The Roof Survey – A Key Component of Good Building Management

Ellen Lockwald

Ellen Lockwald


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The Roof Survey – A Key Component of Good Building Management

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As the weather turns warmer, building managers look to the exteriors of their buildings for signs of damage.  One of the primary concerns of good building management should be the care and maintenance of all roof structures, as damaged or deteriorating roofs can have serious impact on both the interiors and exteriors of your commercial properties.

However, before implementing a roof maintenance program, it is wise to first have the roofs of all of your commercial properties evaluated by a  professional.

A professional roof consultant will provide you with a comprehensive roof survey report that includes the following:

  1. A roof plan or plans that label each roof area and show all the projections and drainage patterns of the roof. This information can be helpful in determining those areas with the greatest potential for water intrusion.
  2. Identification of the roof assembly in each roof area. Most roof assembly documents will include the deck type, vapor retarder (or not), fire stop (or not), insulation (type, thickness and taper or not), and the roof membrane. This information will assist in determining the correct method for providing successful repairs and/or maintenance.
  3. The condition of the existing roof membrane and flashings. You’ll get a good idea of where and when repair and/or replacement will be needed.
  4. Identification of the manufacturer and age of the existing roof membrane. You’ll get a basic understanding of how much more life expectancy you can anticipate from the membrane.
  5. Identification of the manufacturer warranties and the conditions of the warranty. This will help you fully understand what is covered and what is not.
  6. Identification of the installing contractor, contractor warranty and the conditions of the warranty. You’ll clearly know what recourse, if any, you would have in the event that flawed materials or roof installation discrepancies are discovered.
  7. A maintenance budget and projected reroofing date with a budget. This will provide you with baseline information to use when negotiating contracts and establishing timelines for roof maintenance and replacement.

Most building managers may not have the expertise needed to create this type of comprehensive roof survey.  While some roofing contractors may offer this service, it can present a potential conflict of interest.  If your roof survey is performed by an independent professional roof consultant, you avoid potential conflicts and are assured of a complete and accurate assessment.

The professional roof consultant should be a member of RCI (formally known as the Roof Consulting Institute) and have the credentials required to conduct a professional survey.  The survey should be done by a Registered Roof Consultant (RRC) or at least be reviewed by a RRC and signed/stamped by the RRC to validate the survey’s findings.

Once your survey report is in hand, building management should be able to more effectively organize and manage your roof asset. K2N Crest specializes in creative problem solving in the practices of architectural design, structural engineering, architectural engineering, interior renovation, forensic engineering and roof consulting.  Building owners and managers throughout Illinois and Hawaii look to K2N for their architectural, structural and roof evaluation needs.  www.k2n.com

Ellen Lockwald

Ellen Lockwald

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