Winter Commercial Roofing Hazards And How To Proactively Mitigate Them

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As the winter temperatures plummet and the snow falls, your commercial roof is put under a lot of stress and strain.  Snow and ice are heavy and put pressure on the roof. Rainwater finds its way under roofing materials and causes dry rot. And, the wind rips off shingles and flashing threatening a roof's integrity. Each of these things can lead to extensive roof damage in a very short period of time that requires expensive roofing repairs.

Rather than ignoring your commercial roof this winter and hoping for the best this spring, instead, take proactive steps to mitigate cold weather damage, by:

Cleaning and Inspecting the Roof at the End of the Fall Season

At the end of every fall season, you should get up on your commercial roof and clean it. This is especially important if you have a flat roof under large overhanging trees. Leaves and dirt blown onto the roof will block drainage downspouts, promote mold and mildew growth, and can damage the roofing materials.

While cleaning, check any rooftop equipment to ensure it is stable and none of its flashing is damaged. In addition, inspect the shingles or membrane for any loose or damaged areas and check each vent to ensure it is well attached and not blocked by leaves or other debris.

Removing Snow and Preventing Ice Dam Formation

When winter snow collects on your commercial roof, it poses a variety of different dangers. Such as:

  • Damage from excessive weight

  • Damage from water intrusion

  • Danger from snow, ice, and icicles falling from the roof

In addition, snow collected on a roof will lead to the formation of ice dams.

To mitigate these dangers, you need to remove fresh snow before it has a chance to melt and refreeze. While icicles look neat, they are seriously dangerous if they fall and hit one of your employees or customers. Additionally, icicles are a sign of ice dam formation and ice dams are damaging to roofs because they lead to leaks.

Talk With a Local Roofing Contractor About a Regular Maintenance Program

Since replacing a commercial roof can easily cost your business more than buying a new vehicle, you should do everything possible to keep your existing roof in good repair. The most effective way to do so is to talk with a local commercial roofing contractor about a regular maintenance program. An effective maintenance program is one where your roof is inspected every fall and spring so minor damage can be repaired before more extensive damage occurs.

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