to avoid. 

Do: Put Safety First

Roofing is a dangerous job. Sadly, CDC reports show that hundreds of Americans lose their lives every year in roofing accidents, and thousands more are seriously injured. 

If you attempt a self-performed commercial roof inspection, it’s important to:

  1. Have a solid, reliable, and tightly secured way up to and down from the roof
  2. Always maintain a safe distance from the edge of the roof (10 feet or more)
  3. Never attempt a commercial roof inspection in dangerous weather
  4. Have a second person available to help you if needed.

Remember—it takes less than a second to slip, trip, fall, and possibly, get seriously injured or worse. Always prioritize your safety.

Do: Look Out for These Common Signs

Here’s what to look for during your inspection:

  • Pooled Water
  • Clogged Drains
  • “Popped” Nails or Screws
  • Cuts, Rips, Tears, or Gouges 
  • Areas That Feel Damp or Soggy
  • Flashing Damage

Professional Tip: Move slowly when self-inspecting your roof. Stay aware of your position, especially as it is relative to the edge of the roof. 

Don’t: Self-Perform Repairs

During a self-performed commercial roof inspection, clearing away any debris that might be slowing or blocking the drains and removing any branches or other large objects that may have fallen or blown onto the roof is fine.

However, you should know that the second you begin making any repairs, the roof becomes a job site and is therefore subject to the rules and regulations that dictate operations in the roofing industry, meaning you need insurance, licensing, and whatever else is required in your locality.

Furthermore, performing even minor repairs can put you at risk of voiding any warranty coverage that may be in effect for your roof. Always read your manufacturer’s and installer’s warranty before attempting repairs on a commercial roof. Additionally, if your roof was damaged during a storm or other inclement weather event, your insurance company may not approve your claim if a professional contractor is not handling the repairs.

Don’t: Forget OSHA Regulations

Self-performing repairs also makes you subject to the authority of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). They have extensive requirements concerning commercial roofing, and penalties for non-compliance can be severe.

Do: Contact Summit Commercial Roofing for Your Inspection

Although you can self-inspect some parts of your roof, it’s still recommended to have your entire roofing system professionally inspected at least once per year, especially after inclement weather (heavy wind, ice storms, etc.). 

For over 50 years, Summit Commercial Roofing has performed commercial flat roof inspections across Southeast Michigan. In addition to providing in-depth inspections, we install and repair various flat roofing systems, including PVC, EPDM, and metal. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to schedule a roof inspection.

Tags: ,

Related posts


Contact Summit Commercial Roofing Today

Summit Commercial Roofing is proud to be an industry leader in commercial flat roofing replacement, repairs, maintenance and installations. Courtesy, integrity, and transparency are a big part of everything that we do. Are you ready to see why we’re one of the best commercial roofing companies in Southeast Michigan? Call (734) 564-0371 or fill out our online form today to request a quote on our commercial roofing services.

“Financing Available”
Services Quote Call