What to Expect from a Roof Audit

So you’ve decided to take a proactive approach to managing your roof assets. No more waiting to see water trickling in to give your roofs some much-needed attention. You’ve hired an independent roof consultant to manage your buildings’ roofs. Good move. Now what?

The first step will more than likely be to schedule a roof audit for all of your buildings’ roof assets. What does that mean? Today we’ll take a look at a step-by-step breakdown of the work involved in putting together a thorough roof audit and report so you’ll know what you should expect.

Anatomy of a Roof Audit

First, it’s important to make sure the person performing your roof audit is qualified to do so via experience and/or accreditation. Experience is more important. If you want a few tips on what to look for in a roofing professional, check out 6 Questions to Ask Your Roofing Professional.

The roof audit and reporting process should look something like this:

  1. Accurate measurement of all roofs – no cheating with Google Earth! ;) Measuring on-site also allows us to get a good look at every part of the roof.
  2. Infrared Scan: an audit may or may not include a scan depending on the type of roof and customer requirements. IR scans are a highly effective tool for locating areas of wet insulation – more on this in future posts.
  3. Core Sampling: small sample of the roof to the deck to verify the components of the existing roof system. This must be resealed with compatible materials and should only be performed if it won’t affect the existing roof warranty.
  4. Examine Perimeters and Projections: areas like HVAC flashings, skylights, edges and drains are where 80% of roof problems originate. It’s important to make sure that weather, insects, birds, or visiting contractors have not compromised the roof membrane in these areas. We’re looking for splits, holes, cracks, failed seams or serious deterioration.
  5. Examine Roof Field: as we walk the main field of the roof, we’re looking for ponding water, blistering, failed seams, degradation, delamination of the membrane, and clogged drains.
  6. Adjacent Building Fabrics: we like to take a look at walls, windows, cladding and masonry adjacent to the roof in order to identify any signs of water infiltration that appear to indicate a roof problem.
  7. Deck Inspection: if there’s interior access to it, we’ll take a look at the underside of the roof deck to look for signs of water infiltration, corrosion or mold.
  8. Locate Current Leaking Problems: if clients suspect a leak, we investigate until we locate the source. It may or may not be a roof issue.
  9. CAD Roof Plan: drawing of roofs with measurements and areas of interest highlighted
  10. Roof Audit Report: includes roof plan, description, observations, recommendations, opinions on probable costs and associated timelines.
With all of the details of your roof assets and a plan to manage them in one place, you’re well on your way to extending the life cycle of your roofs, controlling costs, and eliminating the unexpected, expensive problems that go with a more reactive approach to roofing.

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