According to Frankenmuth Insurance, the second most common business insurance claim is water damage*. The third most common? Wind and hail damage. What do those things have in common?
They’re claims related to the environment outside the building. Claims that can be avoided by a well-maintained roof. By regularly inspecting your roof, you can reduce the chance of climate-related risks before they cause serious damage to your building.
That brings about an important question - how often should your roof be inspected?
*For those of you wondering, the most common claim is, of course, for burglary and theft.
What is a Roof Inspection?
To answer that question, it’s important to understand what a roof inspection entails. Let’s do a brief overview:
Your inspector will start inside the building to see if there are any clear signs of water leakage. It’s often easier to tell where a leak is coming from when you’re inside a building - for example, if water is leaking down directly below your vent stack, then your vent stack is probably the source of your leak.
From there, your inspector will get onto the roof. Starting at the perimeter, they’ll inspect the parapet walls for cracks, uplifted seams, and the like. The edges of the roof can get increased wind uplift pressure, that makes the perimeter one of the most likely candidates for problems.
Your inspector may also take a number of other steps to inspect your roof. They may employ infrared technology and/or moisture scanners to detect problems that the human eye can’t spot. They may also take a core sample of your roof to better understand your roof’s construction.
At the end of the inspection they will, of course, provide you with a report. In the best of times, this report will give you the all clear - you won’t have to take any actions at all. Other times, the roofer may recommend that you repair sections of your roof, or even replace the roof entirely.
How Often Should My Roof be Inspected?
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into a roof inspection. It’s work that’s best left to a professional, both because of the inherent dangers of climbing onto a roof, and because of the amount of knowledge necessary to inspect a roof correctly.
The question of how often your roof should be inspected is more complex than it might seem at first. Roof inspections can help you detect problems in their early stages; things like water damage become much more costly the longer they are left.
You’ll want to have your roof inspected about once or twice a year. The newer your roof is, the less likely you are to encounter problems, so the less often you’ll need to have it inspected.
We recommend that new roofs receive routine inspections annually, while roofs 15 years old and above get inspections twice a year. (spring - fall)
When Should I Have My Roof Inspected?
The two best times to have your roof inspected are spring and fall. You probably know why; winter can do a number on a roof, and here in Winnipeg we aren’t exactly known to have the most pleasant winters. An inspection in the fall can ensure that your roof is ready for the incoming blizzards, and an inspection in the spring can help you spot any damage caused during the most brutal of our four seasons.
Those of you who are choosing to have your roof routinely inspected only once a year should opt for fall - an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, after all, and by ensuring your roof is winter-ready you decrease the risk of damage.
You should also opt to have your roof inspected after any major storm, which means you’re likely to have more than one inspection a year - our summer storms can be pretty violent.
Here at Transcona Roofing, our specialty is commercial roofing in Winnipeg. Commercial roofing inspection is particularly important, as problems with roofing can lead to liability concerns. Commercial roofing inspections are so important, in fact, that insurers will create blog posts about how to conduct roofing inspections. The blog in the link recommends semi-annual routine roof inspections, as do we - checking for damage in the spring is still incredibly important. Coupled with an inspection after every major storm, you’ll seriously lessen your risk of problems.