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January 22, 2013 -
Today's tip is about roof inspections. It's almost spring - which means March Madness, Spring Training, and roof inspections! Now is the recommended time to get up on your roof and see how it did over the long winter.
Before you - or one of your loyal lieutenants - get out the ladder (or open the roof hatch, or however else you get to your roof), the first thing to do is checking your roof warranty to find out if there are any restrictions regarding repairs that may need to be made, or, if you haven't been up there since it was installed, if you're even able to walk the roof without voiding the roof warranty.
Next, talk to occupants about whether they’ve noticed anything unusual - like water pouring through the ceiling. Do a walk-through of the interior of the building - especially unoccupied areas - to check for leaking. Walk around the building's exterior to look for cracks in exterior masonry or pre-cast panels. These could be indications of a roof leak as well. If you find leaks or areas that might be leaks but that you can’t tell for sure, it's probably a good idea to hire a consultant or contractor right away to determine the extent of the damage, including whether or not the insulation is wet. You could also do some infrared imaging to check for moisture, if you have the right equipment.
Then, walk the roof to look for ripples or areas where water may be ponding. Look for any loose seams or any other obvious signs of distress. Take special care at the corners and edges, as most roof problems begin in these areas. Finally, carefully inspect flashings and roof drains, and the area around any rooftop equipment.