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Guide: Government Requirements And Roofing Standards For Your Building

Government codes and regulations are designed to ensure maximum safety of a building's future inhabitants as well as the construction crews that work on them. State and local governments abide by the standards set forth by the International Code Council (ICC) and National Fire Protection Association.

Every facet of a building has a code applied to it in some fashion, far too many to list here. Following is a short list of just some of the codes Michigan Commercial buildings are required to follow when renovating or replacing a roof.

  • Permits – Let's start before construction even begins. Any alteration or construction requires that a permit be obtained from the Building Safety Department of the city, township or county in which the building is located. Ordinary repairs don't require a permit, but this does not include removing or altering any partition, support beam, or means of entrance and exit from a room.
  • Roofer Licensing – Not that you would want to go cheap in this area, but if you did, Michigan regulations would still require that your roofer be licensed and insured.
  • Waterproofing – Roof flashing directs the flow of water and is used to prevent problems caused by water leakage such as mold and rot. Flashing is required to be placed in such a manner as to prevent moisture seeping in through joints, intersections or other potential openings. Gutters and emergency overflow systems are also required to prevent water damage.
  • Solar Panel Collectors – According to the 2018 IECC, jurisdictions will have the option to adopt a code that would require commercial buildings to provide space and appropriate connections for future solar panel installation. The ICC publishes code books that address the thousands of additional regulations applied to commercial buildings.

Remember to dive into these codes and requirements before beginning any new project. A roof out of compliance can be an expensive problem that is best addressed as early as possible.  For further questions remember to contact the Southeastern Michigan Roofing Contractors Association at

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