Intrusive Flat Roof Surveys Explained

May 01 2019 0comment

Intrusive Flat Roof Surveys Explained

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While a visual inspection of a flat roof is recommended to be carried out on a regular basis, there are times when you need to take an even closer look by cutting into the roof build up to open up the layers and inspect them thoroughly.   Here are some of the reasons that a more rigorous inspection of a flat roof may be necessary:

  • Leaking – if a flat roof is leaking, then an intrusive roof survey can be a good idea as it will enable you to inspect the insulation layer to confirm whether or not it has become waterlogged and to determine if there is any damage to the deck below.  A visual inspection may allow you to find where the leak is, but water intrusion may have caused damage to the layers of the roofing materials which is not readily apparent without cutting into them for a thorough look.
  • Lack of Information – about the roof build up.  This is especially applicable if you have not always owned the building with the flat roof as the building’s Operation and Maintenance Manual may no longer be available.  This may be the only way to find out what the roof is fabricated if the Manual has gone missing.
  • Past Repairs – if the roof has been repaired in the past, then an intrusive inspection will enable you to evaluate how successful the repairs were and the types of materials used in the repairs.  IN some instances, incompatible materials may cause additional problems, so a survey will determine the next steps in ensuring that the roof integrity remains intact.
  • Old Roofing Membrane – if the roofing membrane is coming to the end of its natural life, an intrusive survey should be carried out to confirm the build up and condition.  This is necessary to ensure that the most cost-efficient overlay or roof replacement is designed.
  • Roof Upgrade – if you’re planning to install additional insulation, then an intrusive roof survey should be carried out to determine the condition of the insulation to ensure that the materials used in the upgrade will perform as planned.  An accurate interstitial condensation risk analysis is absolutely vital when an upgrade is being planned.

There are so many industrial and commercial buildings here in the UK that have flat roofs.  Business owners often purchase industrial or commercial premises with a flat roof in order to expand their business.  Many of these commercial and industrial premises are leased to business owners, in which case, the responsibility for ensuring the integrity of the roof is on the building owner, the landlord. 

For those who have purchased premises, regular roof inspections should be carried out, especially if plant or machinery has been installed on the roof.  This means that the building owner is responsible for ensuring that there is a safe route to access the machinery for maintenance and repair purposes.  One of the most cost-efficient methods of providing safe access across a flat roof is a roof walkway system or a demarcation barrier system that provides a path to the machinery without allowing access to more dangerous areas of the roof, such as the edge or near skylights.


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