Rooftop Inspection Checklist For Commercial Properties

Documenting observations during an inspection using our Rooftop Inspection Checklist will save you time and money. Your team’s time is valuable, and in today’s fast-paced environment, you don’t need the wrong checklist slowing you down. So, we’ve put together a concise and convenient Rooftop Inspection Checklist for your commercial properties.

A Rooftop Inspection Checklist is a tool roof inspectors use to record and document observations and recommendations for repair. The downloadable PDF checklist we’ve compiled for your commercial property is easy to use and print and comes with everything you need to guide your roof inspection process through a thorough and efficient inspection process.

In this guide, we will do more than just provide you with a downloadable PDF checklist. We’ve compiled a complete instruction guide that you can use to help train your team on proper roof inspection procedures. So, let’s get started with what you’ll find on our downloadable form.

What We’ve Included in the Rooftop Inspection Checklist (And How To Use)

Rooftop Inspection Checklist (watermarked) by 1stReporting.com.
The Rooftop Inspection Checklist (watermarked). The downloaded version has no watermark.

The first time you look at our Rooftop Inspection Checklist, you’ll notice that it conveniently segments using four sections. To guide you and your team through the inspection process, we’ve outlined the basics of each section below. Feel free to bookmark this page to access it later for easy training, whether it’s first-time training or a refresher; it’s always handy to have a guide to help. Let’s jump right into the segments.

Administrative Information

Included in our administrative section, you’ll come across the standard fare of information regarding the building location, its identifier (where applicable), the date of inspection, and further information. Use this top section to get a snapshot of the inspection’s most vital information. 

Furthermore, using this section to maintain order in your inspection reports filing would be best. Therefore, the proper implementation of including the correct information noted clearly and concisely will help you and your team keep your reports and records of inspection easily accessible for future reference and trend analysis.

The idea behind implementing a system to control your inspections is more than just keeping track of records. Regarding operational experience and efficiency, the intent is to complete the administrative section in advance to act as a placeholder of sorts. You can use these pre-completed reports to track inspection progress throughout the years. 

For example, a company with two flat-roofed properties might want to inspect their roofs quarterly to ensure the proper working order and prevent costly leaks and damage. This hypothetical company would, therefore, have eight inspections to track per year, four per property. 

Suppose you have multiple properties and multiple inspection types to complete annually. In that case, a simple printed inspection template like ours may need to be more robust to cover your inspection documentation needs. Furthermore, as companies grow, more and more forms, templates, checklists, and other documents become required. 

Suddenly administrative roles become required to try to make sense of and order all the documents coming and going. We’ve got the solution for this scenario; it’s 1st Reporting. We’ll talk more about that later. For now, let’s continue with a typical inspection, beginning with the interior of the building.

Roof Interior Inspection

We assume you’ll begin with the interior inspection to ascertain the viability of safe passage on the rooftop. An internal review also helps pinpoint issues if leaks occur, giving the inspector a good idea of where they need to focus their attention.

The interior inspection also reveals factors regarding the rooftop type that may become critical should a serious concern arise from the assessment. However, the crucial aspect is to determine whether walking on the rooftop is safe. If safety is a concern following the internal review, management and potentially building or property owners may need to look at further requirements, which we’ll get to later.

Roof Exterior Inspection

Assuming that the interior inspection presented positive results, the exterior examination commences. This section of our Rooftop Inspection Checklist comprises most of the inspection documentation.

The section follows the same format as the prior section, with a more uniform flow of items starting with debris observation and concluding with finer details like transition edging and seals. 

The format follows a yes or no check, with room for minor notations and observation notes section following each inspection point. It would be best to ensure that any observations are concise and brief. In other words, the observations should immediately lead with the observation point and refrain from speculation or opinion.

Further Work Required

Roofs, like everything in life, wear with time. As the sun beats down on roofs, in some areas, so does the weight of winter snow each year. Regardless of the conditions, weather and daily and nightly temperature changes bare down heavily on roofs. Typical inspections following new roof installations may only require a few further repairs, but if it’s been years since professionals refreshed the roof, even the best roof membranes can show signs of wear.

This section of the Rooftop Inspection Checklist sets a blank area where your team can note the required work they recommend, following their notes and observations of the inspection.

How To Use The Rooftop Inspection Checklist

A manager looks on happily as his crews work on roof inspection using the 1st Reporting App.

If you’re this far along, you understand the required basics. However, let’s sum things up from a more detached perspective to gain a better understanding and perspective.

The rooftop inspection begins with a reason. There are several reasons you might want to perform a rooftop inspection, such as leak observation, or maybe you just want to act in a wise preventive manner. Either way, you’ll need to start downloading and printing the template. It’s in PDF format and set up to a standard page size, so all you need to do is download the template, print as many copies as you need, and set one up on a clipboard.

There is one issue with using a paper checklist on a roof, though, especially if the building is tall – wind. We hope you find ours helpful if you insist on using a paper report for your rooftop inspection. However, if you want an even better solution, keep reading because we’ve got something you need to see before you make the decision. Let’s jump into some tips for making your inspections more efficient. And, of course, we’ll talk about what you should try before spending more money printing paper forms that can easily blow off a clipboard on a windy roof.

Tips for More Efficient Inspections

During a rooftop inspection, a rooftop inspector makes observations using the 1st Reporting App on his tablet.
An inspector uses the 1st Reporting app on his tablet to complete inspection observations.

Inspections can slow down operations. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it. However, preventable incidents can take a much bigger bite out of your operational timeframes. So, how are you managing incidents, inspections, and other situations where documentation and observation are critical? Do you have the best systems for more efficient reviews and operations? We’ve got some ideas to help your organization, so without further ado, here they are.

Start With Health And Safety Plans and Standard Operating Procedures

Here’s a typical scenario: A facility has a roof leak and everyone panics. Calls are placed, and people are stirred. You need to send someone (maybe yourself) to investigate. But people need to learn what the proper procedures are for safety. More panic sets in. Is this how you want to have it play out at your organization? I didn’t think so. So, we start with a plan.

To help get things rolling in the right direction, we recommend completing a health and safety Risk Assessment Form. This form will help you identify the potential risks and help clarify your vision of the inspection process so you can ensure proper safety procedures get adequately prioritized.

You know you need a health and safety manual. Similarly, you know that going up on a roof presents a variety of safety concerns. Therefore, the best course of action is to consider the safety of a person who needs to inspect the roof. And ideally, you should preemptively schedule regular roof inspections to ensure that panic from a leak never happens in the first place. After all, according to EHSToday, 99% of accidents at work are preventable, yet it’s impossible to make a genuinely accident-free environment. 

The solution? Create clear and concise Standard Operating Procedures that include the proper safety procedures for a rooftop inspection. Perhaps the SOP for your maintenance department would require this inclusion. For more information on writing SOPs, please read our article: How To Write A Standard Operating Procedure.

Train Your Team On Rooftop Safety

After completing your SOPs and H&S Manual, you must train your team members on the procedures. Remember that similar to a fire watch scenario, any roof inspection should include two people, so one person can act as a spotter and provide immediate attention should the other individual require assistance.

It would be best to ensure appropriate training before any roof inspection. Similarly, you will also need to include the proper documentation procedures as a part of your training regiment. Now, if you’re going to use our downloadable Rooftop Inspection Checklist, we recommend using a folding or closing-via-cover type of clipboard. A robust aluminum clipboard with a cover allows your team to keep their paperwork from blowing away on a breezy roof, albeit at the expense of weight and bulk.

We recommend that your team complete safety training at least once per year and, ideally, a refresher course each quarter. We’ve found that prevention is the best alternative to forced reaction to incidents. And prevention starts with robust training. Please don’t neglect the refreshers; they help.

Use Technology To Your Advantage

There’s more than one way to complete a rooftop inspection correctly. However, some methods are safer than others, and modern technology provides us with some key advantages. Here are a few ways that you can use technology to your advantage:

  • Drones & Aerial Photography – If you have a building with a problematic roof to access, whether because of angle or other reasons, you might consider using a drone for parts of the inspection. There is also the possibility of using thermal imaging to find problems with the roof, and using a drone with this technology has proven beneficial.
  • Software – Using software in place of inspection forms and checklists is more than a great idea. Why? Because with the right software like 1st Reporting, you can use the same software for multiple applications, from inspections like the roof inspection to incidents like someone requiring first aid. However, it doesn’t stop there. You can customize your templates precisely the way you want.
    With 1st, you can use this technology to streamline any process. You can also put a checklist, any inspection, any type, and we’ve got you covered. Can your printed paper do that? We didn’t think so.

Conduct Regular Inspections

We discussed the use of proper training and refresher training. The conclusion was that repeated training was better than less or no training, right? We can apply the same logic to the inspection frequency of often neglected items like building roofs. That is, neglected until the water starts coming in. However, a regular inspection routine can thwart water’s attempts to infiltrate your workplace. In our opinion, the benefit of periodic inspections is pretty clear common sense.

Monitor Follow-Up Work Requirements

Once you have a robust schedule for inspections using the best inspection technology available to make things as efficient and concise as possible, you need to consider the inevitable observation of damage and required further work. It would be best to approach this situation similarly to our initial approach to the inspection process. That is, we need to create a clear and concise method to manage further work required, found during the inspection.

A simple Standard Operating Procedure is a great place to begin, but using technology to help guide the inspection process and follow up with further work is the best solution. With 1st Reporting, you can do just that. You can implement an initial inspection, connect it to a work order, and connect that to a follow-up inspection to conclude the scenario.

Furthermore, with 1st Reporting, you can also use the powerful features of the report dashboard to visually see, on your choice of map, no less, all the reports, inspections, or incidents input to the system. You can create customized reports to help identify key indicators and trends within your organization. Managing a simple roof inspection just got a whole lot easier. Try 1st Reporting today and find out for yourself.