Sample roof inspection checklist

Inspecting the roof of your building annually can help prevent a host of problems, from damaged roofing material to leakage. Regular inspections can serve as a baseline for your records and uncover problems with your roof before they make you vulnerable to leaking or damage — and before they begin to impact your business. Inspecting your roof after a weather event can be even more crucial.

Hanover Risk Solutions can provide a comprehensive self-checklist that serves as a record of materials and conditions and can help uncover damage when it occurs.

Download a PDF checklist to help keep your rooftop condition from becoming a rooftop problem.

Type of roofing system (Check all that apply)

  • Thermoset single-ply membrane
  • Built-up
  • Thermoplastic single-ply membrane
  • Metal
  • Modified bitumen
  • Shingle
  • Other (describe)

Rooftop HVAC and exhaust system components (Check all that apply)

  • Air handling units
  • Kitchen exhaust stacks
  • Combustion flues
  • Dryer vent stacks
  • Sanitary system vent stacks
  • Chemical fume hood exhaust stacks
  • Restroom exhaust stacks
  • Other (describe)

Inspection items

Evidence of standing water on ground adjacent to storm drains
Gutters/downspouts/storm drains blocked with debris
Cracks, gaps or other damage to gutters/downspouts/storm drains
Standing water or evidence of past standing water on roof deck
Accumulation of excessive debris on roof deck
Suspected microbial growth or other water damage on roof deck
Evidence of bird, rodent or insect infestation
Roof deck material cracked, damaged or missing
Roof deck seals cracked or broken creating openings for water intrusion
Flashing systems improperly sealed creating openings for water intrusion
Cracks, gaps or other damage to walls
Suspected microbial growth on any rooftop surfaces
Other conditions that may result in water intrusion into the building
Suspected microbial growth on HVAC system components
Air contaminant sources near outside air intakes to air handling units
Outside air intakes blocked, obstructed or broken
Air intake screens broken or missing on air handling units
Excessive noise generated by HVAC system components
Other safety concerns

Roof types


A continuous, semi-flexible, multi-ply roof membrane, consisting of plies (layers) of saturated felts, coated felts, fabrics or mats, between which alternate layers of bitumen are applied. Generally, built-up roof membranes are surfaced with mineral aggregate and bitumen, a liquid-applied coating or a granule-surfaced cap sheet.

Modified bitumen

A bitumen modified through the inclusion of one or more polymers (e.g. atactic polypropylene, styrene butadiene styrene, etc.). Composite sheets consisting of polymer modified bitumen often reinforced and sometimes surfaced with various types of mats, films, foils and mineral granules.


Metal roofing panels come in two types: structural and architectural. Structural panels are designed not to have a continuous substrate and can span between purlins unsupported. Architectural panels need a continuous substrate and cannot span between purlins.


Materials that soften when heated and harden when cooled (e.g., PVC Single-ply Membrane).


A material that solidifies or sets irreversibly when heated (e.g., EPDM Single-ply Membrane).

Roof diagram requirements

A roof diagram must include the following items:

  • Date drawing/diagram completed.
  • Location of all HVAC (heating ventilating and air conditioning system air handling units).
  • Location of exhaust stacks (including type and height of stack).
  • Location of roof drains.

Standing water

Standing water means water remaining on the roof surface for longer than a 48-hour period. Evidence of standing water might be persistent water or rust-type stains on the decking or the accumulation of debris on areas of the roof surface.

Copyright ©2020

This material is provided for informational purposes only and does not provide any coverage or guarantee loss prevention. The examples in this material are provided as hypothetical and for illustration purposes only. The Hanover Insurance Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries (“The Hanover”) specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations contained herein will make any premises, or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. By providing this information to you, The Hanover does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you. The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

LC JAN 2019 LC 12-66
171-0931 (01/14)