Don’t stop thinking about maintenance for your commercial roof when the calendar rolls around to winter. Your roof keeps your facility protected during this harsh weather season; return the favor and make sure it’s able to provide watertight protection. Here are some things to keep in mind with respect to winter roof maintenance.
Conduct occasional spot checks and inspections. This is especially important after a significant wind and/or precipitation event. Seemingly small problems can become big ones in the winter if water penetrates your roofing membrane and goes through multiple freeze and thaw cycles. In addition to membrane holes and cracks, keep an eye out for seams that may have developed gaps, especially around flashings and other transitions.
Your drains, gutters and downspouts need to be clear and running freely to carry water away from your building. Fall and winter storms can drop leaves and branches from nearby trees. This debris can clog drainage systems and when water doesn’t drain it can freeze and cause serious problems, including ice dams on shingled roofs. Make sure scuppers around your roof perimeter as well as drains on the rooftop are unblocked. Remember that falling branches can puncture roof membranes, so inspect for those issues as well.
Roof materials expand and contract with temperature fluctuations. Cold-weather stresses can compromise the integrity of membrane seams, create gaps in metal or plastic edging around the perimeter of your building and cause other problems. Your winter rooftop inspection should include documenting and repairing any issues along these lines.
When you’re on the rooftop be safe. A commercial roof can be hazardous in good weather, but it becomes much more so when it’s snow-covered and slippery.
If you’d like to leave your wintertime (or anytime) roof inspections to a professional, the roofing pros at Great Lakes Roofing and Insulation would welcome the opportunity to discuss your needs with you. Please contact us at your convenience.