Review and Acceptance of Roof Deck prior to roof installation

November 2020

In new construction and re-roofing, it is the responsibility of the design authority (structural engineer, architect, consultant) to inspect the roof deck and ensure that the roof deck meets the design and construction requirements for a particular project. Appropriate parties such as structural engineer, steel deck contractor, consultant, designer of record, are qualified to INSPECT the structural criteria of a roof deck for slope, structural integrity, method of attachment etc. Refer to CRCA Advisory Bulletin titled Roof Loading, issued June 2014, for further information on structural loading of roof deck.

The roofing contractor (foremen or superintendent) is only required to visually REVIEW the SURFACE of the roof deck to ensure that it is adequate for the installation of the roofing components. The surface must be free of defects or deficiencies such as delamination, large cracks, and corrosion. A roofing contractor cannot assume responsibility for the deck’s slope, structural integrity, method of attachment, equipment or services installed below the deck equipment or any other conditions beyond their control. It is recommended that the roofing contractor, with the appropriate parties, complete a visual review. It is important that the project specifications clearly define the guidelines for inspection and/or repair of a roof deck, including identifying the parties who are responsible for inspection and repairs. The roofing contractor is responsible to REVIEW THE SURFACE OF THE DECK ONLY to ensure it will provide a sufficiently clean, dry and even surface suitable for installation of the roof system components.

Roofing contractors should request a notice in writing from the owner’s representative (engineer, consultant, designer of record) that the roof deck meets the appropriate deck design criteria and has been constructed in accordance with the design requirements. Notwithstanding the receipt or such notice prior to proceeding with the work, the roofer shall not be considered as having established that the roof deck criteria have been complied with. A roof system installed on a sub-standard deck could cause the roofing contractor to assume responsibilities that they may have been able to avoid had a proper deck inspection by the appropriate parties been completed. If the roofing contractor discovers defects/deficiencies in the surface of a deck during their review, this should be immediately brought to the attention of the design authority, building owner or general contractor and rectified prior to accepting the deck and loading materials or manpower. The roofing contractor has accepted the condition of the surface of the roof deck once they start the roof installation.

The opinions expressed herein are those of the CRCA National Technical Committee. This Advisory Bulletin is circulated for the purpose of bringing roofing information to the attention of the reader. The data, commentary, opinions and conclusions, if any, are not intended to provide the reader with conclusive technical advice and the reader should not act only on the roofing information contained in this Advisory Bulletin without seeking specific professional, engineering or architectural advice. Neither the CRCA nor any of its officers, directors, members or employees assumes any responsibility for any of the roofing information contained herein or the consequences of any interpretation which the reader may take from such information.