Roofing and Inspection


Roof Repair and Inspections

A commercial facility's roof is a critical asset that should be regularly inspected, carefully managed, and continuously improved for safety and efficiency

Todd R. Robertson, PE, CRE, CMRP, LEED AP, PMP

Head of Technical Services, North America

It’s a Thursday morning, the newsroom is bustling as the daily news rolls in. There was no time to report those brown spots on the ceiling tile to Maintenance. Besides, they were above Martha’s desk, who was out on sick leave since Monday, anyways. You had to finish your story before the morning news and then it slipped your mind.

Fast forward to Friday afternoon. Finally, a chance to respond to some emails and wind down. Then suddenly, Crash!! The ceiling tile you forgot to report to Maintenance is now Martha’s latest desk decoration and brown water begins dripping down on top of it all — wreaking havoc on your workspace and making extra work for the cleaning team.

Proper asset management is integral to a high-quality integrated facilities management solution. A facility’s roof is one of the most important assets in any commercial building, and proper maintenance is critical to ensuring that the property stays watertight and protected from the elements. Water penetration can cause serious structural and cosmetic damage if left unrepaired — putting facility users and business continuity at risk.

That’s why fixing leaks immediately — or better yet, ensuring they never occur — prevents unnecessary repairs and facility downtime. To make sure a roof stays in good condition, regular inspections for potential leaks will keep you informed and in control.

Allowing leaks to go unrepaired and ignoring annual roof inspection reminders can cost more in the long run. Poorly maintained roofing systems can easily result in significant cost and operational impacts that go far beyond the cost for proper maintenance. According to the Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association, hypothetically, a 25-year roof that has not seen proper maintenance could end up costing an additional $200,000 in repair costs.

Most roofs not only protect the inside of a building, but support important equipment and assets like air handlers, air conditioning units, heating components, ventilation, and other infrastructure. These functional pieces of equipment are just as important to business operations as a dry and safe facility. They must be serviced regularly, which means a building’s roof is not only a functional facility asset, but a trafficked area to maintain. Keeping a building’s roof clean and free from debris and hazards is an important part of any facility’s safety program.

Fixing Roof Leaks

Fixing leaks immediately — or better yet, ensuring they never occur — prevents unnecessary repairs and facility downtime. To make sure a roof stays in good condition, regular inspections for potential leaks will keep you informed and in control.

Preventing Major Damage with Regular Roof Inspections

Regular roof inspections can prevent major damage from occurring where facility users may not notice until it’s too late. If neglected, a small patch could turn into a major repair or even full roof replacement. Staying informed helps avoid unexpected costs.

ISS can inspect pitch pans, AC units, exhaust pipes, roof vents, skylights, transitions, flashings, soffits, gutters, and skirtings to ensure that potential leak points are always in good repair. While checking these items annually is a smart practice, doublechecking those areas after major storms or winds ensures the roof’s ongoing integrity. In colder climates, inspecting these common leak points as winter approaches and before snow and ice cover the roof for weeks or months at a time may prevent a little — or a lot — of stress later.  

ISS has an extensive network of trusted partners that are held to the highest standards. By sourcing quality suppliers, we reduce our clients’ risk. Not only are roof hazards and leaks a problem for a facility, but poor craftsmanship can also cost in the long run. If you know nothing about the company repairing your roof, you could be opening yourself up to more issues. No matter who coordinates roof repairs or service at your building, perform due diligence and ensure the contractor has a track record of quality work.

Roofing Manager Inspects Roof

Rooftop Safety Improvements that Protect Against Liability

With regular servicing of rooftop equipment and infrastructure, it’s important to make sure that rooftop hazards are safely managed, too. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roofing is the fourth most dangerous job in the United States. Performing regular inspections for safety hazards and making improvements that protect against liability ensure conditions are safe when subcontractors and facility management teams are required to work at heights.

Painting trip hazards like gas lines, HVAC lines, or other objects bright yellow or orange to increase visibility helps keep workers safe while servicing your roof. Painting other important features like access points or safety railings can improve the overall safety of the roof as well.

Roof access points like exterior ladders, hatches, and doors are the most frequented hazard on any roof. As services like HVAC maintenance or cleaning are performed, roof access is always used. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that any access point has safety rails around all sides and toe boards around every side, excluding the access side. The access side is required to have a self-closing gate or an offset — eliminating fall hazard potential.

The second most dangerous fall hazard on commercial roofs is skylights. Not only are skylights easy to miss in regular working conditions, but sun blindness on a bright day or snow cover in the Northeast can increase the risk significantly. OSHA requires that skylights have safety railing around them or be covered in a structural mesh.

Keeping Facilities Safe and Operational

Regular roof inspections allow ISS to mitigate potential risks before they become major problems or cause a dangerous situation for service personnel. ISS can also help identify any hazards that may not be OSHA compliant to make sure maintenance workers are safe.

Working with ISS to improve rooftop safety and continually monitor an asset’s condition can help keep your business moving forward without hassle or unexpected costs for major repairs. 

ISS is committed to extending the life of your assets and to protecting the safety of those working at heights. A building’s roof is critical to continuous, fluid business operations. ISS coordinates all of your asset management needs so that you can stay focused on achieving business outcomes.


Todd R. Robertson, PE, CRE, CMRP, LEED AP, PMP

Todd R. Robertson, PE, CRE, CMRP, LEED AP, PMP

Head of Technical Services, North America

Contact Toddmailto: