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Flat Roof Inspection Checklist

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 and maintenance. Any roof repairs not dealt with after the first signs of failure can result in increased damage to the building envelope and interior finishes, and loss of occupant productivity, if damage causes interruption in client services and program delivery. Failure of structural integrity can endanger occupant safety.

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.

home roof inspection checklist




For more details on your roofs current state visit our common roof problems page.


Repair or replace
ask yourself
  • Are there cracks, punctures or blisters in the membrane?
  • Are there water leaks and ponding?
  • Is there water staining on the interior and exterior wall surfaces?
  • Is there moss growth on the roof?
  • Do you have the skills to properly assess the condition of 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.
  • Seek advice from a roofing contractor.
and if you don't
  • If damaged or worn out roofing is not repaired or replaced you will run the risk of having to replace rotten sheathing, fascia or structural members.

Structural problems
ask yourself
  • Does the roof surface appear to be flat without sags or dips?
  • Does water pool in some areas of a flat roof?
Consider your options...
  • Consult a professional to determine if the roof structure is strong enough.
  • Get professional help to determine ways to reinforce the structure.
and if you dont
  • The problem will only get worse.
  • 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.

Moisture problems
ask yourself
  • Is the roof framing or underside of sheathing damp or black?
  • Are the ceiling finishes water stained?
  • Is the attic insulation wet or damp?
Consider your options...
  • Check for roof leaks. Repair any leaks that you find. Attic moisture can be the result of a roof leak or condensation from warm moist air leaking into the attic from the living space.
  • Air seal the ceiling area. Ensure that exhaust fans vent outside and not into the attic.
  • Provide attic ventilation.
and if you dont
  • Continued moisture accumulation will lead to rot and staining of the structure and finishes.
  • Damp insulation will lose some of its insulating value.
  • Mold may grow in the attic area.

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 web site 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.


  • 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.
  • If you notice any of the above while inspecting your roof, you should consult a Roof Maintenance.ca professional as soon as possible.
  • Download your copy of Roof Assessment Worksheet.

Latest News & Posts

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Contact Information

Roof Maintenance.ca
Toronto Flat Roofing Contractors specializing in flat roof repair, flat roof replacement and maintenance since 1999.
  • Mailing Address
  • 1630 Sismet Rd #1
  • Mississauga, ON. L4W 1R5