According to statistics published in Architect Magazine, around 40% of building-related problems stem from water intrusion, mostly related to incorrect installation.
It\’s easy to spot installation issues and prevent complications when it comes to things like your HVAC and equipment. It\’s a little more difficult when the item is out of sight, like your roof, especially when your hands are full running a business.
A roof inspection is the best way to stay on top of roof maintenance and repairs if you want to avoid a costly roof replacement. The average commercial roof inspection cost is between $200 and $500, depending on your circumstances.
Keep reading to learn about what affects the cost of a roof inspection, what\’s included in this service, and how to save on your commercial roof inspection.
What\’s Included in Roof Inspection Costs?
It\’s impossible to predict what you\’ll pay for a roof inspection until you ask for an estimate from a roofing company. Every contractor has a different price based on their hourly rate, current special offers, and included services.
Most roof inspections include the following checks:
Roof Vents and Ventilation
Poor ventilation will trap hot and cold air in your building, drive your energy bills sky-high, and shorten the lifespan of your roof.
A roof inspector will inspect the air vents on your roof to ensure they comply with Wisconsin building codes and check for damage or obstructions that could hamper the performance of the vents.
Number of Asphalt Shingle Layers
If you\’re one of the few building owners to have an asphalt roof on their commercial building, the contractor will check how many layers of shingles you have on your roof. This will impact the cost if you need to replace your commercial roof, as they\’ll need to tear off all the layers to get started.
While most buildings only have one layer of shingles, older buildings might have up to four layers. That\’s because building owners sometimes opt to save on teardown costs by installing a new layer of shingles over the old one.
If your aging asphalt roof is on its last legs, now\’s the time to consider replacing it with a more durable commercial roofing solution.
The Condition of Your Roof, Roof Decking, and Penetrations
Some types of roofs can last up to 100 years, but you\’ll never know how much life your roof has left without undergoing a roof inspection. The inspector will look at the condition of your roof to determine if it needs replacement.
They\’ll also look for things like backed-out nails, which can cause leaks.
Your roof decking is the foundation of your roof system. A roof inspector will check this for signs of damage, rot, and loose nails.
The term \’roof penetration\’ refers to anything that\’s sticking out of your roof. A roof inspector will look at your chimney, skylights, and any relevant pipes to ensure they\’re still well attached and unlikely to cause leaks.
Your Roof Flashing
Roof flashing comprises metal placed in open valleys or where it butts up against a chimney or wall. Rusted, loose flashing can cause leaks.
Some aspects of roof wear and tear or damage might not show on the outside of your building. When they examine the building from the inside, roof inspectors can often detect signs of damage like:
- Leaking vents and chimneys
- Holes in the ceiling or walls
- Water stains
- Wood rot
- Light from outside shining through the roof
Roof Inspection Report
A roof inspection report contains a summary of the roof inspector\’s findings regarding your roof. It usually includes the following:
- Summary of the process and any issues detected at the time
- Any recommended repairs
- Estimated roof repair or replacement costs
- Any concerns about roof failure
Additional Costs and Considerations
Apart from the basic roof inspection cost, which mainly covers labor, there are a few other things that can impact the cost of roof inspection services. These are:
Most roof inspectors include the cost of a roof compliance report in their prices. A roof compliance certificate is different from the report and may cost between $75 and $200 extra.
A certification describes the roof\’s condition in general terms and draws a conclusion from it. This usually involves an estimate of the roof\’s remaining lifespan.
You\’ll only need a roof inspection certificate if you want to sell your building, although some commercial building owners choose this option for peace of mind or insurance purposes.
Commercial Roof Inspection
Commercial membrane roofs dominate the roofing industry in the USA. They\’re also the easiest to maintain and inspect.
Most roof inspectors charge per square foot when conducting a commercial roof inspection. So, depending on the size of your building, you could end up paying up to $1,000 for your roof inspection.
Commercial roof inspectors must also take heed of more stringent OSHA requirements when inspecting commercial roofs, and this can make the process a little more complicated.
Roof Repair Costs
If your roof inspector finds that your roof needs repairs, it\’s important to act on this information right away. Small fixes carried out promptly can save you thousands of dollars down the line.
Ask your roof inspector to provide a detailed estimate of the costs involved in repairing your roof, compare prices with other local roofing services, and get these fixes underway as soon as possible.
Roof Inspection Cost Factors
Apart from the basics mentioned above, there are a few more factors that will determine the cost of your roof inspection. These are:
Nowadays, you can choose from a range of roof inspection methods to suit your needs. Each of these will impact the cost of your roof inspection as follows:
Physical Roof Inspection
A physical inspection is the most affordable method of roof inspection, with costs ranging between $75 and $200. It involves a professional roof inspector climbing a ladder and examining your roof.
This method works best on low-slope commercial roofs with easy access.
Drone-Powered Roof Inspection
Thanks to technology, roof inspectors needn\’t face the risks involved in climbing onto a roof. Instead, a trained professional flies a camera-enabled drone around the roof, recording footage of the surface as they go.
On the ground, a roofing expert then assesses the recording to make an official diagnosis of the roof\’s condition. Drone inspections cost between $150 and $400.
Infrared Roof Inspections
This method involves using infrared roof thermography to detect trapped moisture issues on flat roofs. It helps inspectors spot potential issues that are invisible to the naked eye and drones.
These advanced inspections cost between $400 and $600.
It\’s not impossible to conduct a roof inspection yourself, but it\’s always a bad idea. Although you might be able to detect major problems like glaring leaks, many potential roof issues are invisible to the untrained eye.
Rather, hire a professional to complete your roof inspection. DIY inspections are risky and rarely save you any money in the long run.
The larger your commercial roof is, the more you\’ll pay to get it inspected. Large roofs require extra team members and more time, resulting in higher labor costs for the roofing contractor.
While it\’s easier to walk on low-slope roofs and detect any flaws in the roofing materials used on these roofs, these roofs usually have more protrusions that require extra attention.
Solar panels can also delay the process and drive labor costs up.
Roof Slope and Accessibility
It\’s dangerous for roof inspectors to access steep roofs, so it\’s best to harness the power of more expensive drone technology for these roof inspections.
Low-slope commercial roofs don\’t usually present any problems with slope or accessibility.
Roof inspection prices vary wildly across the United States. That\’s because factors like the local cost of living, town age, and average building size can all impact the average cost of a roof inspection.
The local climate also plays a major role in determining roof inspection costs. Humid climates and inclement weather cause more roof damage and result in roofs deteriorating quicker.
This means there\’s a high demand for roof inspection services in these areas and correspondingly higher prices.
When Should You Get a Roof Inspection?
It\’s best to arrange for a roof inspection at least twice a year if you want to stay up-to-date with roof maintenance and avoid expensive repairs or roof replacement.
However, there are some instances where you must arrange for a roof inspection as soon as possible. These are:
Signs of Interior Water Damage
Interior drips and ceiling stains are telltale signs of a leaking roof. The trouble is, they usually show up days or weeks after your roof sustains damage.
The entry point for the water may also be yards away from the interior evidence of a leak. A commercial roof inspector has the correct equipment to track the leak and repair it at the source.
Soaring Energy Bills
If your energy bills are unusually high, this may be a sign of a damaged or aging roof. Any breach of your building\’s envelope results in hot or cold air escaping, which sends your HVAC into overdrive, causing it to use more electricity than normal.
Get in touch with a roof inspector to find the breach and repair it.
An Old Roof
Like all things, roofs wear out over time. As they age, they\’re more susceptible to damage from the weather and simply wear out over time.
Old roofs require more regular inspections to keep up with their extra maintenance needs, but no matter how well you care for them, you\’ll eventually need to consider roof replacement.
After a Severe Weather Incident
Inclement weather can cause water to pool on your roof or lead to ice dams. Both of these phenomena will lead to material damage to your commercial roof and ultimately cause it to leak.
Air can also become trapped between the layers of a commercial roof, resulting in bubbles and blisters.
For Insurance Claim Purposes
Insurance companies usually require a roof inspection report if you want them to reimburse you for roof damage. These inspections will help highlight the probable cause of any damages and help you get the compensation you need.
How to Save Money on Your Roof Inspection
Although roof inspections can save you money down the line, they can also become unnecessarily costly unless you follow some common sense tips. These include:
- Always compare prices from various local contractors
- Avoid scheduling inspections during prime periods, like weekends
- Stay-up-to-date with your roof inspections
- Choose the right inspection method for your roof
- Look for discounts on multiple inspections
- Keep trees near your building trimmed
- Check with your insurer about any inspections included in your policy
A Rundown of Roof Inspection Costs
A roof inspection includes a visual examination of a building\’s roof and is a critical part of building maintenance. You can usually arrange an inspection by contacting a roofing company, which will send a qualified person to perform this service.
These professionals may use a drone or infrared imaging to inspect your roof, or they might do it in person. Roof inspections can reveal the need for a roof replacement or highlight necessary roof repairs.
In most cases, roof inspections help building owners keep their roofs in good shape for as long as possible. There are a few ways to save money on your roof inspection cost, but it\’s always better to pay for a roof inspection now.
Getting your roof inspected and repaired is always cheaper and more convenient than coping with a roof replacement in the not-too-distant future.
We can help you make the best decision for your commercial roof in Wisconsin. Get in touch with our team of experts today.