Commercial roofs come in different forms but they are majorly classified as either flat or having a low slope; are usually bigger than residential roofing. Because of their level of complexity, they can only be installed by roof contractors who are conversant with smokestacks, external piping, and airflow systems. Types of commercial roofing materials include:
This article here will succinctly discuss the different ways you can prepare your commercial roof for the coming winter months.
Ways to Prepare Your Commercial Roof for Winter
During winter, the membrane of a commercial roof shrinks; this, together with ice and ponded water can damage your roof if not checked early. So, below are six ways to prepare your commercial roof for winter:
1. Schedule regular inspections and repairs
Take cursory looks at your roof or hire a roofer at regular intervals, to spot any damages. While you’re at it, look for loose shingles, swollen sections, rusty flashing, and signs of animal infestation. An experienced roof contractor will check for open seams, cracked caulking, rusty flashings, gaps, and membrane punctures. He will also check your roof’s traffic patterns, drainage systems, base attachments, and flashings, and so on.
Repairs should be carried out as soon as roof damages are sighted but this should be done before or after winter -best during the fall.
2. Clean your commercial roof
Clear branches, leaves, and plastic trash from your roof and gutters to make sure nothing is clogging your gutters and downspouts. If your gutters are clean, melted snow will easily flow out instead of pooling and causing damage. And if no branches linger on your roof, the chances of having roof punctures will be greatly reduced. You can engage a roofing contractor or professional cleaning service to get your roof thoroughly cleaned.
3. Be aware of the history of your roof
Just as a doctor needs your health history to effectively treat you, your roofing contractor needs to know everything about your roof to accurately spot the causes of damages. Therefore, you must have accurate details of your roof’s age, maintenance history, date of manufacture, and the manufacturer’s name, repairs, and last inspection date at your fingertips or filled safely. With this information, it will be easier for a roofing contractor to determine the root cause of your roof’s damage or the possibility of a recurrence.
4. Inspect attic insulation and ventilation
It is important to ensure that your attic is well insulated before winter to prevent hot air from escaping from your roof and cold air from entering. If your attic is not insulated, your shingles might loosen and your roof might begin to rot. The flashing, nails and other metal components might rust and break and ice dams might form. And if ice dams are left unchecked, they can puncture your roofing membranes and cause serious roof damages.
These ice dams could also block or tear your roof gutters and weaken your roof shingles. And if your gutters are blocked by ice dams, water will not be able to flow out of your roof and might begin to leak. This will, in turn, cause damp and fungi growth and damage your building structure. On the other hand, a well-ventilated roof will allow moisture to escape from the attic instead of building up within.
5. Apply sealant
The snow that falls during winter will melt in warmer temperatures and freeze again when the weather gets colder. This repeated cycle will create an ice mass that strains the shingles, causing them to loosen. As the ice melts, the roof shingle will get soaked and begin to fall apart. Without adequate sealant, this repeated cycle will be detrimental to your roof and cause cracks. Therefore you must apply new coats of sealant on your roof before winter comes.
6. Map out areas of snow build-up
There will most likely be a larger amount of snow in certain areas in commercial roofs with a slightly sloped roof. So, before winter comes, earmark those areas for special attention. Give them extra cleaning and more layers of sealant. Check for swellings and holes and check the corresponding interior part for signs of leaks. If these areas aren’t given special attention, their defects may spread around the roof in the winter and cause further damage.
In conclusion, do not take the wellness of your roof for granted; as it is better to face the harshness of winter knowing that you have taken all proactive measures aimed at ensuring the safety of your roof.