Commercial Roof Inspection & Survey

There are two types of commercial roof inspection and valuation survey. If you are thinking of having a roof inspection, but actually need a survey, you might end up asking for the wrong service. 

In order to avoid any confusion, we explain both of these terms and share inspection methods so you can do the inspection by yourself if you don’t feel like calling the professionals. 

Our professionals perform the commercial roof survey before starting a replacement or repair project. Alternatively, roof inspections include real estate dealings or insurance assessments.  

commercial roofing by elm city roofing
commercial roof inspection

Elm City Roofing

Commercial Roof Inspection

Typically, the property inspector performs the commercial roof inspection. These inspections clearly highlight the condition of the commercial building, tend to be brief, and most are done visually. A commercial roof inspection is as important as:

  • Fire safety Inspection
  • Wood Durability Inspection
  • Lead-Based Paint Inspection
  • Environmental Inspection
  • Asbestos Inspection
  • Air Quality Inspection
  • Radon Inspection
  • Roof Condition and Lifetime of Roof
  • Building Envelop

Commercial Roof Survey

Commercial roof surveys are typically performed by professional companies like Elm City Roofing. These surveys are intended to declare the state and value of the roof structure, membrane, and insulation.

In addition to the visual inspection, different samples and other measurements are taken. With a commercial roof survey, you will know:

  • Membrane, deck, and insulation condition
  • Flashing condition
  • Metal edge condition
  • Drain and gutter condition
  • Wall copping and surface condition
  • Slope of roof
  • Any moisture or standing water
  • Drainage condition
  • If additional ventilation or drains are needed

After the survey, you will receive a report outlining the different technical specifications and observations, as well as a conclusion. The survey is usually a written document and may include photos of the different roof elements. You can also have a blueprint or drawing of the technical specification of your roof that may include vents, HVAC, Drains, etc.

Infrared Survey

To better understand the quality of the roof and its insulation, an infrared moisture survey is performed. This survey is performed in the evening when the temperature drops.

Pictures are taken by the infrared camera to locate any spots where the insulation is wet. With infrared photos, estimates for replacement of the insulation are much easier.

Commercial Roof Survey Checklist

Hot weather, as well as cold weather, is bad for your commercial roof so it is helpful to conduct an inspection by yourself to avoid any expensive repairs or replacement. Here is what professional inspectors look for while doing the roof survey.

What Can Go Bad On a Roof?

With cold weather, you may experience moisture that can lead to roof leaks, frozen gutters or drains, and snow buildup. 

Extreme weather can also create roofing problems. Temperature changes cause the roof to expand or contract which can lead to cracks, leaks, and even collapsing of the roof.

Additionally, watch out for freezing water in the cracks of the roof. The will widen as ice melts and temperature rises. When the water starts to freeze again the cracks grow even wider.

When Do You Need a Roof Survey for Commercial?

To find if a roof needs replacement or repair, a roof survey is needed. You can also survey the roof by yourself with the help of our checklist below, which will help you figure out what to look for. 


1. Conduct the detailed Survey


If you want to keep your roof in perfect condition you need to perform a complete evaluation of your roof.

You can look for:

  • Decking
  • Roof Vents
  • Flashing
  • Field Tears
  • Gutters
  • Drainage Pipes

A regular survey can help make you aware of tiny cracks that can result in wider cracks in the winter.  You can perform the inspection by yourself but you might not be able to find everything that professional roofing professionals can find.

2. Clean Debris

 While inspecting, you should look for debris that needs replacement or removal.  Debris can hold branches, leaves, and other things that can cause water to clog. Removal of this debris allows water to easily drain from the rooftop. 

3. Inspect Ponding Water

You can check for ponding by looking for slow draining lines and drains that are totally blocked. Look for different color changes and stains on the roof around the drains if you are experiencing slow or blocked drains.

4. Look for Flashing



Flashing includes stacks, walls, and curbs. To check for the flashing, look for any cracks or crevices along the roof.

Most commonly, you will find cracks and other failures around transition points. Flashing can go from flat to vertical due to additional stress on that section of the building. If you happen to find any flashing, it is important to make these repairs before winter comes.

5. Check the Field for Any Cracks


A full inspection of the roof can help uncover any debris or signs of cuts or tears. If you have an inspection team helping you, they can also provide a flood test.

6. Inspect Termination in Parapet Walls


You also need to look for termination on your parapet walls and ensure that it is properly sealed. The experts can look at the base of the wall for any signs of cracking or leaking.

7. Check the Edge Detail

Professionals can look for edge details, but if you are conducting the survey yourself, keep an eye out for any securing fixtures that may be lost or compromised. 

8. Inspect Roof Surface

Professionals can inspect the roof thoroughly but you can check for any leaks or cracks with a visual inspection of the surface.

9. Check the Gutter


Checking gutters and drains is important because they can both create ponding of water. If any gutter is clogged, water will likely hold on the roof. Such ponding of water on the PVC roof membrane will not void the warranty but it is important to check as it can eventually lead to cracks and other things that can void the warranty.

10. Look for Downspouts


Check the downspouts or downspouts terminating to the ground level to ensure water is draining properly. A professional company like Elm City Roofing can help find any damage you may miss.

Let’s Build Something

You can contact our Elm City Roofing professionals to know how we will be going to help you. We are here to handle any roofing-related needs and to answer your questions. Our team of experts will divulge any service you need.


17 Pershing Ave, East Haven, 06513

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