Tips for Repairing Commercial Roof Winter Damage

A commercial roof plays an essential role in protecting all of your expensive equipment, products, and appliances from any damage it could receive from the elements especially during the winter season when the heavy snowfalls and extremely low temperatures become especially difficult on roofs.

But a lot of business owners don’t think twice about their roofs until it’s practically crashing down on top of them. So, if you’re one of these commercial roof owners and you find yourself in a bind this winter season, here are some tips to help you during roof repairs.

Remove Snow

There are a lot of reasons why people love snowy days. It’s fun to stay inside, relax, and enjoy a hot chocolate. When going outside, nothing’s more exciting than snowball fighting and sledding. There’s also something about seeing white snow covering everything that makes it seem like a winter wonderland.

Unfortunately, while houses may look great to see some snow on top on it, too much snow doesn’t mix well with your roof. Although most commercial roofs are usually designed to withstand more weight than residential roofs, as the roof ages, it wouldn’t be able to handle a load of snow or ice storms as it used to.

Snow can get heavy the longer piles up, and when it melts, it turns to ice. If you can’t remove the snow immediately, it may eventually turn into an ice dam which might prevent water from draining off the roof. This water can make its way into your home and damage the ceiling, walls, and even the floor. It can also cause parts of the roof to collapse.

Before a leak starts and causes a problem, you’d better remove the snow from your roof as soon as possible. Most of the time, there’s time between a large snowfall event and before any structural failure.

Push the snow off with a shovel, broom or a roof rake. A roof rake allows a safe and easy way to remove snow from the roof to the ground. Removing ice dams will enable the temperature of your attic and roof to drop to below freezing and stop the melting. It also eliminates the source of the water. Don’t use a metal shovel since it could damage the surface of the roof.

Commercial buildings with a flat roof may need to keep up with snow removal during winter months.

Melt Ice Dams

An ice dam can do more significant damage to your business than it can to a home. Business owners have even more at stake since an ice dam, and leakage on the roof can disturb your business’ normal flow of operations. It could even result in thousands of dollars in lost revenue not because of the structural damage but also from the possibility of breaking off and injuring a customer.

Getting rid of ice dams doesn’t necessarily require eliminating every bit of ice. It’s enough to make a channel through which the water can flow will suffice. One way to do this is through the use a calcium chloride to melt the ice, which you can generally purchase from your local hardware store.

Fill it in a nylon stocking then place it vertically across the ice dam. This will create a reservoir of slushy, briny, ice melty water that will continue to eat away at the dam. Make sure to use calcium chloride, and not rock salt or sodium chloride as these can damage your roof even further.

Prevention is Better Than Cure

Roof maintenance and preparation for winter can help minimize the likelihood of these problems to developed.
Between the end of fall and before winter even begins, have the gutters cleaned on your commercial roof. Clean the whole roof after all the leaves have fallen. This would prevent clogging and snow build-up and prevents the likelihood of forming ice dams and icicles.

Remember to schedule a roof inspection before the season changes to ensure that your roofing system is prepared to withstand the entire winter season. A licensed professional would be better since they have the knowledge and experience to spot any signs of damage that could become worse during winter. Furthermore, investing in roofing inspection can help you save a lot of money in the future.

If you do notice degeneration or signs of disrepair on your roof’s surface, then a professional must be called immediately and stop problems from becoming too big.

Safety First

When you’re walking on the roof, there’s obviously the concern of falling off, especially when it’s covered with snow and ice, and you have to deal with tons of equipment you can trip on. Even some expert roofers have had near-death experiences with falling before.

Roofs are never completely flat. They aren’t easy to work with either. More inexperienced workers have a higher risk of losing their balance and falling due to terrible depth perception. If you judge the surrounding area poorly, you’re in for quite a fall and the consequences can be quite severe.

Before doing the winter roof repair yourself or having a less experienced employee to do it for you, analyze the situation and honestly decide if you have the necessary knowledge and expertise to do the job properly and safely.

If you decide the project is within your range of skill gather your materials and tools, then you devise a plan of action. Identify the damaged roofing material and clear it of snow and ice.

Better yet, hire a professional. It would be less costly when you hire a professional at the beginning instead of in the middle of a mistake.

If you’re ever in need of any roof repairs and roof replacement, Fahey Roofing Contractors are the reliable contractors you need for the job. Contact us at (304) 735-7663 to learn more about our commercial roofing and commercial roof repair services.

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