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How to Inspect Built-Up Roofing Systems
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: This PagePt. 2: Inspecting Roof-Deck Substrates Ensures Successful InstallationsPt. 3: What Role Does Insulation Play in Roof Installations?Pt. 4: Inspectors Must Check Bitumen Temperatures During BUR InstallationPt. 5: Roof Retrofits: Strategies for Membrane, Base Flashing Installation
Maintenance and engineering managers have specified built-up roofing (BUR) systems on institutional and commercial facilities for years, seeking durability and flexibility.
But to ensure BUR systems deliver these and other benefits to their organizations, managers must ensure front-line technicians maintain them properly. A properly managed and coordinated quality-assurance inspection program during installation can help managers and inspectors identify and address common performance problems with BUR systems.
Inspectors first must understand the roofing system's drawings and specifications before installation. A pre-construction meeting that includes the architect, consultant, inspector, roofing contractor foreman, general contractor, sheet-metal contractor, and other interested parties enables those involved to discuss the project, its details, and last-minute questions.
This discussion also might cover expectations from the inspector, such as the distribution of daily and formal inspection reports— as well as any test-sample results— and identifying to whom the reports will go.
Experienced inspectors must understand they are responsible for making sure everyone involved is fully informed and the organization receives a proper return on its investment. For example, a contractor's failure to comply with approved plans and specifications is not acceptable, and the inspector needs to make the foreman and the maintenance manager aware of the issue.
A comprehensive roof inspection must cover the primary components of the installed system.