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Building Service Contractors / Snow Removal Equipment / Roof Repair / Roofing Materials / Maintenance
March 2013 Maintenance Matters

Safeguarding Against A Roof Catastrophe

Tips to minimize structural damage to your facility’s roofs that can occur from snow and ice buildup.

March 18, 2013
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After any weather event, the roofing surface and components should be inspected for any signs of damage.

Additionally, a quick inspection of the structural system may be prudent after particularly large snow events.

When snow removal is necessary, using the wrong shovel on a single-ply roof can be a big mistake.

Snow removal equipment designed for use on the ground, such as snow blowers, power brooms and ordinary metal snow shovels, can cause damage to your roof, your skylights and any buried gas lines.

Workers must take proper care to ensure that the roof is not damaged, as careless or inexperienced contractors can oftentimes do more harm to your roof than good.

Even winter’s routine freeze/thaw cycles can contribute to defects that can cause your roof to leak and damage your property.

The best safeguard against a roof catastrophe is to perform routine roof inspections before and after any winter storm event.

These three tips can help minimize the damage winter weather can cause to your roofs:

1.     Conducting periodic inspections

Inspect your roofs before, during and after a snowfall event, during which fluctuating temperatures may lead to thawing and refreezing of ice, rain and snow.

Note any areas of concern and re-inspect roofs regularly for any new deficiencies.

2.     Following warranty instructions

If a roof is under warranty, it roof must be inspected to keep the warranty in place.

Any unintentional damage from snow and ice removal needs to be noted and repaired immediately.

If any items needing replacement are covered under warranty, those specific items need to be documented and addressed.

3.     Checking rooftop components

Drains, gutters and skylights need to be inspected because of the damage that can occur from the weight of snow and ice.

Additional components like rooftop compressors for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) units, solar panels and other installed items also need attention, as winter weather is indiscriminate in inflicting damage.

When The Weather Clears

After a weather event has passed and the snow, ice, blowing wind and other winter weather phenomenon have subsided, enlisting the assistance of a trained professional is your best course of action.

Make sure you do your research and select a contractor who is cognizant of the particularities of numerous commercial roofing membranes.

A professional roofing contractor can help you:

  • Determine any items of immediate concern that should be repaired or replaced
  • Provide an estimate for any recommended repair or replacement actions
  • Analyze the structural integrity of your roofs and offer any necessary solutions
  • Determine the maximum loads your roofs can withstand and provide solutions to improve strength
  • Weigh the options of whether or not you should consider strengthening your roofs before the next winter.

For these reasons, a reputable roofing contractor should be considered a valuable partner in proper snow and ice removal, potentially saving a building owner the cost of repair resulting from storm damage failures.

Get an inspection scheduled today for any of your roofs that may have been affected by the recent winter weather.

Springtime rains will be here before we know it, and one of the last things you want is a leaky roof.

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