How to Inspect a Commercial Roof? [9 Steps]

Are you a property owner or a facility manager responsible for maintaining a commercial building? If so, inspecting the roof regularly is crucial to ensure its structural integrity and prevent potential issues. A well-maintained roof not only protects the building and its contents but also extends its lifespan. In this article, we will guide you through a step-by-step process to effectively inspect a commercial roof. By following these ten steps, you can identify problems early on and take the necessary actions to maintain a durable and watertight roof.

Inspecting a commercial building roof inspections is an essential maintenance practice that helps detect any existing or potential issues. Regular inspections allow you to address problems promptly, preventing costly damages and ensuring the roof’s longevity.

1. Safety Precautions

Before starting the inspection, it is crucial to prioritize safety. Ensure you have the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) such as hard hats, safety goggles, gloves, and non-slip shoes. Additionally, use a sturdy ladder and have a spotter to assist you during the inspection.

2. Exterior Inspection

Begin the inspection by evaluating the roof’s exterior. Look for signs of damage, such as cracks, punctures, or blistering, on the roof surface. Check for loose or missing shingles, tiles, or panels. Examine the gutters and downspouts for debris buildup that may hinder proper drainage.

3. Interior Inspection

Inspect the interior of the building, particularly the ceiling, for any signs of water stains, discoloration, or mold growth. These indicators can suggest a roof leak or inadequate ventilation. Pay attention to areas around HVAC systems, vents, and skylights.

4. Roof Membrane Examination

The roof membrane is a crucial component of a commercial roof. Inspect it for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, splits, or bubbles. Check for membrane degradation due to UV exposure or harsh weather conditions. Look for any signs of moisture intrusion or ponding water.

5. Flashing and Sealant Inspection

Flashing and sealants are essential for maintaining a watertight roof. Inspect the flashing around roof penetrations, such as chimneys, vents, and HVAC units, for any signs of damage or detachment. Check the condition of sealants around these areas and ensure they are intact and free from cracks.

6. Drainage System Evaluation

Proper drainage is crucial for preventing water accumulation on the roof. Inspect the roof’s drainage system, including gutters, downspouts, and scuppers. Ensure they are clear of debris and properly functioning. Look for any signs of clogs, leaks, or inadequate slope.

7. Skylight and Vent Inspection

Skylights and vents are common features in commercial roofs. Inspect them for cracks, gaps, or signs of aging. Ensure the flashing around skylights is secure and watertight. Check the operation of vents and make sure they open and close properly.

8. Roof Accessory Check

Evaluate any additional roof accessories such as satellite dishes, solar panels, or HVAC equipment. Ensure they are securely attached and not causing any damage to the roof surface.

9. Documentation and Maintenance Plan

After completing the inspection, document your findings and create a maintenance plan. Include details of any issues discovered and their severity. Prioritize necessary repairs or maintenance tasks based on the urgency and available resources. Regularly review and update the maintenance plan to ensure the roof’s long-term performance.


Why is inspecting a commercial roof important? 

Inspecting a commercial roof is crucial to detect existing or potential issues, prevent costly damages, and extend the roof’s lifespan.

How often should I inspect a commercial roof? 

It is recommended to inspect a commercial roof at least twice a year, ideally in spring and fall, and after severe weather events.

Can I inspect a commercial roof myself? 

While it is possible to conduct a basic inspection, it is advisable to hire a professional roofing contractor for a comprehensive assessment.

What are the common signs of roof damage? 

Common signs of roof damage include leaks, water stains, mold growth, cracked or missing shingles, and deteriorating flashing.

How can I maintain my commercial roof? 

Regular inspections, timely repairs, and proper maintenance, such as debris removal and gutter cleaning, are key to maintaining a commercial roof’s integrity.


Regularly inspecting a commercial roof is a vital part of building maintenance. By following the ten steps outlined in this article, you can effectively assess the roof’s condition and identify potential problems early on. Remember to prioritize safety, document your findings, and develop a comprehensive maintenance plan to ensure the longevity and durability of the roof.