Why invest in an annual visual roofing inspection program?

The #1 cause of roof failure is due to the absence of maintenance and routine inspections. 

Inspections Expose Deficiencies and Defects

Something small and easily repaired may become a major roofing deficiency with the potential to develop into a serious problem. Such problems may cause damage to other elements in the building structure. And when such situations happen, building operations are impacted affecting business and income potential.

When a roof is routinely inspected and on a maintenance program, its service life extends the value of the asset. The asset-owner is then able to proactively prepare for its eventual replacement.


Regular Visual Inspections Save Money Extending the Roof’s Service Life

A little preventive maintenance will eliminate the need for future expensive repairs.

The fact is regular roofing assessments flag deficiencies before costly damage occurs. They also assist in the planning of future roofing repairs, replacement and retrofitting.

Annual vs. Biannual Roof Inspections

We typically recommend bi-annual roof inspections however an annual roof inspection at the minimum for every roofing system is necessary to develop and execute a roofing maintenance program effectively. Such programs extend roof service life.

In our region (North Eastern Ontario) we are subject to extreme temperatures as well as varying weather conditions in the fall, winter, spring and summer seasons. Such elements that can impact the roofing assembly structure include wind, rain, hail, heavy snow, and ice.

Building Safety

Safety for those inhabiting the building asset is also a priority. Roofing failures can put lives at risk at any time, so for that reason, regular visual roofing inspections ensure secure conditions for all involved.

Regular roofing assessments address roofing components and their intended objectives as well as mould and other environmental challenges that have the potential to affect human health. 

That water infiltration is most often the cause of such problems and is the leading cause of construction litigation with billions spent collectively every year; annual assessments are minimal relative to such expenditures.

Roofing Maintenance Programs

When the life of the roof extends by one year, the cost of the roof maintenance plan will break even. When the life of the roof extends by two or three years, the plan will reduce roofing expenditures by a multiple of their costs.

Maintenance programs are developed from the annual roofing assessment. Again this will keep costs down, while maintaining and extending roof service life preventing potential costly and destructive roofing failures. 

Who Should Perform an Annual Roofing Inspection?

Roof-Tek Consulting and Design (Roof-Tek) is owned and operated by Senior Roofing Consultant Edsel Mynssen. Mr. Mynssen is a qualified roof inspector with a Registered Roofing Observer designation and Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Science, Civil Engineering. With more than 25 years of knowledge in the civil engineering industry, Mr. Mynssen is experienced in problem-solving and delivering quality services to clients of all portfolio sizes.

A qualified roof inspector such as Mr. Mynssen will walk the entire roof area to identify and photograph observations of deficiencies. Mr. Mynssen will also perform a non-destructive infrared moisture survey to locate moisture inside the roofing assembly not visible to the naked eye.

The Annual Inspection Report

The report will contain information gathered during the inspection, recommendations of corrective actions related to the cited deficiencies along with identified maintenance procedures to lessen further deterioration of the roofing system.

The report will also include estimated budgets for recommended roof repairs, retrofits or replacement. A roof plan is always included in the report indicating roof elements and cited deficiencies as well.

Roof-Tek recommends asset owners participate in an annual roofing assessment program to realize the maximum service life their existing roofing systems as a standard procedure regardless of their portfolio size.

Example Deficiencies

Roof staining is a result of many causes from algae collection, water ponding to metal component deterioration. In the case above the staining appears to be related to the metal flashing housing the skylights. The rust colour could be a result of the metal housing deteriorating due to water ingress or other natural elements corroding the material.

Sealant has a service life like all building components. In the above picture it appears that the sealant has reached its expected useful life and requires removal and re-application of sealant. Ignoring such a deficiency has the potential for water to infiltrate the roofing assembly and ultimately the building interior.


The above picture indicates the modified bitumen roofing membrane exhibiting cracking that is a sign of deterioration and potential for water infiltration. Cracks may be sealed but most importantly monitored with visual inspections and non-destructive methodologies such as as infrared moisture surveys.

The above picture indicates delamination of the top layer of the built-up roof membrane which is separating the layers of the roofing membrane making it vulnerable to water infiltration. This deficiency is easily resolved through repair and follow-up with a maintenance program.


The above photo indicates wrinkling of the modified bitumen roofing membrane that was most likely caused by poor workmanship during installation. Such problems will shorten the service life of the roofing membrane and also increase the potential for water infiltration. Inspection during construction would have prevented this failure.


When a roof is ready for replacement, Roof-Tek is able to prepare the design, as well as prepare the roofing specifications for a request for proposal. Support in selection of contractor as well as facilitation of an inspection plan during construction will ensure quality workmanship and code compliance that ensures the roof is build as intended. 


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