South Florida Roof Inspections
CPM Real Estate Inspections (CPMREI) provides:
- comprehensive inspections of existing roofs
- consulting engineering services for the installation of new roofs for commercial and residential property
The Causes of Roof Failures
When a roof fails prematurely(under normal conditions) it is usually traceable to the design, selection of materials or workmanship issues. A Roof Inspection by CPMREI will usually reveal probable causes and lead to recommendations for corrective actions. This non invasive visual inspection involves applying our knowledge of roofing systems and the typical problems we encounter when inspecting roofs during and after installation.
When water penetrates a roof it usually does so at critical assembly points. These include: roof penetrations such as curbed openings for air conditioning equipment and exhaust vents, plumbing and electrical lines and flashing at valleys and walls. These areas can usually be inspected in the attic of a home or under the roof of a commercial building. In unusual circumstances the extent of the problems cannot always be completely quantified without further study which may involve invasive procedures or special testing equipment.
Evidence of a roof leak most always first shows up on the underside of the roof prior to being noticed in the occupied spaces below. Small stains or corrosion on structural steel or metal decking in commercial buildings and moisture stains on wood trusses or plywood sheathing in residential roofs are things that we look for. Roof leaks usually occur gradually. Finding them before they affect building materials in the occupied spaces below is of great importance.
In certain instances the evidence of leaks is hidden to the extent that invasive procedures are necessary. Small holes can be cut in a roof to search for water penetration under the water proofing materials. Special non invasive testing devices can also be employed to measure moisture content in roofing materials and walls and map the locations. These techniques add a significant cost to the investigation and are typically not used unless necessary to measure the extent of the damage.
The Best Time to Ask for a Roof Inspection is Before a New Roof is Installed
A roofing consultant can evaluate the expected performance of a roof before installation starts and make recommendations or raise concerns to the owner if the selected materials and installation details are not suitable for the type of roof structure. Problems that typically occur in roofs need to be addressed before the new roof is installed by changing the design specifications. One of the most prevalent problems with so called “flat roofs” is that they shouldn’t be flat. Adding slope to properly drain a roof and directing rainwater to scuppers or drains can easily be achieved before a new roof is installed if the specifications call for it. Roofing contractors won’t add it for free and likely won’t tell you about the importance of it if they think you are most concerned with price. What the price under these circumstances does not include is the reliability, maintenance cost and longevity of the roof.
What a Roofing Consultant can Do for You
A roofing consultant can value engineer options with the owner and help select a good design and a contractor with the right qualifications for the job to deliver a professionally installed and lasting roof. An owner not experienced in roofing projects can easily be persuaded by attractive pricing to install a roof that won’t meet expectations. Many roof problems are due to faulty engineering design. Even a good roofer cannot deliver a quality roof with a bad design.
After the design is complete and a roofing contractor is selected a roofing consultant can oversee the installation to ensure that everything is installed correctly. Workmanship issues can spoil a good design and leave the owner with unwanted problems. Inspectors from local Building Departments having jurisdiction in enforcing code usually do not cite a contractor for workmanship issues. Someone knowledgeable about roofing should oversee all of the work and represent the owner. An independent inspector does that.
Mistakes Made By Property Owners
Because of the cost of a new roof, it is understandable that owners are willing to try less costly remedial actions; however, corrective actions are sometimes taken by roofing service contractors that do not address the underlying cause of the problems. A roof with a poor design or application of original materials may require more than a patch. Chronic leaks are many times widespread throughout a roof. When this occurs it usually cannot be corrected without significant work that can approach the cost of installing a new roof. A roofing consultant can help the owner justify their choice of making repairs or replacing a roof. Property managers and boards for condominium associations need an independent analysis by a roofing consultant to make the right decisions.
Ignoring a roofing problem or continually patching it can be even more expensive to the owner. Chronic roof leaks are the number one cause of mold in homes and commercial buildings. Building materials under a roof usually cannot withstand constant dampness and weaken over a short time. Mold grows in these conditions and can affect the health of the occupants in a structure. Ignoring mold’s affect on people can lead to litigation. The only effective remedy is to replace all affected materials, permanently fix the source of the water intrusion and test the air inside the structure to verify full remediation. If you own property with chronic roof leaks, you cannot afford to ignore them as much as you should afford to fix them properly.
CPM Real Estate Inspections helps owners understand their roofing problems and make the right decisions. Call us at 561-866-9956 or contact us by email.View a sample of our professionally written Roof Inspection Reports … CLICK HERE »