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Flat Roof Inspection Checklist

Flat roof systems can deteriorate from normal wear, severe weather conditions (e.g., wind and snow loads), building movement (e.g. settlement, material contraction/expansion), and improper design/construction. Any flat roof repairs not dealt with after the first signs of failure can result in increased damage to the building envelope and interior finishes.

Roof inspections are used to determine if the roof system is performing according to its intended function, identify signs of weakness, deterioration or hazard and to identify needed repairs. Before performing a flat roof replacement, repair or recovery, a planning phase must first be completed. It is important to:

  • Perform a flat roof inspection with site inventory including recording of all necessary property information of flat roof
  • Detect layer sequence and state of the flat roof and insulation with core cut samples
  • Design a specific restructuring plan based on the collected information taking into account the cost and all details
  • Provide comprehensive information to the client and if necessary clarification of important points of detail in advance

Timely roof repairs will protect the structure and finishes of your building from damage. A properly installed new roof will provide years of protection for your building. Consult with a RoofMaintenance.ca technician and have your flat roof throughly inspected and serviced by an experienced flat roofing contractor.

Click here to download our roof inspection checklist.

To Repair or Replace
ask yourself
  • Are there cracks, punctures or blisters in the flat roof membrane?
  • Are there water leaks and ponding?
  • Are there sections of water damaged insulation
  • Is there water staining on the interior and exterior wall surfaces?
  • Is there moss growth on the roof?
Consider your options...
  • Repair specific damaged areas of the flat roof.
  • Repair shallow surface corrosion of metal roofing by priming and painting.
  • Replace roofing material that has widespread damage or deterioration. All roofs have a limited life span.
  • Consult a professional to determine ways to reinforce the structure.
and if you don't
  • If damaged or worn out roofing is not repaired or replaced, probems will only get worse.
  • You will run the risk of having to replace rotten sheathing, fascia or structural members.
  • An unusually heavy snow or ice load could break structural members.

Ice Damming
ask yourself
  • Does the roof have eave areas that are prone to ice build-up?
  • Does the snow readily melt off of large areas of the roof?
Consider your options...
  • Improve insulation and air sealing to reduce heat loss and to limit warm air from leaking into the attic from the living space. Ice damming is most commonly caused when snow melts on a warm roof and then freezes at the colder roof edge.
  • Install eave heater cables as a compromise solution, although these are not always effective.
and if you dont
  • Ice damming will continue to cause water to back up within the mebrane and cause leaks.
  • Ongoing leakage will wet the roof structure and insulation and can leak onto the ceiling areas causing rot, staining and structural deterioration.

ask yourself
  • Are the various roof flashings in good condition?
  • Is any caulking that has been used to seal flashing material damaged or missing?
  • Is there damage to valley flashing material?
  • Was the flashing installed properly?
Consider your options...
  • Repair or replace damaged or improperly installed flashing.
  • Replace damaged or missing caulking.
  • Consider using a trained professional to deal with damaged flashing. Flashing details can be complicated.
and if you dont
  • Damaged or worn out flashing will allow water penetration.
  • Ongoing leakage wets the roof structure and can leak onto the ceiling areas causing rot, staining and structural deterioration.

Roofing Material
ask yourself
  • Is the current roofing material appropriate for the job? Would another material be a better choice?
  • Is the roof structure capable of supporting the roof material (for example, clay tiles)?
  • How old is the roofing material? Has it reached the expected life of the product? Would a different material be a better choice?
  • What types of flashing materials are available?
  • What are the special installation procedures for the various roofing choices?
Consider your options...
  • Research the available products. Find out which products quality contractors and renovators are using in your area. Building supply companies and the Internet are sources for information on products and application.
  • Feel free to browse our "Types of Flat Roofs" page for more information.
  • Choose materials that are appropriate for your building, have an acceptable life expectancy and warranty.
and if you dont
  • Some roofing material may not be warranted for certain applications.
  • The roof structure may not be able to support the load and could collapse from the weight of the heavy materials.
  • The roofing material you choose may not last as long as you expect. This will result in poor performance and increased cost from another roofing job.
  • Improperly installed materials may void the warranty.

Latest News & Posts

Commercial Industrial RoofingRoof Scan.ca Acquired by Roof Maintenance.ca In a push to provide the Greater Toronto Area with the highest quality commercial and industrial flat roofing services available, Roof Maintenance.ca has acquired ownership of infrared flat roof inspection expert and industrial roofing contractor Roof Scan.ca. This unification of companies will create the most effective commercial and industrial roofing services the Greater Toronto Area [...] Read more