When it comes to building maintenance, the roof is very often overlooked.
Unless of course, there is water is dripping from the ceiling or the attic is inhabited by unwelcome creatures, that is.
In other words, many homeowners and building managers don’t consider the roof a priority unless it’s causing problems.
That’s why preventive maintenance is the best approach — but before that can be done, the roof needs to be thoroughly inspected.
The easiest way to guarantee that the inspection leaves no stone unturned and informs your client about the areas that might need investment is a comprehensive roofing inspection report.
In this blog post, we’ll cover all you need to know about creating your own: what it is, what it should cover, the best practices to follow when creating one and why you should create one using mobile forms.
What Is A Roofing Inspection Report?
A roofing inspection report is a comprehensive checklist that, upon completion, gives you and your client a clear idea of the general condition of the roof.
Depending on the building and roof construction, the inspection report can cover different elements of the roof and include different areas.
The roofing inspection form has two purposes:
- To inform the client about the structural and cosmetic issues that might be hindering the integrity of the room
- To recommend a course of action that will help get the roof back in shape — or preserve the existing condition if it’s unproblematic — including the cost and timeline
What Areas Do You Need To Cover In Your Roof Inspection Form Template?
Depending on the roof’s construction and various specific details, the inspection report may include different aspects of the roofing. However, a roofing inspection report should always cover the following key areas:
Area #1: Roofing Material
Whether it’s ceramic tiles, asphalt shingles, aluminum or steel, the exterior roofing material is what takes the most abuse from the elements.
And while some materials are more durable than others, the roofing still requires regular inspection.
The main reason? Poor condition of the exterior roofing may cause and/or be a sign of underlying structural issues.
When inspecting the roofing, be sure to:
- Check for missing, broken or poorly aligned shingles
- Ensure that all parts of the roofing are secured in place
- Ensure that all the seams are well-insulated
- Check whether the flushing and the caulking around sidewalls and chimneys is intact and sealed
Area #2: Drainage
Over 70% of construction litigation has to do with leakage and water damage.
Drainage is the only line of defense that a roof has against water — that’s why it must be well-maintained.
Poor drainage can lead to a multitude of costly repairs, such as mold removal or an entire re-roofing procedure.
If the drainage is not directing water away from the building properly, it may also cause problems with the surrounding grounds, as well as the building’s foundation and basement areas.
To avoid this, you must ensure that the drainage does its job well when inspecting the roof:
- Remove trash and debris from the drainpipes and the gutters
- Ensure that the drainpipes are securely attached to the gutters and the walls
- Check for rust, holes, and other signs of wear and tear
- Ensure that the drainpipes are directing the water as far away from the building’s foundation as possible
Area #3: Ventilation
Chimneys, vents, and air ducts tend to be a roof’s weakest points, as they penetrate the roofing and insulation materials.
If these points of contact between the ventilation structures and the roofing are not insulated well, the whole building may be exposed to a high risk of water leaks and poor thermal efficiency.
Poorly functioning ventilation can also cause serious damage to the entire building — chimneys alone cause over 20,000 fires in the US every year.
To prevent this, be sure to:
- Check whether the vents are obstructed internally or externally and ensure that air flows freely through them
- Ensure that all ventilation structures are fitted with storm caps
- Ensure that the flashing around the protruding structures is well-fitted and well-insulated
- Check whether the roofing is properly cut to fit the ventilation structures snugly
Area #4: Attic
The final section of your roofing inspection checklist should focus on the roof’s underside — namely, the attic.
Thoroughly inspecting the attic is the only way to get a full picture of the roof’s condition. Sometimes, leaks and other damage might not be visible on the exterior, but can be clearly identified from the inside.
Your attic inspection should include the following steps:
- If the roof beams are wooden, check for dark spots or swelling — signs of water leakage
- If the roof beams are steel, check for rust or bending
- Check for mold or condensation
- Check for signs of rodents, insects, or birds
- Ensure that pipes, ventilation elements, and wiring are well-insulated
Best Practices To Follow When Creating Your Roofing Inspection Form
The main purpose of your roofing inspection checklist is to help you take a comprehensive approach to roof maintenance.
However, that doesn’t mean that the checklist must be for your eyes only.
You should always share the findings of your inspection with the building’s owner or manager.
The more comprehensive and transparent your inspection is, the easier it will be for them to make decisions about investing in renovations or maintenance.
However, thoroughness and transparency not the only qualities that your inspection and inspection checklist should have — at least, not from the client’s point of view.
Here are a few other best practices to follow when creating your inspection checklist:
- Speak your client’s language: If you intend to share your checklist with your clients, be sure to make it as understandable for them as possible. Using overly technical terms and complex language will cause the decision-making process to be harder for your clients. Your checklist should be simple enough for your clients to understand the condition of their roof and what course of action you recommend.
- Leave the money out: While it may seem counterintuitive, including prices and estimates into your checklists is not a good idea. Some clients may perceive it as unprofessional, while others might feel pressured by it to make a decision on the spot. Either way, price estimates usually belong in separate documents that are presented at a different stage of your relationship with the client.
- Go visual: As stated above, the point of your checklist is to ensure that you’re as comprehensive and accessible as possible. And in most cases, there is no better approach than making your checklist visual. Including photos, sketches, or diagrams into the checklist instead of long, mundane descriptions will make the contents of your checklist a lot more digestible and help you and your clients better understand the situation you are dealing with.
Why Should You Create A Roofing Inspection Report Using Mobile Forms?
Now that you know what to include in your inspection checklist, it’s time to bring it to life and start using it.
When it comes to physically creating your checklist, your two main options are paper and digital. And while paper forms seem to be the most common solution, they are hardly the most efficient or practical one.
Paper records have many limitations: they can get lost or damaged, they are hard to share with others and, above all, they are costly. They may cost you as much as $8,000 per year, in fact.
Mobile forms are a much more convenient solution for creating your roofing inspection report. All you need to get started is your smartphone. After the report is live, you can easily share it with your workers or clients.
Mobile forms are also cloud-based — which means that they are a lot more secure than paper records and it is nearly impossible for them to get stolen or lost.
Finally, mobile forms give you a lot more flexibility when it comes to visualization, customization, and interactivity, allowing you to create a checklist that best suits your needs and the needs of your client.
Ready to build your own checklist? Try doForms for free!
Roofing Inspection Report Takeaways
Roofing maintenance and repairs can be costly and time-consuming — that’s why many building owners and managers tend to neglect them.
Ironically, the only way to avoid roof maintenance is more maintenance — albeit, the preventive kind.
To ensure that this preventive maintenance is effective, a thorough approach to roofing inspection is required to ensure that no areas or issues are overlooked.
The easiest way to achieve this level of thoroughness is with the help of a comprehensive roofing inspection checklist that leaves no stone unturned.
To maximize the effectiveness of your roofing inspection report, be sure to create it using a mobile form platform, like doForms, that emphasizes accessibility, customization and security.