The Complete Guide to Commercial Roof Assessments: What to Expect and How to Prepare

The Complete Guide to Commercial Roof Assessments: What to Expect and How to Prepare

Maintaining the longevity and safety of your commercial property is critical, and regular roof assessments are a crucial part of achieving this. Yet, the process of a commercial roof assessment can seem daunting and overwhelming, leaving many unsure of what to expect. In this guide, we will outline the key steps involved in a commercial roof assessment, highlight the benefits of regular assessments, and provide you with expert tips on how to prepare effectively. By the end of this guide, you will have a thorough understanding of commercial roof assessments, and be fully equipped to ensure the safety and security of your commercial property.Determine Your Roof Type

At Moore & Sons, we work on 3 basic types of commercial roofing systems: shingle, metal & EPDM. All of these systems have different issues that are common and have different requirements.

Determine Your Roof Type


You are in good company if your commercial building has a shingle roof. This is the most common type of roof for any commercial or residential structure. We’ll start by determining the roof’s age if you do not know. Next, we’ll check the condition of the shingles and the amount of life those shingles might have based on that condition. We’ll look for areas where shingles are buckling, curling, cracking, or missing. Once the shingles are inspected, we’ll examine the factors contributing to roof health. 

Areas of flashing in valleys & around roof protrusions are closely inspected for potential problems since these tend to cause the most damage to the inside of the building if they are compromised. We’ll assess whether the amount of ventilation and insulation are adequate to maintain good roof health. (These two things are the most common culprits of ice dams in Michigan.) While in the attic or crawl space, we’ll also look for structural health to be sure there hasn’t been any water leaking, rot, or other problems. Finally, we’ll look at your soffit, fascia & gutter system to be sure the edges of your roof are in satisfactory shape & that your gutters are operating properly to move water away from your structure and not allowing water to drip down & cause foundation damage.


If your commercial roof has a metal roof, you *shouldn’t have to worry about the length of roof life quite as much as someone who owns a building with a shingle roof. Metal is often (but not always) a good option. When we approach your roof, we will first check it for any signs of visible rust or damage. We’ll inspect the ridges, edges, and valleys to be sure the water-shedding ability is intact and there isn’t any rust. 

Taking a walk around the roof, we will check the perimeter for any roof protrusions for damage and gaps. Then we’ll look at the nail or screw components that were used to be sure that there isn’t water leakage through those areas, as it is sometimes found that the correct fasteners were not used & small leaks develop around these areas. Inside, we’ll check the insulation & ventilation in the attic to determine whether they are sufficient for our cold Michigan winters. And lastly, we’ll ensure that your fascia, soffit & gutters are all in good condition.


EPDM or low slope roofing systems are a little more involved because these roofs have such low slopes that drainage can be a significant roof health issue. We’ll begin our assessment by walking the roof to be sure that lap sealant was used in all of the necessary locations, at the seams, edges & around any curbs, roof hatches, pipes, etc. We’ll look for signs of pooling water that may indicate a drainage problem. Drainage & snow load issues tend to be the two biggest areas of concern with these types of roofs because of their flat composition. 

Our assessment expert will check all protruding areas for cracks & make sure that water is not able to penetrate the roof envelope to the inside of the building. Then the roof will be inspected for any ventilation & insulation components that are visible externally or internally. Finally we’ll look for rips or tears in any of the roofing material. After a thorough assessment, we should be able to give you a good idea of how much life remains in your EPDM roof system. 

How To Prepare

Preparing for a commercial roof assessment is not difficult. Simply ensure that you are available for a few minor questions, and be sure that access routes to the roof and attic areas are clear for us to access. We’ll take care of the rest! After our inspection is complete, we’ll give you a thorough report so that you are able to determine the next steps you’d like to take. 

Next Steps

After the assessment is complete, it would be good to reach out to your insurance provider to find out which services are covered. Contacting your CPA might also be good to find out if there are any tax deductions for which you might qualify.

How To Reach Us

Moore & Sons is a local, family-owned business in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We’ve been here for a long time and know what it takes to run a company here. We’ve seen businesses come and go over the years and sometimes for things that could be prevented. We love to help fellow business owners in our area by ensuring the health of their building’s roofs. If you’d like to talk to us about setting up a commercial roof assessment, you can call us at 616-453-2222 or contact us here. We’re happy to help with any questions you may have.

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